Recent entries

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Dragon13

    Are there requirements to join the Seventeenth Shard, and would they accept, for lack of a better term, a non-enhanced member?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and yes... Baon is not Invested...

    Questioner 1

    What would they not like? 'Cause, like, we know they don't like Hoid, and what he's doing-- *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do like what Khriss is doing, alright? This is an acceptable thing to them.

    Questioner 1

    ...What about when people start integrating themselves with a culture, is that gonna make problems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would prefer that people didn't do that.

    Questioner 2

    So not Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not Va-- Vasher is very far from being Seventeenth Shard. *laughter* So very far.

    Argent

    Would you say they are a community of scholars?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are a community-- They are not all scholars, so I would not say that. I would say they are interested parties who do not want any planets to get destroyed.

    Questioner 3

    So they're the Apocalypse Guard? *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they aren't really able to prevent these sorts of things. They're more like the-- Oh what do they call them in DC? The Watchers? ...But those guys are super powerful and stuff, so it's not like that. But you can imagine it's something like that. "We're watching, we're studying' we're investigating, and we're trying to prevent-- ...They're like Starfleet, right? They've got some Starfleet stuff right? "We're gonna go research and study these people, but we shouldn't be involved." It's less about Prime Directive, and more about "What if something we do causes-- exacerbates the conflict between the Shards." The Shards split up for a reason, is what they think, right? Shards split up for a reason, they should continue to be split up, we should not dabble in bringing them together.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Argent

    Have we seen the resonances of either Wax or Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, well, Wax is really good at sculpting bullets and things away from him.

    Argent

    The bubble.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah and things like this. This is playing with the fact that he is-- Let's just say that the abilities make this happen, and I’ll let you theorize on why, but it's just an enhancement to what he can do.

    Argent

    I might be wrong, but I thought you said it was because he was becoming a steel savant.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A savant, yeah, definitely, but this is what this is coming from.

    Argent

    But being a savant has to do with being really good with one power--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    --and resonances--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Being a savant has to do with using Investiture a lot, and it's starting to permeate your soul. Like we've ta--

    Argent

    So he's more a savant with both of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's used them a lot, and they are changing his soul, and so the powers are morphing and changing. Just in slight, little ways. You're not gonna see a whole bunch. But you can imagine these two separate powers are kind of becoming one to him.

    Argent

    Yeah I can see that. And Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Wayne's is not as obvious. I'll go ahead and RAFO that right now.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    So there's a line in Secret History that references, like, a mythical string that shows the way home in the maze of Ishathon. Is that an intentional reference to--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes, so here's one thing I do in the cosmere, because my senior course was in folklore, I had a really good folklore teacher-- So you should all thank Dr. Thursby for this. One of the things I learned in folklore-- I don't know if you guys have studied this, but it's really interesting-- Societies come up with the same myths. Right? They do! You'll find-- The biggest one is the Cinderella myth. There's a version of Cinderella in almost every culture, and it's shocking how they hit the same beats. And so my folkloristic inclinations lead me to say that certain stories that I know are common, whether it's the string that leads you out, or breadcrumbs-- different people use different things-- But these stories exist. Mythical mazes, you will find stories about. And so that's not meant to be anything more than for the folklorists to say "Ah! I recognize this, Roshar has some of the same myths, and the same versions, that we have."

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner 1

    The ball of Preservation energy that Kelsier used, is that Stamping, Hemalurgy, or a third kind of the same thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a different thing. You haven't really seen that before.

    Questioner 1

    Because it seems to have similar effects--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you haven't seen that before. It was designed to do what it did.

    Questioner 2

    Is it just Connection?

    Bystander

    Connection juice. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll get into this, this is involving Silverlight stuff, so let's RAFO it for now.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    If you Stamp yourself, to have another, overwritten spiritweb, and you get Spiked-- *laughter* What would happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We actually worked this out. *laughter*

    Questioner

    Well, you'd die, or very close to it, but would it revert when the Stamp reverts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So what’s probably going to happen here is that you’re going to rip off the Investiture you’ve put on your soul, and your own soul will have less damage. Now, the spike is only gonna get the-- the spike, you're like "What will it do?" It will do what you've been overwritten with, but again remember, becoming an Allomancer takes so much energy, and things like-- But it is theoretically possible in the cosmere to rewrite yourself "You're an allomancer", someone spikes you to get this. The Investiture doesn't care that it was fake on you, you have managed to get that Investiture to work. Uhh, this is really tough. And really, like, you need Connection, and you need, like, the right kind of Investiture, but then it rips off and yes you have made a spike that makes you an Allomancer, even though the person was a Forger. So yes, okay? But this is the kind of stuff that is like the thought experiments for physicists in the cosmere as opposed to, y'know--

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    What if you Soulstamped a city?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Soulstaped a city... So if you're a really good Forger-- It is possible to do things like that, but it requires a lot of work and time. Just one thing to keep in mind with Soulstamps, and anything that does this, rewriting your spiritweb, right, like, requires Invesiture. A lot of Investiture. And so, for instance, what Shai can do is really cool, but what an Elantrian can do is gonna look a lot more dramatic, right? Shooting a column of fire, you would say "Which takes more power, making the wall have flowers on it or shooting a column of fire?" Making the wall have flowers takes way more Investiture. It's a lot easier to pull off some dramatic effects with others, but the actual changing of the soul and overwr-- ...So just keep in mind the extent-- This is why you don't see Shai Forge it so the whole building disappears. Right? And stuff like this. Which is not outside of reason for a couple of Elantrians with the right program to put into place. But I mean effectively-- They could blow it up, essentially, that's what they would do

    Bystander

    Make a new hole, rather than making one that has existed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Exactly. Do keep in mind, people like to ask, you've probably seen people ask, "Could I rewrite myself to be a Knight Radiant?" Right? WELL... There are certain things that you just-- you can't fake without enough energy that it becomes impractical. Usually what I use as an example to that is: Yes, we can turn hydrogen into gold, if we wanted to. Right? We can do that! It might take more energy than the earth creates in an entire year, but we can do that.

    I get a lot of questions with this that I'm like "is it possible?" and I'm like "Guys, is it possible?" ...You should probably be like, "Is it possible, with reasonable amounts of energy provided by one Invested person".

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    If you Soulstamp somebody to give them a Connection to Arelon, and they became an Elantrian, could they become and Elantrian, and if the Soulstamp is removed, would they remain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so you're asking a better one than people have asked. So you say "You get Soulstamped, you move to Arelon, your soul thinks that it is this, you do have spiritweb of Connection" I will go ahead and RAFO this with the caveat of why it might not work, is because, you might think you’re something, right? That doesn't necessarily mean-- Like, this is not completely invisible and things like this. And so, whether the power is going to follow those lines of Connection or not I will leave up to discussion, but it is a possibility worth theorizing upon.

    Questioner

    So a Soulstamp doesn't necessarily change the core of your spiritweb.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does, but it's overwriting it. It's like Hemalurgy. What you are is still there underneath when it's ripped away, right?

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    So Allomantic Savants. So I was curious-- That system-- When that happens, is it purely physiological, or is there something else happening in terms of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhh, it's physiological in a cosmere sense, but that can involve your Cognitive and Spiritual aspects.

    Questioner

    I guess the question there is, are there other similar processes to savantism with other--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah you've seen it. So, Soulcasters.

    Argent

    Where their skin turns--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Where they're slowly being-- their spirit is slowly being merged and infused with Investiture that is having Physical ramifications. It's the same thing.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Sak, Dusk's non-native Aviar. That ability is very, very similar to Allomantic electrum.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is!

    Questioner

    And his other Aviar is very, very similar to Allomantic copper.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is.

    Questioner

    Is there a connection between those two, deeper? Or is it--

    Brandon Sanderson

    will RAFO that. Let's just say it is an intentional reference, but I'm not going to say whether it's a direct connection to Scadrial magic systems or more that fundamental rules of magics can reproduce one another. We have seen multiple instances of Lightweaving, so-- It's one of those two... That at least narrows it down for you.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    FirstSelector

    Was Cultivation close enough to when Odium got  Honor, to know how to fight back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Heheheheh. I would say yes.

    FirstSelector

    And Cultivation, is she--

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is still there.

    FirstSelector

    Alive and kicking. Okay, you've said that before--

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is alive and kicking.

    FirstSelector

    And she can probably know how to not turn her back to the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I mean... She has learned from the experiences of others.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    What role will the chasmfiends play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there's a bunch of different roles for the chasmfiends that are all minor but-- For instance, I don't think anyone's made this connection, thunderclasts have chasmfiend-- it's part of the in-world inspiration for thunderclasts. And really chasmfiends exist in part to show off the symbiotic relationship between certain spren and certain creatures on Roshar. So when people who read the first book who know a little about physics can be like "Uhh, Mr. Sanderson" and I'm like "Well, look at these things that are flowing around this thing when it dies." It's an introduction of gemhearts and things like this. And the ability of certain creatures on Roshar to hold Investiture permanently, as Szeth says, rather than it seeping away like it does to humans.

    Mistborn: Secret History Continuity Notes ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Hey, all. Brandon here. With the release of this book, there have been some minor updates to continuity that I think some of you will find relevant.The big one has to do with Hoid's visit to Terris in The Well of Ascension. For those unfamiliar with the backstory, this little behind-the-scenes action has been a source of some consistent problems. The outline, and original draft, of Well had Vin and Elend traveling up to Terris, then into the mountains, to find the Well itself.

    This was a huge momentum killer in the story. Having your cityscape-focused book suddenly turn into a traveling quest fantasy for a few chapters felt very out of place, and required too much strange time-jumping to make it work. In revisions, I set about finding a way to repair this, and to overlap the Well of Ascension discovery with Vin's return to Luthadel.

    The end result worked much better, but I was forced to cut Hoid's cameo. (In the form of footsteps in the snow and frost leading to the Well, hinting that someone had been there just before her.) I knew where Hoid was, and added in the cameo of him with the Terris people—with the plan still being that he visited the Well sometime during the days after Vin's return to the city.

    Well, in working on Secret History, I found that this had a problem with it. Hoid had to already know where the Well is, because after the destruction of the Pits, he'd need to use the Well to return to Scadrial after leaving in the middle of book one to attend to certain other events.If you've read the story, you know this is how I proceeded. Official continuity is that Hoid went up to Terris after visiting the Well, as he had things to do there. He did not go looking for the Well. This doesn't change continuity for any of the books, though it does render one of the annotations for Well obsolete.

    Otherwise, I'm quite pleased about this novella. I wasn't certain how it would go, writing something using threads I'd left dangling ten years ago. (You should thank the beta readers, who are all Sharders I believe, for their continuity help. They made me aware pf several things I needed to make much more clear from the original draft, so that canon would be more crisp.)

    I know there has been a lot of discussion regarding which times when someone appears to hear Kelsier's voice were actually Kelsier. The story offers the official canon for this as well.

    It's nice to finally be able to give the answers to some longtime fan questions, such as what spooked Vin during her inspection of Hoid and what was up with Preservation and the Mist Spirit. It's entirely possible that, despite our efforts, we slipped up and made some continuity error here or there. If so, I'm terribly sorry! This one has been particularly challenging to do.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Argent

    Which is a nice segue to Shards Investing into Shardworlds, that I've been meaning to ask. So is it kind of a passive-- The more a Shard stays on a world--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    --the Investiture kind of seeps--

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does. Once you've got a Perpendicularity, you are starting-- That's trouble for going other places. But you've gotta remember, going other places means multiple things to someone actually holding a Shard. They can exist in the Spiritual Realm, where all things are one. And they can even kind of comprehend it...

    Argent

    Can a Shard choose to just instantly invest in a place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they just need to start making some stuff.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Argent

    Some of the few Shards Rayse Splintered included Ambition, I believe, Dominion, and Devotion.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    And those were all way back, in the history. So, we know that the Shards' personalities overrides the Vessel's personality over time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Strongly influence, and depending on the individual, override.

    Argent

    Okay. So did Rayse choose those Shards because--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He went after Ambition first, but didn't find Ambition until after going after Devotion and Dominion. But Ambition was number one on his hit list.

    Argent

    Was it because of the Shard or because of the Vessel? Like did he hate the person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this case it was the Shard, primarily, that drove him--

    Argent

    Oh, he was maybe afraid the Shard would grow too powerful and take over--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was afraid that this Shard that would rival him. And so he's like "This one is number one on the hit list. We're taking down Ambition." But then he got trapped in the Rosharan system.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    FirstSelector

    I read that you had said if you had written Khriss' essay on Nalthis, it would have been more or less that she was talking about the magic, and then mention that there were scholars on this planet that were spitting distance from, like…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah.

    FirstSelector

    So, Vasher, and maybe some of the other ones have been off world--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shashara has been, yeah.

    FirstSelector

    ...Are they known to the people at Silverlight? Like--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah.

    FirstSelector

    Like does Khriss know Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Know Vasher is a different question than know of Vasher. But they are widely regarded as early cosmere scholars... They are pioneers of this sort of stuff. So yes.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Speed bubbles--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Ehhhh... these are the hardest ones.

    Questioner

    We've seen them work and move with trains, we've seen them not work with carriages: is there a size requirement, or is it how they view themselves?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good question. So I build in this thing, right? I'm like "Oooh, speed bubbles! Speed bubbles are cool!" but the Delorean problem, right? You're like "I'm going to go back in time: to the middle of SPACE", because the planet is in the same position, right? This is stuff that science fiction writers have been having fun with since the silver age of science fiction. So I'm like "Alright, I need to deal with the Delorean problem". And so I'm like "Alright, we're going to have to say that frame of reference is a big part of it: so perception and frame of reference is a big part of it; and also size of the thing that you're on". So it would be possible to use kind of cosmere cognitive training to get that speed bubble moving with you-- And someone asked me a question about this on tour, I believe, so it would be in one of the reports-- Not this exact same thing, but "Could they learn to move their speed bubble with them?" And yes you can.

    Questioner

    So it is how the allomancer views it, not how the thing views itself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a part of it. Partially how it view itself, *garbled* It's really also mass. Big thing-- The speed bubbles required all kinds of physics-gymnastics. I'm sorry physicists, but once you start playing with time the stuff you gotta do. It's just crazy stuff you gotta do.

    Questioner

    We actually sat down and worked out what the metric would have to do to have a speed bubble-- Yeah, it was gnarly.

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...We did run the math on these things, and stuff like that. And Peter, y'know, he rais-- "Redshift" and stuff like this we talked about. And all kinds of fun stuff about speed bubbles that I then had to--

    Bystander

    Khriss asked about that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. So this is-- This one and manipulating weight... Those are the math ones. So these are the ones where-- They create the fun things to talk about, but they are where this is fantasy and not science fiction. Like a lot of these questions I could answer and you'd be like "Alright, if there were this alternate power source, we could buy this" but in this case we're like exception-list-of-asterisks to make it work. But they're too fun to not do, right? And I knew I was doing gravity on Stormlight, so I'm like "I gotta do weight separately".

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    In Secret History, Kelsier goes out onto the ocean and he finds plants in the Cognitive Realm.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, mmhmm.

    Questioner

    Do they have a Physical aspect, or are they just Cognitive--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they're Cognitive only. They don't follow a standard ecology that we would understand, but-- Well, it'll make sense, hopefully, when eventually the science of that is understood in the cosmere. But there are--and I've said this before--on Roshar Shadesmar there are spren cities, and things like this. And there's a spren ecology, and stuff so…

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner 1

    When you were talking about spren being bound to the Cognitive Realm of their planet. Are seons similarly bound? Especially with-- Because the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner 2

    Could you also pull them off, with the knowing how?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but you’d have to get through the Cognitive Realm, on Sel. But yeah-- Yes, that is possible.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner 1

    So the Sleepless kind of have me wondering about what sentience is in the cosmere. Like how would a Sleepless manifest on the Cognitive Realm--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good question, you'll-- that I'll RAFO. But they are a single consciousness, but they would argue that all your cells are independent of you. So they are cells that can move around. They're really fun... they started in a non-cosmere book when I was 22. Obviously a bit inspired by Fire Upon the Deep, one of my favorite science fiction books. And I read that book and I'm like, "Group consciousnesses are cool!" what if you had a species that was made up of-- Not like one of these Ender's Game y'know, one, but each swarm was an individual and they could breed and evolve their own things to do different stuff. So each of these little bits, these hordelings is what I call them-- Imight change because we've got cremling now. But each of these little bits is bred for a specific purpose, "Feed the swarm" and stuff like that. So they've got all kinds of cool stuff going on.

    Questioner 1

    Are they Slivers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...Oh Silvers. Not quite like Slivers but yeah. Slivers are a little more that whole Ender's Game thing, right? A little more-- And this is actually an individual that's not a hivemind. These are-- This is an individual, single consciouness, and the cells are-- they've got a step between cell and body. We kind of do too, like mitochondria are kind of "What are these? Are these things we ingested somehow and got working for us?" It's all very cool.

    Questioner 2

    So is it like Malazan Book of the Fallen, like the D'ivers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhh, there's little--

    Questioner 2

    Okay, a little?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Footnote: In MBOTF, D'ivers are shapeshifters that transform into multiple creatures, for example, a human that transforms into seven jackals.
    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Why did Hoid in Secret History have to ride on another person to get to the Well, when that person could float on--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sooo, what he's floating on is a Cognitive Shadow. It's a spirit, it's not an actual person. He is floating on someone who is--

    Questioner

    Do we know them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You did not know them, don't worry about them. But see, he's using that as a boat because it's easy to sink through the mist. And if you notice, he has to coat his oar with Investiture in order to move him. So yeah, he's floating on a person's soul... It was so much easier with the Pits, but that's because there were boats and things.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Is there a Shadesmar for each planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Anything that people think about, right? And, you really have to be inhabited to get a good Shadesmar… But, y'know, you can find the gas giants in Shadesmar, but they don't manifest as an entire plane. Um, that's gonna change! But we're years away from that. Shadesmar is cool and weird but--

    Questioner

    Ohh, there's only one Shadesmar with different areas--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, really what we call it-- Shadesmar is a term that has started to stick in the cosmere for the Cognitive Realm. But there are manifestations of most planets. Or all planets.

    Questioner

    But they do all exist-- All of those Shadesmars are part of the same cloth, so to speak.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you could walk from one to the other, barring some weird distortions that you might have to-- We're not going to dig-- I'm not gonna tell you about.

    Questioner

    But spren can't because they're bound.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're bound Physically to the Realm, the Invesiture.

    Bystander

    Unless you help them off.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Unless-- There are certain ways you could do it, and things like that. But spren are bound, you aren't going to--

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner 1

    You said that moving people like that [Cognitive Shadows] or spren off-world, from Roshar is difficult.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner 1

    What about physically, say the Ones Above visit them, and they fly away?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So one of the things you'll have to be asking questions and theorizing on is what happens if you try to carry a spren around the planet. What happens to their Cognitive sense, right? So you're on Roshar, right? So on the Physical Realm what would happen-- Because on Shadesmar, you have a flattened version. So there are questions for you to be theorizing implicit in that.  And one of them is, what happens, you cross a threshold circling the globe, your spren, what happens to them? Because-- Okay? This relates to the question you’re asking.

    Questioner 2

    Wait wait, you have a three dimensional plain coexisting with a two dimensional plain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, two dimensional is the wrong term, but basically...

    Questioner 3

    Can you specify the mathematically projection used to create this? *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll try to give it to you eventually, but this is the sort of stuff that I do that Peter's like "Oh man..." *laughter* "Alright give me the math Peter." "Ahhh what do you mean? I'm not a mathematician." "Eh, y'know. You're close." It is very convenient to have a physicist and a mathematician in my writing group.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Have we seen cameos of Heralds on other Shardworlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Heralds are tied to the system by the magic that permeates them. They could not leave.

    Questioner

    I thought I saw someone but I guess not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s part of the magic. Some would call them Cognitive Shadows, right? Whether they are or not. "Cognitive Shadow" is a very ambiguous term in the cosmere. It means, basically your soul-- It's the same thing with petrification, right? Investiture replaced your soul, and permeated your soul, and your soul continues to exist, but... you are usually Invested with something, that's tied, and you're basically like pure Investiture then. You're tied to the thing you're Connected to. Most of the things that you're gonna see with that, travelling is going to be very difficult, unless you know how to do it. You have seen people do it.

    Questioner

    Who?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher... You have seen people do it. But anyone who's got-- yeah.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Thank's for that Reddit comment earlier today about "Yeah, if you read Dragonsteel it's super obvious!"

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mean if someone is asking a question about Cephandrius, the name Cephandrius. I assume that they know about Dragonsteel, because how else would they hear the name Cephandrius?

    Argent

    Secret History.

    Brandon Sanderson

    OOHHHHHH! I did! That's right. Because I was answering other questions about Yolen, yeah...

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    FirstSelector

    Is Ati Ruin's original Shardholder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ohh, good question. I will go ahead and RAFO that.

    FirstSelector

    I have a big theory that someday we are gonna see something more about him.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see something more about him for sure! Because Dragonsteel includes-- But that's not what you meant, and I know what you meant.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    So, in Secret History, when Kelsier is in the pool and looks at Ruin. Are you intentionally making a Lovecraftian reference with the looking into the abyss and the abyss looks back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sometimes I have to specifically phrase things. I write it and I'm like "Oh yeah, that's Nietzshe!" And I'm like "Ohhh, I should probably not quote Nietzsche" ...So I have do have to reword these things sometimes.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    So I've got sort of a Shard-related question. So, the entity that Harmony is, all the other Shards that we've had named so far, are any of them combinations, or are they all--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, good question. The only one I would count as a combination is the Dor, right? But it isn't even a full Shard. So everything else, single holder only when we talk about it okay? That's an excellent question. Or they've been Splintered completely.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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    Dragon13

    Would it be possible to create a potential Vessel that has a Connection to all 16 Shards? Through a combination of birth planet, genetics, Hemalurgy--

    Brandon Sanderson

    You--  So, terminology. The Vessel holds a Shard. Lots of people have Connections to the Shards without holding them. So, I'm just gonna RAFO that. You guys got years and years left, before we're even gonna discuss things about-- But if I tell you now, like, what are you gonna ask?

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    Questioner

    So we know some people can survive going through perpendicularities.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    But we also know, like, when Rock talked about the lake that people swam in, that Hoid came out of, he said that some people who swam in it died. So, who can and can't survive a perpendicularity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, you should not take much of what Rock says. When he says they swim in it and they die, they have gone through the perpendicularity. They just don't come back. What would you think if someone swims and doesn't come back? They have drowned. Right?

    Questioner

    So pretty much anyone can?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not traumatic to go through most perpendicularities.

    Questioner

    So it depends on where, who and when?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh huh.

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    Argent

    I do have a follow-up on the map? All of the constellations-- Or most of the constellations seem fairly straightforward. The one containing Roshar has a Shardbearer or Herald…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep, mmhmm. There are a couple--

    Argent

    Yet Sel gets a lamp?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sel gets a lamp, yes.

    Argent

    Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ask Isaac about that, he came up with the symbolism. And I like all the symbolism. But I would go to him about the symbolism of that. Ask him to write an essay for my website about it, because he has really cool-- Cause again, cause I said to him, "I want a star map" and I wasn't gonna put constellations on it, right? Just, the one in the back cover that doesn't have constellations, that's what I asked for and he came back and said "I did a constellation map with these things, what do you think?" and I'm like "that’s cool! Can you explain these to me?" so I'm just gonna let Isaac go with that, he chose it, he chose the perspective and the point of view, so it's his map, and he's canon on that.

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    Questioner

    How old is that picture that's hanging in Silverlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The picture in Silverlight is... Okay, so on cosmere-times it's very recent. But, the cosmere scale is very large. Khriss's essays are older than it, but not by much. She had that-- It is in existence when she wrote the essays, but the essays are much older than Sixth of the Dusk. Okay? Sixth of the Dusk had not happened yet, that story, when she was writing these essays. We're going to need some dating periods, we'll eventually get that.

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    Questioner (on behalf of Yata)

    When someone is spiked, and dies, does that affect the time they spend in the Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they are spiked, yes because if you are extra Invested, which spiking technically does, if you have a spike stapling a bit of someone else's soul to yours--

    Questioner

    The other way. Someone spikes through you and you die--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ohhhhh, oh okay, no, that might make you go faster.

    Questioner

    Is that why Harmony doesn’t know who's spiking people? Or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm. Yeah. Okay. I had not considered that. But yeah, sure. *laughter* Suuureee. You added to the canon. I mean, the actual answer was, when you're spiking somebody, you're ripping of the soul, so kind of, there's not enough left to talk. I mean, you're ripping off enough of the soul, so it's a bad thing. It's a very bad thing. So you go "Who killed you?" and it's just somebody who is essentially-- But yes, they would go faster too.

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    Questioner

    Does Silverlight have a permanent Perpendicularity on it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Silverlight has weird. So I'm gonna give a RAFO to that.

    Questioner

    It's got a physical constellation map. So they've gotta go to the Physical somehow right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, no, no. That can be in the Cognitive Realm.

    Argent

    The constellation map can be a picture from the Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, yeah, I mean, it can be a picture in the Cognitive. That is a picture that exists in Silverlight.

    Argent

    Right, sure, but they need to be somewhere to view those things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, I didn't say that that’s from the perspective Silverlight, but what we say is the picture is hanging there.

    Questioner

    So that was a mis-interpretation on our part.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the picture is hanging there in Silverlight. Okay?

    FirstSelector

    Is there actually anything on the Physical end of Silverlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is-- That's the RAFO part... That's what I'm not answering. If there's anything Physical. There can't be a Perpen--well, there could be a Perpendicularity, but then you'd have to go someplace in the Physical, and it gets all-- Silverlight is really weird.

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    Questioner

    I have a specific question about one Perpendicularity, on First of the Sun. You've mentioned that it's dangerous.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Is that because there are predators that can sense your thoughts, that can sense your presence in the Cognitive Realm as you're travelling across the Perpendicularity before you cross over--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a Read And Find Out.

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    Questioner

    Is there any way it's possible that somebody could have gotten to the Cognitive Realm on Scadrial without the Well of Ascension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    And can we know how?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, how many Shardpools would Scadrial have?

    Questioner

    Two, so the Pits of Hathsin would be so? That's what I theorized.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So you've adopted the term "Shardpool". That was never really my term, but I've started using it. What happens with a perpendicularity is large concentrations of Investiture, particularly purely attuned to one of the Shards, will create an access point. You've seen another one in--

    Questioner

    Yeah, yeah I know these.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know which one I'm referencing?

    Questioner

    Yes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That you didn't see a Pool from?

    Questioner

    Oh wait--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, he knows, so… We'll move on. *general outcry* Okay, fine. Umm, at the end of Words of Radiance.

    Argent

    There has to be one there because Jasnah has to leave somehow, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but Honor's Perpendicularity moves.

    Questioner

    Woah...so...Highstorm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *makes non-committal noises*

    Questioner 2

    Kind of related to that, I don't know if this is a RAFO kind of question, but you call them perpendicularities, are we going to see this sort of thing created? Could there be, like--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, perpendicularities can be created. You'd need a lot of Investiture, right? You'd need a ton of Investiture. But, basically what Jasnah does is create a little mini perpendicularity, right? And slips herself into the Cognitive Realm.

    Questioner 2

    So it's just a question of skill, not a question of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It's hard to pull off, but some of the powers are built to do it.

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    Argent

    So, the Edgedancer's resonance, the Perk? I think you've called it resonance at some point, is that still accurate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that totally works. The powers affect each other in interesting ways.

    Argent

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, so the thing about it is, calling it a Perk, that like saying--

    Argent

    It's a side effect right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's less a side effect-- It's like, when the powers merge, they are always slightly different. For instance, Lightweaving from a Truthwatcher is different from-- Slightly. There will be things. So, you're gonna see that they all have access to the Surges, but in combinations, they act a little differently from one another.

    Questioner

    So is the Edgedancer's resonance something to do with communication? Because we see Lift--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah we'll RAFO that.

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    Questioner

    The Epilogue of Words of Radiance.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Hoid makes particular note of a cremling.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Dysian?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hehehehe. You're starting to learn! You're starting to learn.

    Questioner

    That epilogue just got so much--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, he was speaking to one of the Sleepless there. He has spotted them and they--

    Questioner

    So, he knows.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, he knows!

    Questioner

    Because he makes a comment about having “no intelligent audience.”

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes, yes. *laughter* Of course he doesn’t have an intelligent audience!

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    Brandon Sanderson

    SanderCon-- I think that JordanCon would be happy to host a-- They always have a Brandon Sanderson track and I go every two or three years. So every two or three years JordanCon has a mini SandersonCon attached to it. And that is what I recomend, okay? I mean Pratchett could carry one but I don't think most of us can. I think cons are more interesting if you have some other paneling to go to.

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    Questioner

    When you put together different magic systems, do you just have a file of those that "this is goiing to work for this one"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a file of magic systems, characters, and settings, and plots. Usually I review it for a while, periodically I mean, and certain connections are made. I build on those in my head, then eventually stick them back in if it doesn't end up working. But ocasionally it's like-- Like Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, I wanted to write a book about a bounty hunter woman who runs an inn and kills the people who come to the inn. I developed that all without the magic system or anything like that, and then said what world would this fit on? Would it fit on any of them? Do I need to make a new story? And I'm like "This worked really well on Threnody" so I put it there and put the magic in. Usually it's the other way around, I've got the world and things and I need some characters to plug in.

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    Questioner

    Are there any books of yours you would like to experience as a first time reader?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would looooove to read Way of Kings for the first time.

    Questioner

    Way of Kings? It's pretty great.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But y'know, that Sanderson guy. I hear things about him. I hear he likes really bad jokes.