Is Adonalsium taken from the Hebrew words for God, Adonai?
Is Adonalsium taken from the Hebrew words for God, Adonai?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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. :)
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.
He doesn't sleep, but if he draws in enough, he'll start to sound drunk or drowsy (depending on your interpretation.)
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
Kalad and Kalak, Shashara and Shalash...a lot of names on Nalthis and Roshar seem related....pure coincidence?
There is a lot of crossover between the planets. But not every connection people make is an intentional one.
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?
This is somewhat RAFO territory. (Sorry.)
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?
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.
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?
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.
When a kandra loses its spikes temporarily and its memories degrade, is that happening because of the spikes decaying, or is something biological actually happening to where it has stored its memories?
It's biological. Good question!
How would an albino with red eyes be regarded on Roshar? Do they even exist there?
They would be deeply mistrusted. (Unfortunately.)
Just because Rosharans are racist, or is it a cultural carryover from fear of the Voidbringers?
Warbreaker question: does the gradual appearance of Returned across Nalthis follow the spread of trade routes from Hallandren?
No, it doesn't. But good question.
Kind of an off-topic question but - did the Elantrians know that the Aons were geomancy? Or did they know and just went insane too fast to get the details of whatever geographical catastrophe had just disturbed their lines?
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?
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.
... Kandra are almost literally stapled to their bodies with Hemalurgy - would they count as such, to the in-setting scholars?
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.
Will we ever find out what Vasher's purpose was?
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?
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.
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.
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.
RAFO, I'm afraid. We have heralds as main viewpoint characters. I'll let the narrative do the explaining on these questions.
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?
RAFO, I'm afraid.
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?
Yes, it would be--but they could substitute another kind of investiture without too much difficulty.
Why don't Feruchemists wear small metalminds like rings, toe-rings, earrings (Lot of rings it seems), as backups.
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.
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.
I've been thinking about it. We'll see.
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")
Maybe some day.
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?
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.)
Something I've recently been wondering about is how responsive is Sazed to people in the Cognitive Realm flagging him down for a conversation. Let's say Khriss, during one of her trips between Scadrial and Silverlight just shouts "Yo Harmony, do you have time to chat?", how would he respond?
RAFO on this one. :)
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?
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.
Implying that some are actually immortal? :D
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.
Heals from wounds, but still ages.
Would Bloodmaker Ferrings exist in this category as well? If not, what about someone Compounding Gold?
Yes, you are correct.
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?
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.
Is Dragonsteel still planned to be the bookends for the cosmere (2 eras)?
Yes, but not exactly how you think. It will make sense when I do it, but the final Mistborn series will be the actual end--Dragonsteel will link to it, though.
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?
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.
On the topic of aluminum, will we hear soon about how Rosharans know how to soulcast it? Was it natural on the planet and the source was depleted? Or was it brought over at some point in history?
Those are excellent questions, and a RAFO, unfortunately.
Do you have future intentions of grouping characters or descendants from across the Cosmere together against a common foe?
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.
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?
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.
If I may ask another thing, did you decide what come earlier in the Cosmere's Timeline between Elantris and White Sand ?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
This is possible. (There are places where you've already seen the process either begin, or work partially.)
Are you talking about Ruin/Harmony controlling Hemalurgic Constructs and Odium controlling Voidbringers... or is there something else?
You will see soon.
Dilafs wife, did the Elantrian who "healed" her know what Dilaf was?
Is the creation of skaze end-negative?
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.
Is it possible to Soothe/Riot so hard that the person Snaps due to extreme emotions caused by emotional Allomancy?
I hadn't considered, but yes, that should work.
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?
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.)
If they somehow killed the Lord Ruler in a conventional manner, would he still have turned to dust?
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.
Would koloss spikes turn off when they die too, so dead ones shrivel up like raisins?
Hemalurgy changes the spirit. So not necessarily.
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.
The split should work.
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?
You are underestimating mental speed. And, also, versatility.
If this is all but a guaranteed RAFO question, but, does the fact that the honorblades needing ten heart beats to appear have to do with Szeth's perception on shardblades needing ten heartbeats (like Shallan's case). Or does it have to do with some more innate rule of nature.
It is a RAFO.
Is duralumin easier, harder, or the same to Push on allomantically as, say, tin?
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.)
Is Nightblood any more Invested now than when she was created?
RAFO. (Good question.)
Could Aluminum be used to protect a Surgebinder from a larkin?
Would a larkin be able to steal Stormlight from a surgebinder wearing Shardplate? Any comments on whether Shardplate or aluminium would be more effective protection?
Getting through both would be relatively equal--with the problem being that Shardplate is powered by investiture, which the larkin could feed on. So aluminum is better in that specific case.
if you were to chuck Nightblood into a Shard that had the intent of Evil would Nightblood splinter it?
Splintering is a completely different process from what Nightblood does. :)
I've been thinking about the Parshendi and I guess this is as good a place to ask as any - when the parshendi change, there's an obvious change in the physical realm, and there seems to be a change in the cognitive realm as well. Is there a change in the spiritual realm? I know we haven't dug much into it, but it seems like a change in the spiritual realm is very difficult or impossible - if you could change in the spiritual realm is it really the same 'thing' at the end of the process? Mostly I'm curious about the first question...the second question is more of a philosophical train of thought.
Things in the spiritual realm do change, but subtly. For instance, a person's spiritual component knows how old they are.
I would have a question about Soulcasting: is Soulcasting an Invested object harder ? And if it is a human (let's say, an Allomancer) but he is not burning any metal, would he be as easy as Soulcast as any "normal" person ?
It is harder to Soulcast an Invested object, but Soulcasters--by their nature--are used to dealing with this.
When Allomancers aren't burning metal, they are not considered highly-Invested.
You have Jasnah give such a good argument for the atheist point of view that I thought, well Brandon is probably an atheist (as I am). Then I started watching your writing class videos. Oops! In one of them you say that you feel you can successfully draw an atheist character. I certainly agree. ;-) Jasnah does seem to lack compassion to some degree, but I insist that religion is not necessary for one to be compassionate. You draw characters wonderfully!
Kaladin is agnostic, which most people miss in these discussions, and is the series argument for a compassionate non-believer. Dalinar is a liberal theist, and Navani an orthodox theist.
So, I've been wondering for a while, which does Surgebinding classify as? Surgebinders don't use their own native investiture to power magic so I suppose that's the case for being classified end-positive, but they do have to go get some investiture and once they use it it's gone and they have to go get more, so that almost seems end-negative. Thanks in advance for any answer even if it's a quick RAFO!
The more picky scholars would argue it is end neutral, because the power must be in the system before the Magic can initiate. But others would admit that the spheres are a delaying response for an end-positive system. You're looking too much past the mark with your read. Look at the work done as part of what is in the system. Investiture is not leaving the system in surgebinding, it is doing work, creating potential energy in most cases.