Reading this [The Amulet of Samarkand], with a djinni viewpoint, really makes me want to write a book I've been planning for years, one told from a magic sword's VP.
Reading this [The Amulet of Samarkand], with a djinni viewpoint, really makes me want to write a book I've been planning for years, one told from a magic sword's VP.
I wondered if I could follow up to that Machiavelli question. Would Elsecallers be a-- one of those other, uh-- one of those...
So, yeah. Elsecallers are fairly compatible. Like, Elsecallers feel like the journey is... the journey is the entire species, right? And that the journey is the destination. *inaudible*
Because you've talked about alloying the god metals with other ones-- I was wondering whether you would be able to melt them down as you would with normal metals.
If you could distill the god metal: you could distill it out of the mist, that's theoretically possible.
White Sand, being my first book, even though I re-wrote it... doesn't sometimes follow as much rigor with the worldbuilding scientifically as things like Roshar. When we-- If I were to ever write books in it, I would beef that up. But for right now, since the actual y'know-- I haven't actually released any of the books, I don't feel bad that some of it is a little more vague.
The other thing is about the atmospheric composition, since-- Well on Earth we've got plants which supplies us with oxygen, which can't really exist on a planet like that.
Right. They can-- The plants on the other side grow really well, they're just adapted to UV. And they grow with the UV. And so a lot of the oxygen is happening there, and, of course, in the oceans.
Yeah, a lot of algae from the oceans, which is helping out. Oxygen content is pretty solid there. I mean, it's not Roshar which is high-oxygen.
Did Kelsier really hear Preservation's voice telling him to Survive when he was in the pits of Hathsin? Or was it Ruin pretending to be Preservation?
If it was Preservation, does that mean Kelsier died in the pits? Or were there special circumstances that allowed Kelsier to hear Preservation's voice without dying?
Special things often happen in the cosmere when someone is very close to death, or undergoing intense pain (either physical or emotional.) Barriers between the realms weaken.
I can confirm that the Kelsier who left the pits was not a Cognitive Shadow.
Could he have become a Shadow using the pits if he died immediately after snapping?
How did you get the temperature differential between the two halves of the planet such that life could survive on both sides and travel between them?
Right, yeah. We've got a couple things going on here that are helping with it. The thing about Darkside is-- And I've had to run this through my physicists, and they're all kind of "Ehhh", so we're still working on the physics-- But the idea is there is a light source over there, but it works like a black light. And so, there's warmth, and there's radiation, and that's why people over there are dark-skinned. They've actually adapted to this radiation, there's a lot of UV and things like that. But there is-- It works like a black light. So for a Daysider going over, it's all-- it feels dark and dim, but it's more twilight-ish than it is completely dark, if that makes sense. And with that and with... jet-streams and stuff we were able to kind of justify it mostly. I mean, it's still going to be colder on the other side and things. But I didn't want it to be like snowing and things like that, all the time over there. And so we kind of had to do some jumping through hoops astrologically to make it work.
The number 10 seems to be a recurring theme in this world. Are the "ten fools" the antithesis of the ten orders of the knights radiant?
Yes, ten is a number of mythological import in the world. The Ten Fools are, essentially, the opposites of the Ten Heralds--who each represented an ideal. (Those ideals were later adopted by the orders of Knights Radiant, so yes, there is a connection--but there's a step between them.)
So in the trilogy, we see that when someone has a Hemalurgic spike implanted in them, they can hear Ruin talking to them, both as a vision and in their head. However, we learn in the Hero of Ages that Ruin cannot hear a person's thoughts no matter how much under Ruin's influence they are.
In Alloy of Law, we see that Wax (and other Pathians) uses an earring to "pray" to Harmony, and we see that Harmony can hear his thoughts and respond.
So I guess this leads to three questions: How does Harmony hear the thoughts of Wax, when it's explicitly pointed put that Ruin cannot?
Are the earrings that the Pathians use Hemalurgically charged, as otherwise they would be of no use to Ruin, and therefore Harmony?
Or did Harmony completely change how that aspect of Hemalugy works?
How this all works dates back to the original design of the magic system.
I wanted Ruin and Preservation to be complementary opposites, like many things in the Mistborn world. Allomancy, for example, has Pushes and Pulls were are less "negate one another" opposites, but instead two sides to the same proverbial coin.
Ruin is invasive. The power is more "Yell" than "Listen." The philosopher would probably have some interesting things to say about the masculine symbolism of Hemalurgy and its spikes.
Ruin can insert thoughts. That power, however, can't HEAR the reactions. It's about invasion.
Preservation, however, is the opposite. Preservation listens, Preservation protects. (Perhaps to a fault--if there were no Ruin, there would be no change to the world, and life could not exist.) Because of this, Preservation can hear what is inside people's minds. It cannot, however, INSERT thoughts. (This is important to the plot of Hero of Ages.)
Harmony is both, the two complementary opposites combined. And so, he inserts thoughts with Ruin and still uses Hemalurgy. He can also listen.
Yes, Wax's earring is Invested. (Or, in other terms, it's a Hemalurgic spike.)
Doesn't that imply it was shoved through someone's heart at one point (ala Steel Inquisitor creation process)?
Yes, the metal would have to have been part of a spike that at one point was used to kill someone and rip off a piece of their soul.
Are Allomancer more or less common than in the time of the Survivor?
They are more common, but slightly less powerful.
How are there kandra and koloss? Kandra especially, since they did their "mass suicide" thing at the end of the original trilogy.
The nice thing about the kandra for me in the narrative was that, though removing their spikes turns them feral, you can always stick those spikes back in. TenSoon feared that this was the end of his people, and it could have been, if those spikes hadn't gone back in quickly. As it was, there were costs. Time spent without spikes causes a kandra's memories to deteriorate, and some that were left a relatively long time were essentially reborn as new people. But the race survived, even if it is unlikely that their numbers will be added to.
Did TenSoon survive, then (as the TenSoon who experienced growth under Vin)?
Yes, though he did lose some things.
You said that there are "multiple" people from Mistborn in [The Way of Kings]. Does this include Hoid?
Yes, it does.
Are they just vague allusions?
Vague, no. But I wouldn't say they, save Hoid, have any important impact on the events of the book.
So the number 16 is important on Scadrial, on pg 245, Wax is trying to find out where Miles is going to be next and he writes down the number "35.17" I couldn't help but notice that the 3+5+1+7=16, was that intentional or am I seeing things that aren't really there?
I slip it in here and there for fun, but it isn't actually important. It is fun when people notice it, though.
I have my own theory but I thought I should ask, if the koloss reproduce through Hemalurgic spike's how can there be half koloss in Alloy of Law.
I am holding this answer back for future books, I'm afraid. I have said some things, but the full truth is still subject to debate. I will answer this eventually in the books.
One question, two parts: If a double nicrosil Twinborn started Compounding and storing Investiture in a nicrosilmind, could they do something cool by tapping a whole huge bunch at once? And since Scadrialians have both Ruin and Preservation in them, could they store both those qualities in a one nicrosilmind, or would it require two different ones?
Ha. All things regarding Investiture (particularly in regards to Feruchemy) are instant RAFOs at this point, I'm afraid. I've got to save SOME things for future books.
If you burn nicrosil, will it deplete Feruchemial storages? Or just Allomantic?
You've said that Inquisitors could have children. Would those children have a better chance at being Allomancers compared to if they had the kids before they were Inquisitors?
Yes, but there also could be...complications.
TenSoon wonders, and I wonder too- How can kandra think and be sentient without brains? Doesn't the body need a physical coordinator to relay between the Physical and Cognitive realm? Or do the spikes do a good enough job with that?
I imagine kandra having a non-centralized nervous system, with brain power spread through their bodies. Well, non-centralized is probably the wrong way to say it. They have lobes of thought and memory attached to muscles here and there, and don't have a single 'brain.' They certainly have brain-like material, though.
Does the general population know about nicrosil and chromium?
Yes, though they are like this world's version of advanced physics in our world. They've heard of them, but many an average person might be hard-pressed to say exactly what they do.
A little safer question- Why did you not have Waxillium fall for Marasi? Why stick with the contract with Steris?
Marasi, as she was in Alloy of Law, was just plain wrong for Wax. As I write books, I allow my characters to grow more free-form (while my setting and plot are outlined in detail.) In writing the book, I felt that a Marasi hook-up at the end would not only be wrong for the character, but wrong for the story. If I do direct sequels (which I probably will) perhaps things will change.
How long before [The Way of Kings] is Alloy of Law? I heard somewhere that it's a hundred years, but I don't think that's right.
I intended them to be happening roughly close to one another, with [The Way of Kings] slightly before.
Is it significant that Miles said that the "men of gold and red" would come and rule. Is there a connection between this and the "gold and red" cigar box that Miles keeps The Suit's comings and goings on?
This is all very significant.
Are those men of red and gold of any relation to the priests in the red and gold robes in Warbreaker?
I really have to RAFO this one. (Sorry.)
Why on earth does Marsh have a Feruchemical atium spike? You've said that Ironeyes is in fact Marsh. Did Ruin spike someone for him? Or did Sazed grant him the power?
Dead Inquisitors Vin killed. Some were granted the spike for reasons I haven't spoken of yet.
Not really a question, but the one thing that disappointed me was that you didn't come up with new slang names for Allomancers! After three hundred years, do you really think they would still be calling steel Mistings "Coinshots"?
I toyed with this one, but decided that I would keep them the same for a few reasons. First off, I felt that certain things in-world would hamper some linguistic diversity. (Having the books Sazed left behind as a guide to Allomanc and history, everyone living in a small geographic area, the semi-religious nature of Allomancy making people look at it in traditional ways.) So, while I advanced the slang of the world, some of the terms I decided to leave the same.
Another reason for this came when I was writing the book. At first, I experimented with greater linguistic diversity--I even tried a vowel shift, as I figured three hundred years might be enough for that. In the end, I pulled back. I was already worried that this book not feel "Mistborn" enough, and so I wanted some direct ties back to the original series. Fiddling too much with the language while changing the setting and characters so drastically felt like a mistake to me.
Who wrote the "Ars Arcanum"? Since the writer obviously had knowledge of the cosmere I assumed that it was you making an editorial note, but then I thought that it could be Hoid (who was suspiciously absent) or Sazed or any Shardbearer... Does that make sense at all?
The Ars Arcanum is written in-cosmere by someone, but I don't want to saw who yet.
How was Sazed/Harmony able to communicate with Waxillium near the end of the book? During the original trilogy, Ruin could occasionally implant thoughts into people's minds, but he couldn't just listen in whenever he felt like it. Is Harmony just way more powerful?
There is interesting discussion about this one below, which I like to see. I thought this might spark some discussion. Remember that human beings were given more of Preservation than Ruin during their creation, which led to Preservation eventually being overwhelmed by Ruin. That was the bargain; people would be of Preservation at their core, but in turn Ruin got to claim the world once Preservation wound down.
Another factor to consider here is that Wax was given a special earring designed for communication with a being that he actually worships.
The Alloy of Law left me wanting more books in the universe right away. Any hints as to when we might get to see the next trilogy?
My current plan is to hold out on the second trilogy until I've reached a breaking point in The Stormlight Archive. (So after book five.) My reasoning is that the second trilogy is very involved, and I'm not certain if I want two thick-booked series going at once. There is a good chance I'll return and do another shorter book, like this one, in the world before then. Either about Wax, or perhaps a quick glimpse of the southern continent.
I just wanted to say ... I like how the main characters are named Wax and Wayne.
Thanks. In all honesty, I was hesitant about the pun. I liked it, on one hand, but also worried that it was too goofy. By the time I tried changing the character names, however, they were too strongly cemented in my head, so changing them proved too difficult and I just left them as-is.
I'm wondering: do you have any other ideas for interesting magic systems you might use in the future?
I've always got a few bouncing around in my head. Lately, I've found myself more interested in curious and unusual settings than I have magics. (Latest is a world that is surrounded by an envelope of water, much as the ancients imagined water surrounding the earth before the flood happened. So, like, five or six hundred feet up into the air you have an ocean. Beyond that, space and the sun.)
You got it wrong. I'm not busy because I'm writing other books, I'm working on the licensing deals! Cardboard shardplate! Official Bridge Four loincloths! "There's spren in my poop" toilet paper!
Serious question: are there poopspren, and how would they fare in indoor plumbing situations?
Well, it depends on how you're defining spren. In the books, they don't make a distinction, but there are several varieties. At the basic level, everything has an identity--a soul, you might say, but more than that. This is based on how it is viewed, and how long it has been viewed that way. Feces would have this, but wouldn't have a very strong cognitive identity because of its transitional nature.
Other types of spren, the type that characters see and interact with, are cognitive ideals or concepts which have taken on literal personification over time. These are usually related to forces or emotions, and don't relate to this particular topic.
And that's far more than I ever expected to say on this...
I did not know about "Cosmere" or its cycle until this very moment. I have however, read just about every single one of your books and knew that HOID makes an appearance in them. I had always thought it would be a grand idea if someday, a long time from now, we found out that all these different worlds were connected and your last masterpiece would be the book that revealed that to us. But I guess you thought of this brilliant idea before I did , sigh.
I planned to do something just like that, actually. I considered sticking the clues more deeply into the text. (For example, in some early drafts of later books, I didn't use the name Hoid for his alias.)
In the end, though, I felt that readers would enjoy the journey far more if they could connect things and begin to dig at the deeper picture themselves. Besides, if I hid the clues so well nobody found them, then that would have required so much arranging of stories as to make for some awkward moments.
And on an unrelated question, they have symbols on their heads. If Shallan managed to draw one of these would it be some glyph? Perhaps some glyph that we would recognize, like the glyphs in the artwork at the front?
As for the symbols making up the heads of the cryptics, those are not glyphs. But it's possible you would recognize them...
I suppose one thing to wonder is how do you enter Shadesmar? We know of a number of people who are jumping from world to world through Shadesmar. Grump Thinker and Blunt, Hoid too. How are they accessing the cognitive plane to transport themselves across the lands?
Presumably Shallan's bond with the truthspren let her get in. How does this work? If she had only a dim sphere then does it not require any stormlight, any spiritual power? Is it a purely cognitive change? I could see some advantages to that. You could hop into this alternative dimension at will if you were being attacked, even with little power.
The scholars earlier talk of whether there is food in Shadesmar, so presumably others have visited it. Can non soulcasters visit it? Is there some fabrial that grants you access? Are they only referring to the distant past, when KR had the power to access it? Is it purely a thing of the mind that anyone can learn? Is it only possible if you have access to a splinter of a shard?
There are many ways to enter Shadesmar. You'll see more of this in the future. One thing to keep in mind about Shadesmar is that space where things are thinking is expanded, while space where there is nothing to think is contracted. In other words, in an empty void, you get almost no Shadesmar. This makes distances as we think of them very different there.
Are Truthspren originally sentient, or do they gain/regain sentience from a bond, like Syl?
RAFO for Words of Radiance, where a lot of these questions will find answers.
If I can ask a question, I just read the Mistborn trilogy and, were Preservation and Ruin two different shards or a single one with their power split somehow? If they were two shards, does that mean a single person can hold more than one, since Harmony apparently holds both now?
They were two shards.
Yes, one entity can hold more than one. Remember that holding a shard changes you, over time. Rayse knows this, and prefers to leave behind destroyed rivals as opposed to taking their power and potentially being overwhelmed by it.
I have a question, if you are willing. Would Ruin be more compatible with Rayse, would he pick up that shard had he visited Scadrial and shattered him? All the shards we have seen that he has shattered seem rather different in intent than him- Honor, Cultivation, Love, Dominion. But Ruin seems more in line with Odium. Rayse has ruined the days of quite a few people.
Technically, Ruin would be most compatible with Cultivation. Ruin's 'theme' so to speak is that all things must age and pass. An embodiment of entropy. That power, separated from the whole and being held by a person who did not have the willpower to resist its transformation of him, led to something very dangerous. But it was not evil. None of the sixteen technically are, though you may have read that Hoid has specific beef with Rayse. Whether you think of Odium as evil depends upon how much you agree with Hoid's particular view.
That said, Ruin would have been one of the 'safer' of the sixteen for Rayse to take, if he'd been about that. Odium is by its nature selfish, however, and the combination of it and Rayse makes for an entity that fears an additional power would destroy it and make it into something else.
It says that it's dangerous to travel to Shadesmar on Sel. Why?
It has to do with the Dor and the lack of an entity controlling much of the power Odium left in his wake on Sel.
Woah, that's interesting. I had no idea Odium left little bits of his power on Sel... I guess it kinda makes sense for evil monks to be powered by pure hate, though.
Odium did not leave his power behind, one should note. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless...
If you wouldn't mind answering, does Roshar have a similar problem, with Honor being Splintered?
No, Roshar does not have the same problem. There are some differences going on. (One reason being that the spren are far more extensive on Roshar, and provide something of a "release valve." The seons and the skaze on Sel are not numerous enough to fulfill a similar function. Though, of course, that's only one part of the puzzle. Raw power is dangerous.
It's one reason everyone should be thankful Kelsier was around on Scadrial.
About Miles from Alloy of Law and his regenerative powers. If he was bisected down the middle and the halves were separated immediately before the healing process could begin, would the two halves each regrow into a whole Miles?
Good question. In all of the Cosmere's Shard-based magics, the greater portion of a bisected body regrows the lesser portion. If it were done EXACTLY halfway, the soul wold jump to one or the other randomly and that would regrow.
Amusingly, this first came up in 1999, six years before I got published. (I see someone else already mentioned the situation where I had to consider it.)
I'm probably too late to this party to get a question in, but just in case... The resonances for Edgedancers and Bloodmaker/Slider pairings--are they basically the same thing? It's maybe mostly linguistic for Edgedancers and more like Invested method acting for the Wayne types, but if I'm reading things correctly, it seems that they're very closely related.
After all, Progression and Bloodmaking are quite similar. Abrasion and speed bubbles have a more tenuous link, but they do call bendalloy boys "Sliders," after all (no disrespect to bendalloy girls, but I couldn't pass up the alliteration).
The connections are more because the magics are all inter-related, and based on fundamental rules, and less because I was trying for any specific connection.
Two quick questions: Will we find out more about the Surges Division, Cohesion or Tension? We know practically nothing about them!
Could an Elsecaller Transport themselves into the Spiritual Realm? Has anyone tried?
RAFO! (Sorry. I'm not likely to answer questions about the book when we've got it coming so quickly.)
Does Hoid have all of his fingers
Hoid has had fingers chopped off on occasion. I doubt he's kept them around after the new ones grow in.
Does "Alethi" come from or have anything to do with the Greek word for truth or is that just a coincidence?
Alethi is a coincidence. However, it is the sort of coincidence that happens a lot for me in languages, as I often look for a "feel" for a language. Alethi, for example, is a Semitic language mashup with some Mediterranean influence. So I'm not surprised if it means something in the right languages. (I did this with Straff and Elend from Mistborn, looking for Germanic-sounding words and accidentally using two words from German.)
Has Midius found his way to Taldain at some point? If so, will we be able to see him there?
Taldain has seen visits from non-natives.
You've mentioned that The Stormlight Archive is broken down into two sets of five books. Is the story arc of the second set of books going to be completely different than the story in the first 5 books?
It will focus mostly on different characters, with some appearances by characters from the first five. I wouldn't call it a different story, more a sequel.
A lot of your works that are stand alone novels or seemingly completed stories, you have announced or started working on sequels for. Are there any stories that you feel complete and don't need to work on the same world or characters again? Or do feel there is always some new tale to tell about every world you make?
It's hard, because the way I plot I always have to know what happened before the book and what will happen after the book. Knowing that doesn't mean that I have to continue. It's also hard, though, to say no to fans who are so passionate about a specific project.
The Vin/Elend story is most certainly done. As is the Raoden/Sarene story, as is Siri's story from Warbreaker. So there are completed threads. There might be other stories to tell in those worlds, though, so I'll avoid closing the door on them for now. (That said, it did feel very good to finish The Wheel of Time for good, and look forward to putting some of my own works to rest in a similar way.)
Will there ever be some overarching plot with all the Cosmere and Adolnasium stuff?
Yes. There is one already, honestly, you just don't have the beginning or the end. I will write those books eventually, and things will start falling into place.
If Sazed were to die, would he drop the Shards Ruin and Preservation, or would he drop the Shard Harmony?
Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)
Are Conjoiner fabrials sensitive enough that pairs of them attached to taught membranes could work as telephones (conjoiner-phones?)?
Yes. (Though this is somewhat far off, technologically, for the people on Roshar.)
Could Syl, or any other type of Spren, be seen in a photograph?
Excellent question, and I like the way you phrase it. Let's give this one a little more time before I get into the specifics of whether spren are manifesting physically or not.
Does Denth have the Royal Locks, independent of his being a Returned?
Yes. (Good question.)
Does a limb that has been "severed" by a Shardblade have any Hemalurgic bindpoints? If the same limb was then cut off more conventionally, would a Bloodmaker ferring be able to grow it back?
A severed Shardblade limb needs repair to the soul before it would function again. A Bloodmaker would be able to heal it without needing to grow it back.