Recent entries

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10001 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    If a person in the Cosmere built a fully sentient and sapient robot would that robot have a soul? How would it interact with Shardblades?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It would interact with Shardblades the same way that Spren do.

    VindicationKnight

    How does a Shardblade interact with a Spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shardblades cut on all three realms. I'm not going to say too much here, though I might note that it's possible a robot like you say would act more like nightblood than anything else--depends on what is involved in the creation, and how you determine the difference between a robot and a golem for these purposes.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10002 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    Can you use Forgery to enhance or diminish a persons intelligence? If so could you use it to uplift a non-sentient animal to human levels of intelligence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uplifting requires extreme amounts of investiture, and needs to be affixed permanently to the soul. This is beyond what a normal person, even a Forger, usually has access to.

    VindicationKnight

    And if full uplifting is practically impossible then are more minor intelligence alterations (like Taravangian) feasible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uplifting isn't quite as impossible as I might have implied. It would be easier, say, than making Nightblood. But, of course, making Nightblood was VERY hard.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10005 Copy

    Boogalyhu34

    I asked you at minicon if Roshar had always been the only large landmass on the planet and I think you said that there was once no large land mass on Roshar. Did I hear you correctly? I've been kicking my self for months for not recording that small q and a.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You heard me right.

    FatalTragedy

    Does this mean Roshar was once an archipelago?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not necessarily.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10007 Copy

    dougpgc

    Can you get to the Cognitive Realm using Allomancy? From what I've been reading recently, Shardpools sound like a common way to go.. but Rosharan magic can be used to get to Shadesmar without a shardpool around, for instance. Can Allomancy be used to get there too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The parts of Allomancy you know do not allow entering into Shadesmar.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10008 Copy

    djdav

    Do you plan on having a true, definite ending to the Cosmere, such that no more books will be written that exist in it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I DO have a true, definite ending. However, I can't say "no more books could exist" as there are always more stories to be told. But when I reach this ending in the years to come, I might very well decide enough has been done on this story. We shall see.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10013 Copy

    Phantine

    Is there more to metallurgy in mistborn than just trying to aim for the 'perfect' ratio for alloys? Like, can you make pewter that gives more strength but less endurance, or brass that soothes anger better, but doesn't work as well for other emotions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, unfortunately that isn't the way Allomancy works.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10014 Copy

    sebarial

    Would a Feruchemist actively storing Identity be more susceptible to Forgery? Would more outlandish changes be able to take effect? Thanks for your time, and have a wonderful day.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, if you store Identity, it makes you susceptible to ALL KINDS of things in the Cosmere. Forgery would be on the short list.

    bubblebooy

    Does the difficulty of affecting metals in a body with Allomancy have to do with Identity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, more to do with the fact that most people are innately Invested in the Cosmere--and certain planets have extra Investiture. Something Invested is more difficult to transform/move/etc with another form of Investiture.

    bubblebooy

    That is what I had originally thought before you capitalized "ALL KINDS." Is Soulcasting people like Jasnah Kholin did doubly hard since people a have a strong sense of Identity and have innate Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're getting a bit far on this course, so it's time to pull out the RAFOs. I don't want to overplay my hand and leave the books without anything to talk about. :)

    Phantine

    Does that 'inside a body' thing work on most magics?

    For instance, if Han stuck Luke into a Mistborn Tauntaun (a distant and unlucky relative of the mistborn llama), would Luke be protected from both the cold and emotional allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He'd have to get him inside a living one.

    It does work on most magics, though the interactions can be odd unless you know a lot about the workings. Emotional Allomancy, for example, works by lapping against the outsides of someone's cognitive self, influencing you the way music might stir your soul. So being inside a living body wouldn't necessarily stop it--you'd just have more interference. Kind of like how you can still hear music outside if it's loud enough.

    Actual mind control in the cosmere requires you to get INSIDE the soul, which you've seen happen frequently enough. There has to be a gap or an opening.

    Or, conversely, you just have to be so powerful that you can push through the interference.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10015 Copy

    i_do_stuff

    Hoid likes to be in interesting places. What was so interesting about the Yomen/Joshin wedding that he had to be there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In that case, he went to congratulate friends. Not everything is about large-scale cosmere problems.

    WeiryWriter

    Is there anything you are willing to say about how he befriended them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Afraid not.

    Footnote: The characters are a shout-out to two of the 17th Shard admins, Josh and Mi'chelle, who had just been married in real life.
    Sources: Reddit
    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10016 Copy

    i_do_stuff

    If Wax bonded with an Honorspren and got to the Second Oath, would he be able to use his Twinborn powers in conjunction with Windrunner powers? Or would they draw from the same "pool of Investiture"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He could use them, but I do warn that I don't want to dive far into questions about mixing the magics. That sort of thing is years off in the Cosmere.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10017 Copy

    yurisses

    You once said that Investiture follows its own version of the laws of thermodynamics. The first one is that Investiture is neither created nor destroyed.

    Is the second law of Investodynamics that the amount of corrupted Investiture in the Cosmere cannot decrease?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Basically, the idea is that there is a third item in the equations--matter, energy, and investiture. That's the basis of how they work.

    Entropy is not corrupted Investiture. The second law stands as is. However, there is a fourth law that relates to Adonalsium, which I'm not going to talk about at the moment.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10019 Copy

    darklordreddit

    With puts and pieces of the respective pieces of harmony still laying about is Harmony actually skewed in one way or another if slightly and does Sazed's personality circumvent this in any way ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Personality can always circumvent the powers--it just gets harder and harder to hold out as centuries pass.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10020 Copy

    theblackthorne

    I find the Shin fascinating. Given their reputation for docility and Szeth's internal monologues, am I right in thinking that the Shin do not feel The Thrill?

    If so, is this due to the protection of Cultivation or sheer distance from Nergaoul? And finally, is an awareness or fear of the Thrill the reason for the Shin societal disdain for soldiers or is it primarily to discourage use of the honour blades?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Distance is the big factor here, though there are cultural reasons for things as well. In addition, being very close to something tied to Honor reduces the effects of things like the Thrill. As for the Shin culture, you'll find a great deal in the next three books, so I'd rather not say much now.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10021 Copy

    awakenedtassel

    My wife really wants to know whether Vasher has had children, or wants to have children. It would mean a lot to her to find out from you!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher doesn't have kids, but he really does want them. Or, at least, he has wanted them at most points in his life.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10022 Copy

    youshallnotpass

    Will there be a metal called harmonium in the mistborn world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. But good question.

    WeiryWriter

    Just an fyi but you have confirmed the existence of harmonium before. (And this is probably a RAFO, but is there a reason you didn't follow the convention of the other "god metals" and call it something like sazedium? "Harmonium" just seems out of place.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sazed didn't like the sound of Sazedium.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10024 Copy

    Deathbyfire222

    Hi Brandon! My friend and I are putting together a Dungeons and Dragons campaign based in Roshar, and were toying with the idea of players being Shardbearers. Unfortunately, only a few of the stances (i.e. Windstance, Smokestance) are mentioned in the books.

    Have you given thought to what the rest of the stances are, and the qualities they emulate in combat? What are they?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Going into the Stances in depth is going to be tough for me as I am answering on mobile. But yes, I have thought about them all. They should all appear in the books eventually.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10026 Copy

    Logic_Nuke

    Could decapitation kill a Gold Compounder? With a guillotine, for example?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most forms of extreme cosmere healing don't care much what is done to the physical body, as the person's spiritual template is in power at the time.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10027 Copy

    yurisses

    So I was wondering how you'd spin Szeth's new sword into The Stormlight Archive's narrative. I know it's very similar to the Shardblades, but its differences are going to be worthy of explanation, if the new sword is going to appear as frequently as a planned Szeth-centric book suggests.

    So, if I am not missing anything, either the differences 1) will be explained vaguely, or 2) will be integrated into the greater lore (Cosmere/Zahel), or 3) will be somehow integrated into The Stormlight Archive's own magic system.

    And since the sword's emitted Investiture is black and compared to stormlight by Szeth, this is my question: is the blade's "corrupted stormlight" related to anything else we've seen so far in TSA? (e.g. Gavilar's sphere...)

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. :)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10028 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    1) How simple is it to bond an Honorblade? Is it just a matter of willing it? Shardblades need gemstones, but it seems like Honorblades might not even need those.

    2) Do you need to be bonded to an Honorblade to Surgebind? Or is just holding it in your hand sufficient?

    3) Do you need to be bonded to an Honorblade for it to change your eye color? Or would holding it in your hand be sufficient to do the eye color trick?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10029 Copy

    defiantburrito

    Taravangian: On his "Special Day" where he created the Diagram, was he actually as smart as he thinks he was, or was something else going on? It seems suspicious that any level of raw intelligence would let him deduce all of that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That sure IS suspicious, eh? Let's just say that HE believes it was rational deduction. But other theories are valid.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10030 Copy

    defiantburrito

    The Hero of Ages prophecy: For a while it seemed to me that the prophecy was entirely bogus (invented by Ruin as a lure), but it ended up coming true! So my question is, where did the prophecy actually come from? Was it Atium in some form, or something else entirely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The religions of Scadrial had a lot of ups and downs. First, you have Ruin and Preservation working together as two gods. Then you have the schism between them, and Preservation betraying Ruin, with Preservation adapting the religion to his own needs and trying to hide in it practices that will keep Ruin imprisoned as long as possible, and then give a chance to defeat him when he escapes. (As Preservation assumes he'll be dead by then.) Finally, you have Ruin corrupting the religions with his influence, trying to figure out what he can twist to his own needs--while missing the hidden layers that Preservation left.

    Phantine

    Were there a lot of Hero of Ages who ascended beyond the ones we directly saw in the books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wouldn't say so.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10031 Copy

    theleadingman

    Objects used for awakening turn gray. A limb cut with a shardblade turns gray. You mentioned earlier in this thread that the color of gemstones on Roshar is important. Is there a connection between these?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Between those two things? Yes.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10033 Copy

    Cheese_Ninja

    Kaladin: “Have you ever had to choose between two equally distasteful choices?” Vasher: “Every day I choose to keep breathing.”

    Does that mean he needs to consume Stormlight on a daily basis rather than weekly?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is more mundane than that. Vasher is indicating that not letting himself die is a tough choice for him.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10036 Copy

    Oudeis16

    Bronze has always been my favorite allomantic metal. Could a Seeker learn to sense familiar pulses? Could Marsh, for example, have felt the bronzepulses of pewter, and been able to tell the difference between some Thug he'd never met and his friend Ham? Or is pewter is pewter is pewter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If he recognized something about the burning, it would have to be in the personal way someone was burning the metal. However, Bronze is capable of sensing other types of investiture. Expand from that as you wish.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10040 Copy

    Faera

    How far does a forger need to understand a particular skill in order to replicate that skill in their forgery? For example:

    • To forge a painting, it's implied that Shai had to learn painting skills from a master. But it's obviously unfeasible that she has to get as good as the master to forge from it.

    • To forge her 'warrior' personality, Shai had to go train with the actual warriors, at least for a while. But obviously she wouldn't need to get as good as when she's imprinting herself, otherwise she wouldn't even need that imprinting.

    It's said that the effectiveness of forgery lies in the feasibility of changing its history. Does that mean that all she has to do is learn enough to make it feasible for her to extended that training over a much longer period?

    As for the painting, does it mean that she didn't really need to train in painting skills, she just needed to make it feasible that the particular piece of canvas or whatever would have been painted on by the artist instead of the original canvas? Or does she need some skills to produce something a bit closer to the original so that the change is more feasible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you are thinking along the right lines. The more feasible it is for something to work, the easier it is to Forge that thing. This is similar to what happens with the Breaths in Warbreaker. The closer you can make something to seeming alive, the less Breath it takes.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10043 Copy

    shoeties

    Since Stormlight and Breath are both investiture, would it be possible to use Nightblood with the former rather than the latter? Would it be possible to store Stormlight in metal using Feruchemy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mixing the magics is possible, but some are easier and more natural than other. Feeding Stormlight to Nightblood is easy. Storing stormlight in metal is tough.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10044 Copy

    drabgod

    Without necessarily naming the particular Shardworld, could you describe what the Cognitive Realm looks like in a Shardworld other than Roshar? Again, you don't have to say which one in particular, and it could even be a Shardworld we haven't seen before.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm... There is a place where it's an empty wasteland of near-nothingness.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10045 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    If you were to use Forgery for brainwashing, say turning a criminal into a law abiding citizen (not practical but hey it is a what if) would they not remember who they had been? Or would they just not care?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on the extent of the Forgery. If you reforge someone so their body and soul think they got amnesia, then had a certain set of experiences (very hard to do) then no, they wouldn't remember. Most often, it doesn't work this way, and you simply add memories you don't really have.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10046 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    I know Invested objects and people are harder to effect with magic, but does that also apply to indirect magic, like using Aon Daa to strike someone in Shardplate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It all depends on how the magics are trying to interact. In the case you mention, there would be little interference.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10047 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    Do you mind telling us what the average number of Knights for a Knight Radiant Order were (barring Bondmiths) and possibly how close the different orders worked together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It varied very widely, and depended on many factors. At their highest, some orders had members in the low thousands.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10048 Copy

    drabgod

    When a Returned who has lots of extra Breath gives them away without suppressing his Divine Breath, does the Divine Breath stick to the regular Breath as they are transferred to the receiver? Will the receiver find himself suddenly possessing a Divine Breath? Or does it still vanish after healing the receiver?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Divine Breaths don't work quite like others. However, losing one is kind of a "Last resort." You'll give away all the others first, and then, if you push you can give it away as well. It never sticks around and makes the person you choose returned.

    drabgod

    Could you use it to heal Preservation's mind? (potentially with the Well)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on what you mean by "Preservation's Mind." Do you mean Leras? During the events of Well/HoA he's WELL beyond the help of such a small bit of investiture, as available in a single Divine Breath. With the help of the Well itself? That's more realistic, but the real reason that he was suffering from such degradation was due to persistent attacks by Ruin.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10050 Copy

    TurtletheFlsh

    What would happen if you created a lifeless with more breath then is necessary? Would they be more or completely human or just a lifeless that's holding more breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lifeless with more breath are an interesting situation. It's quite possible for the BREATH to start taking on a personality, much like a cognitive shadow, related to the individual. Whether or not it is actually them, though, is a big question. Note, this doesn't always happen. Often, dumping a lot of breath in them is like sticking it in an inanimate object with no command.