Recent entries

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10703 Copy

    Jericho5589

    In regards to the time period each series takes place in. What time period is it during Mistborn whilst the other series are going on?(More specifically. Is it Wex during Stormlight? Or still Vin?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight is closer to Wax than Vin, but takes place between the two.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10705 Copy

    focoma

    Are the Essences strictly just a Roshar thing, or are they also connected to the manifestations of Investiture on other Shardworlds? For example, is the Essence of Foil in any way connected to the Metallic Arts of Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The idea that things exist on three realms is not unique to Roshar.

    That those things are self-aware is a Rosharan thing, though other places in the cosmere have similar beliefs.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10706 Copy

    wackyHair

    What's the population of the shardworld's we've seen so far (even in very general terms, like one's much bigger than the others or something)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Scadrial is certainly the least populated of the major shard worlds. Then Nalthis, I'd guess, followed by Roshar, and finally Sel--which likely has the largest population. I would have to look closely to see which is bigger between those last two.

    Phantine

    Does a population of about 100 million during The Final Empire (with 1-2 million in Luthadel), and around 15 million during Alloy of Law (with about 5 million in Elendel) seem right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Have to RAFO this for now, for reasons I can't explain without giving spoilers.

    Phantine

    How about as far as Elend/Wax knows, at the beginning of their respective series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then those numbers, if they're off, are at least close.

    faragorn

    Interesting that Sel has such a large population, given that the actual numbers of soldiers shown seem to be quite small.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that Opelon has an inflated opinion of its own size in relation to the rest of the world.

    Footnote: The RAFO about the Scadrian population may be due to the existence of the Southerners, which had not been revealed as of this time.
    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10707 Copy

    Sharadee

    I am going to shamelessly take advantage of the fact that you are still answering questions here (and wow ! thanks for that). It's about the sprens. Isn't it inconvenient in some social situations if sprens can give away people's emotions? For example, if someone is working hard to hide their anger and angersprens appear... Can people have any kind of control over them appearing ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it can be inconvenient. And you'll see more about this in future books.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10709 Copy

    vandar10

    Will we see in Nightblood why the returned base breath cannot be given away in the same way the other breath are given?? I'm referring to the fact that when a returned gives his breath the person who receive it don't reach any heightening but use it to heal instead of reaching the fifth heightening and healing anyway.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10710 Copy

    vandar10

    Could someone with enough Breaths use part of them to heal himself without the help of a Returned?? Could the God King have healed himself without Lightsong with enough knowledge?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The nature of the Warbreaker magic is tied to the shard of Endowment, which is about giving. There are, therefore, things you cannot do for yourself.

    RobotAztec

    For healing can Big Breaths heal only one person at a time or can you heal a bunch of people at once?(as long as they are not yourself)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Legends say you can heal many.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10712 Copy

    Argent

    Are the glyphs on The Way of Kings front sheet the Alethi glyphs for the Radiant orders and the Surges? If so, can you tell us the name (i.e. the pronunciation) of the Windrunners glyph? Or, if you don't have this one, maybe another one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I'll see if we can get all of the pronunciations into the appendix of the third book.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10713 Copy

    KingSloth

    Does a Spinner Ferring have to be actively doing something to 'lose' fortune, while storing? Slightly worried that they'd end up giving themselves cancer or something if they were sat storing fortune, without doing something like playing cards to 'drain' the luck away from..

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10719 Copy

    yafeshan

    Scadrial will get to space age sometime in future, what about other worlds. Will we see space tech based on other magic systems, shiny space battles etc.? Did we see space age tech of a world in another main (roshar, sel, scadrial) world(conveniently excluding Sixth of Dusk world)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The cosmere is heading this way eventually.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10720 Copy

    Argent

    How old would you say somebody has to be in order to attract a spren (with bonding intentions)? I can't imagine infants performing anything remarkable enough, but what about, say, 5-6 year olds? I could easily imagine them being selfless and protecting in their own little way - does this mean we can have children who can barely speak well Lashing their breakfast to the ceiling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Someone like Lift is near the lower threshold, though it does depend on the spren in question.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10721 Copy

    minefieldpotato

    So, it's mentioned throughout the Mistborn books that Allomancers can 'see' their metal reserves to determine how much they have left. What allows them to do this? I really have no theories, except the boring one: 'It's an innate property of Allomancy and its interaction with Preservation.'

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's just an innate part of the magic. Not really because of Preservation. A Surgebinder will know when their stormlight is running out. It's more similar to how you might know your strength is running out when you're holding something heavy, though obviously more delineated.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10724 Copy

    psychomanexe

    I think that in the Spiritual realm a person's spiritweb sort of manifests as a collection of "nodes" which are the Forms of their body/mind/subconscious, and these nodes are connected by "lines" which are interactions between the pure Forms. These lines are what actually make up the person's character, how the body is "supposed" to be (barring accidents/disease, basically what magical healing attempts to restore the body to), as well as what interactions with investiture the person can use (what magic systems they have access to)

    Am I completely off base here or should I keep thinking about this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a good line to be thinking along.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10726 Copy

    uchoo786

    Has Vasher met Hoid, and are they BFFs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not BFFs by a long shot.

    KingSloth

    Has Hoid seriously offended someone on EVERY planet he's been to? Kelsier, Shai, the Alethi nobility, who knows how many shards from Yolen, AND Vasher are all out for his blood..? :o

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's only a small fraction of the total list.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10727 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    To what extent are Cognitive shadows the same as the individuals they are shadows of? Do you count them as the same person or are they just a "copy" so to speak? Or is this a discussion for philosophers (which you've said is the case with the cosmere's "far afterlife")?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've considered answering this a few times, and have decided I just have to RAFO it. This is a discussion for philosophers, as you've said. It may become a plot point in future books.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10728 Copy

    Thadamin

    Do Shards need to be based on the same planet to create the interactions that made Feruchemy possible?

    If the Parshendi are not originally from Odium and are referred to as the Ancient Ones by spren, then would that make the original Parshendi, bonded to the Splinters that existed before Honor and Cultivation arrived, the Dawnsingers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10729 Copy

    Enfeathered

    Assuming that the events of the first Mistborn book took place on Nalthis instead, and especially considering the circumstances of Kelsier's passing and the events afterwards, would he have Returned?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a very interesting question. Endowment can be somewhat...erratic. I don't know, honestly. I'd have to think about it.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10730 Copy

    bridge4shash

    Were the Plains originally shattered by a Dawnsinger? Are Dawnshard magical musical instruments? Are the Parshendi of Odium? Are the gods that the Parshendi abandoned Odium? Are the people above in Sixth of the Dusk Scadrians?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a whole pile of RAFOs. But I can answer one; the gods that the Parshendi abandoned are of Odium.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10735 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    Why is Hoid’s color aura from his Breaths not noticed by anyone on Roshar? Are the characters just not used to noticing that sort of thing, or does he not have one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a mixture of reasons. Not the least is Hoid's control over investiture.

    uchoo786

    Would someone with breath be able to notice his aura on Roshar? E.g. Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Various methods of detecting investiture would still work, depending on how good a job Hoid is doing of suppressing his.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10736 Copy

    Chaos

    You have once said, with regard to a question about Shards being the most powerful thing in the cosmere, that some would say that other "subtle forces" are being manifest. Are these subtle forces related to Adonalsium's opposition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is belief in a God who is not one of the Shards.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10739 Copy

    zotsandcrambles

    Is the silver on Threnody imbued with investiture? The presence of a silver knife in Stormlight leads me to believe Threnodoic Silver is actively different than average silver and Threnody's silver could be used off-world in a way - say - Sel's silver couldn't.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm RAFOing most questions about Threnody for multiple reasons. It's a RAFO you shouldn't read too much into, however.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10740 Copy

    Argent

    Is the Earth-like biome in Shinovar a product solely of environmental factors (e.g. shelter from the highstorms), or is there a magical component as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    On Roshar, the environment and magic are so intertwined, environmental factors ARE magical components.

    Argent

    Interesting, hadn't really thought of it this way, but much of the environment and its events depend on magic - highstorms, plant and animal life, crem and water deposits, and those are just off the top of my head. Was it this way before the Shards showed up, or is this a change they caused (intentionally or not)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This will eventually be revealed.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10741 Copy

    Argent

    I've been listening to the Graphic Audio The Hero of Ages and just got to the point where Vin meets with Slowswift. While the meeting itself revealed nothing knew, the events after it made me wonder about something. When Vin leaves Slowswift, she burns her bronze to check whether the informant is an Allomancer, and then heads off to meet with Hoid - where, of course, something makes her turn away. Was she still burning bronze at that time? Was Hoid maybe manipulating Investiture in a way unfamiliar to Vin, so her bronze alerted her of something, but because it was such a foreign experience to her, she didn't recognize it for what it was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have to RAFO this one. It's been hard not to spill the beans here, as it's such a small thing, but it has important ramifications. You will have an answer eventually, I promise.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10742 Copy

    Kurkistan

    If Investiture can neither be created nor destroyed, and Feruchemy is all fueled by the Feruchemist himself, then how do metalminds end up being invested without Feruchemists seeming to suffer any long-term loss of Investiture? If they're not "creating" the energy that's going into the metalminds, then where's it coming from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The cosmere takes physics from our universe, and adds additional layers to it. Where we have energy and matter (simplified), the cosmere has additional building blocks that make reality. Investiture is one of these. It IS possible to change matter, to energy, to investiture, and back.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10743 Copy

    TheTetress

    Some of the characters (I think it was Sarene) in Elantris mention that the constellations in their part of the world look like Aons. This seemed kind of odd to me. How significant is this, and does it play a role in how accessing the AonDor works (or do they just love astronomy)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The characters in Elantris claiming that constellations look like Aons is mostly akin to us thinking that constellations look like animals--if you're looking for patterns, you'll find them.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10745 Copy

    Argent

    In The Hero of Ages, there is a scene where Spook wonders why Clubs spent all that money and traveled all that distance just to save him (Spook) from likely death at the hands - or foot, as it is - of his father. Why did Clubs do it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Clubs had his reasons, not all of which were altruistic.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10746 Copy

    Argent

    Are there non-Invested (or at least not heavily Invested) objects that cannot be cut by Shardblades, or that offer more resistance than what we see in The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're unlikely to find anything without high Investiture that can resist a Shardblade. By definition, to stop one, you're going to need something with a powerful spiritual component to it.

    zotsandcrambles

    Would [Ralkalest] (the unforgeable metal) be at all resistant to a Shardblade given its proven resistance to other forms of investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, but is a question you should be asking.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10747 Copy

    ceraius

    This is involving gemstones and their properties on Roshar. Given that Sapphire and Ruby are actually the same crystal - corundum - differing only in their impurities - how would you explain the differences in their properties, with respect both to their essences and their function in fabrials? For example, I am assuming that two identical fabrials, one made with a sapphire and one made with a ruby, would not function the same. To take it a step further, any corundum that is not ruby red is simply called a sapphire of whichever color it happens to be (blue sapphire, green sapphire, colorless sapphire, etc.). How does this play into things; would a blue sapphire have different properties than a green one or a colorless one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was a big part of the magic for me in working on Roshar, as I wanted the gems to work differently from Scadrials metals in order to avoid repetition. The fact that many gems are basically the same thing was one of the launching points actually. Let me say that you are on the right track.

    On Roshar, color of the gem is more important than actual crystalline structure.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10748 Copy

    Shadowglass0

    If someone used Hemalurgy to give Lift from Words of Radiance the ability to use Bendalloy Feruchemy, could she convert the nutrition she gets out of Feruchemy into stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Theoretically possible, I suppose.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10749 Copy

    Shadowglass0

    We've seen the drawing of a gigantic greatshell towering over a city in Way of Kings. Jasnah's book called it a voidbringer. How big was that compared to the Reshi islands greatshells? Do they look similar (proportions, etc.)? Are the Reshi islands greatshells really-really old? So old that someone pretentious enough to speak in all-caps could call them 'ancient ones'?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That picture is very, very inaccurate--by design. However, the Reshi Island greatshells were one of the models this illustrator in world used to create his fanciful drawing. They are, indeed, very long lived.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10750 Copy

    vorpal_username

    In mistborn you can't access someone else's feruchemical stores. However, what if feruchemist A stores something, and then hemalurgy is used to take A's ability and put into person B. Can person B use A's stores?

    Also, what happens when someone burns metal with a hemalurgic charge? Or stores/retrieves something in a spike using feruchemy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All RAFOs here, I'm afraid.