Recent entries

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11101 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    Why is it that Returned need to consume Investiture to stay alive? Most other Invested beings (like spren, Seons, and the like) don't seem to have a similar requirement.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a distinction between a being who is made of Investiture come alive and one who has been overstuffed with it. The Returned are fairly unique.

    mooglefrooglian

    So, would a non-Returned who received enough Breath to overstuff them also need to start feeding on Investiture to live? Or would they be destroyed like Vin before that point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to RAFO this, as I feel I should leave the details of the nature of the Returned for discussion in future books.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11104 Copy

    Boogalyhu34

    Can Nightblood be considered a Splinter and does it function like a spren realmatically, are there distinct differences is what I'm asking.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is kind of his own strange thing. He's an attempt to use one magic to replicate something in another. He's closest to a spren, but kind of like a...robot spren, for lack of better words to use.

    Argent

    When you say that Nightblood is "an attempt to use one magic to replicate something in another," do you mean life in general, or are you referring to a specific effect in a specific magic system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are those involved who knew that Shardblades existed before they tried the Nightblood experiment.

    uchoo786

    So does this mean Vasher had knowledge of Shardblades before creating Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It means what I wrote, and nothing more at this point. :)

    wickedmath

    Dude. That's the most tantalizing RAFO I've seen in awhile. Have other Shards made Shardblades besides Honor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    :) RAFO

    Phantine

    Is that why Vasher uses the word 'Investiture' instead of some personal term for it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I could be wrong, but I think Vasher was the first one in any book I allowed to use cosmere-aware terms for speaking of things like the magics. (Investiture is one of these.)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11106 Copy

    unknown

    1. Is the Aon that Raoden misinterpreted Rao?
    2. If yes, does it mean "gateway" or something similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which one are you talking about specifically?

    WeiryWriter

    If I'm understanding them correctly they are refering to the "Big Hint" you've said there is about Worldhopping in Elantris, which you later explained as being an Aon that Raoden misinterprets. They are proposing that the Aon is Aon Rao (I think?). At least that's my current guess (though my guess is that Rao actually translates to "Investiture").

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah... They're on the wrong track.

    I'll cut this one off right here, as I see they're misinterpreting what I said. It's more simple than that, and is something I think they have probably already figured out. The "Big Hint" I put back in Elantris are the murals Raoden and company discover. I believe this is what we're talking about, not the Aon being misinterpreted.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11107 Copy

    dougpgc

    Is there Shard based magic that's used for translation? Hoid is very smart, but it seems like it would be a pain to learn all these other world's languages -- and he's very eloquent in all of them. Will you tell us any details you can about this? pretty please : )

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are several ways to do this. Hoid is not learning all of the languages without aid. No details, I'm afraid. Except that if you watch, you will see him slip and use words that have no meaning (or the wrong meaning) in some of the languages he's speaking. Those translate oddly, or don't translate at all.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11109 Copy

    platysaur

    Well Mr. Sanderson, I finally finished Words of Radiance as well. I thank you for answering previous questions of mine on this thread.

    I didn't read Warbreaker but I intend to. That said, if I don't get to it (college is quickly approaching now), will it be a setback? I know that Szeth's sword is now a character from Warbreaker, but I don't want to be at a disadvantage if I can't get to it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you don't read Warbreaker, I doubt you'll be confused. I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel novel (after writing the original draft of The Way of Kings) to give some backstory to side characters I knew where cosmere-aware, but the story should work just fine without having read it.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11114 Copy

    CPiGuy2728

    How did Spook not die of lead poisoning after losing the ability to burn pewter in the third book? He must have had some pewter left in him. Or was he going to die of it, but Sazed healed him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It wasn't in his system long enough to hurt him.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11115 Copy

    CPiGuy2728

    What would happen to someone who burned an alloy of Lerasium and lead? Would they a) gain Mistborn powers and a splitting headache from trying to burn lead, b) gain Mistborn powers and no splitting headache, c) just get the splitting headache, d) gain the ability to burn lead without a splitting headache, or e) die of lead poisoning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a RAFO, not because I want to imply that lead has some big secret to it, but because I don't want to dig into the mechanics of Lerasium right now--and I don't want to kick off more questions like this at the moment.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11116 Copy

    CPiGuy2728

    When you wrote the epigraphs to the third book, how much were you expecting to lead readers astray? How loony is it that I thought their author was TenSoon for most of the book? (After all, he is not a man, but a force. He defended his ways, yet violated them. He was their savior, yet they called him heretic.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted very much for people to think they'd figured it out. I was actually annoyed when my editor wrote in the jacket copy a question, implying that the identity of the Hero was a mystery. I wanted people to assume it was Vin.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11119 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    The man who calls himself Taln had his Blade swapped with another. Presumably, the people (or person) doing so thought he had an Honorblade.

    Would the people who did the swap have known if Taln did not in fact actually have an Honorblade? Could they have been taking a chance and in fact ended up with a regular Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible. Assuming they knew just what they were trying to grab, they'd probably have figured it out very quickly.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11120 Copy

    trevorade

    Did the publicly known nobility Mistborn have some sort of training/play ground? Like a big space they could properly train they're abilities and fly around in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some built things like this.

    trevorade

    Thinking about it more, a public Mistborn gathering place would probably be a big assasin bullseye... Better to have a place just for you where you can staff it with a lot of misting guards.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's what I assumed the question was asking.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11121 Copy

    Thadamin

    Are spren able to manifest Surges like the humans they are bonded to? Syl is able to stick things together are other types able to do other things or is the sticking things together something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Spren are living Surges, in a way. There are some "higher" spren which have more ability than others to touch certain Surges. Honor, for example, is not a force of nature--but a force of thought. What is attributed to it relates more to the abstract.

    And that didn't really answer you, did it? Well, hopefully it's enough.

    Phantine

    Is them being living Surges the same as how seons are living Aons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Similar.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11122 Copy

    Thadamin

    Will we be finding out what dalinars Wife's name was or has her name been similarly wiped from the flashbacks like Dalinar's mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I feel I should RAFO questions about the flashbacks, except to say that I wouldn't jump into them without understanding what readers want to see--and either fulfilling that, or subverting it in the name of the story. (The latter happening very rarely.)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11124 Copy

    unknown

    One Wayne and Wax question left in me that I can't get out of my head. What exactly made you decide upon their combination of abilities? Did you focus on the abilities and what they can do, or did you want to give those two characters specific sets of weaknesses and then went from there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I built them like I built the original Mistborn thieving crew, actually. I decided their roles, then picked powers to compliment them. This is opposite of the Stormlight archive, where I have the orders, and I fit people to them.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11125 Copy

    zotsandcrambles

    You've mentioned that a person's personality eventually erodes and is replaced by the will of the shard they hold. Besides Harmony, are there any Shards holders that are still actively and significantly defying the intent of their shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kellsier

    Is Harmony ([Sazed], for instance) actively trying to fight against it's shard intent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Its intent(s) match Sazed very well, actually, and he has the philosophy that these natural powers are best minded and not dominated. So while he pushes back against the inaction holding both of them has caused, he appreciates and understands the need for both. I'd say he has less "push back" than some others.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11127 Copy

    Oudeis16

    TenSoon comments that when the unbirthed are given Blessings, they lose the mimickry instinct that mistwraiths have and have to be taught anew. If their only native senses are touch and taste, how exactly do you teach a blob of muscles how to form things like eyes and ears?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Basically, you feed it some partially digested eyes, then some more eyes, then eventually it starts making eyes on its own. It takes a while; Kandra 'children' grow more slowly than human ones.

    Oudeis16

    I don't know if you've considered how mistwraiths would be taxonomically classified; have you decided whether or not mistwraiths would be considered 'mammals'?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not mammals. Since they were deliberately created, I'd place them in their own branch.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #11130 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 ()
    #11131 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 ()
    #11134 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 ()
    #11136 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 ()
    #11137 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 ()
    #11142 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 ()
    #11143 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 ()
    #11144 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 ()
    #11145 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 ()
    #11146 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 ()
    #11148 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 ()
    #11149 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 ()
    #11150 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.