Where do the people in the Stormlight Archive get all their leather?
They have great farms of pigs. You notice, leather is usually called hogshide, but it’s all hog leather.
Where do the people in the Stormlight Archive get all their leather?
They have great farms of pigs. You notice, leather is usually called hogshide, but it’s all hog leather.
So with Soulforging, are you able to Soulforge yourself so that you die?
Uh, can you Soulforge yourself to death? So, Soulforging that requires large state changes of Investiture and/or inputs of Investiture are very difficult. However, killing yourself is not that hard, but basically you could - so, Soulforging yourself so that you are already dead would a little bit harder, but Soulforging yourself would be, yeah.
<background noise> and be able to check in the afterlife and then return--
No, because transfer of Investiture to and from the Beyond or even into the Cognitive Realm is going to require more investiture than a Forger pulls through, you can Forge yourself to death.
So I can kill myself but I can’t come back.
Yes. That would be one of those things where you kill yourself, your soul passes to the Beyond, your body when the Forgery is broken comes back, and just dead.
Could a Soother prevent a listener from attuning a given rhythm?
No. A coppercloud could, but I hadn't thought about emotional allomancy interacting. See, the rhythm isn't your emotion and doesn't determine your mood. It is a direct connection to the spiritual realm. So I guess soothing could make it harder just like it makes anything harder, in the same way that driving a car would be harder. [recording starts here] And so, for the same reasons that you can, um, it is possible that a coppercloud can play with it. Not a normal power of a coppercloud, but you’ve seen them do stuff similar.
I know you’ve thought out a lot, especially like the Cosmere and how the magic works and everything, but I know the Sharders and everybody have been doing really ridiculous tiny details. Have they thought of something that made you revise anything or...
I generally try to avoid revising to what the fans come up with.
Not what they come up with because of ideas that you haven’t thought of or…
Oh yeah, on occasion they say something where I’m like, “Yes, that is the right thing,” and then I just canonize it. So yes they do influence it that way.
From all of your Cosmere books, do you have anywhere written what the timeframe between the series are?
I haven’t done that officially. We have it ourselves. What I’ve told people is that they are basically in order of being released. I haven’t jumped back. At least if you count the first of each individual series. So they’re roughly in order chronologically. White Sand is out of order because that’s chronologically one of the earliest. And now Stormlight and Wax & Wayne… Wax & Wayne are post-Stormlight, but I’m releasing… You know, it’s a little mixed up now.
Okay, I was almost expecting that in the Arcanum.
Yeah, we will do that eventually. There are just some secrets in there that I’m not sure I want to release, and there are other things I’m not sure I want to canonize because I’m still tweaking the dates a little bit.
When somebody travels into the Cognitive Realm, what happens to their physical self? To their body? Like Elsecalling or through a Shardpool?
Well it depends on the way they’re doing it. The two ways you’ve mentioned transport the physical body. It’s actually creating a rift and slipping them through. But there are other ways that you kind of peek in, where your body’s saying it’s a little more astral projection-y in those cases.
So their physical self would also be in the Cognitive Realm?
Which is weird.
As opposed to somebody like Kelsier who died and no longer has a physical self.
Yes, right. Or when Shallan is Soulcasting and peeking in, and things like this. It can still be dangerous, because what’s happening is that little soul bubble there that’s manifesting into a version of your soul and then things can get at it in different ways and stuff. So... But yes, going in physically means you just pop between realms, and yeah, yeah…
And when they leave the Cognitive Realm their Physical self just leaves the Cognitive Realm the same...
Yep, mhm, yep.
Basically you’re transferring into Investiture and popping out of Investiture, so...
Are Odium and Harmony aware of each other, and will they ever directly come at each other?
They are aware of each other, and they are both frightened of the other one for different reasons. Or at least “wary of” perhaps is a better term.
That’s interesting. Is that in the narrative perhaps at some point in the future? (another person?) [...] between Harmony and Odium?
If you gather the essence of a Shard can you reassemble a [disassembled?] Shard?
[Jokes and shows him a RAFO? Never answered?]
When Vin hears Reen’s voice in the beginning, is that Ruin at that point?
So, there are times where it’s just her remembering him actually talking to her. And there are times when it’s Ruin. It’s usually pretty obvious when it’s Ruin. The ring will be in, and it will kind of force its way into her head a little more directly. So kind of watch for that. If the earring isn’t in, or if it just kind of flows naturally and she’s remembering something he talked to her about, it’s not always going to be Ruin.
It’s fairly heavily implied in the Stormlight books that there’s some sort of correspondence between the Chasmfiends and the Thunderclasts. They’re described very similarly and... I was wondering if there’s a similar sort of correspondence, possibly, between the Whitespines and the Midnight Essences?
Uh... yes, yes. More tenuous, but yes.
But kind of similar?
Yeah. The Midnight Essence generally imitates what it sees around it.
What powers does Mizzy have?
I’m not telling people that yet, mostly because I haven’t decided 100% how I want it to work yet. I know basically what I want to do, but I haven’t decided how I’m going to play it out. I’m not telling people until I get the book actually written.
Does that mean there’s another book?
Yes, if I write another book, it will be a Mizzy book.
When are you going to finish the Alcatraz Smedry series?
Soon. Now, Alcatraz Smedry series is finished, but Bastille’s series of one book is not. Right? Have you read that?
I have not.
So in the end of the fifth book Alcatraz says it’s the end and refuses to write any more. Cause there is a fifth book. And then there’s a note from Bastille, and she says, “He’s an idiot. I will finish the series so that you can get the actual ending.”
So, is the whole Alcatraz Smedry series out?
The fifth book is out. And then, but you’ve got to remember that there’s one more book that Bastille is writing because Alcatraz is stupid, and he won’t finish his own series.
So, you can read the fifth book and it is his ending, but it’s a downer. I’m just warning you. Because he thinks he’s not a hero and he wants it to be a downer of ending to his series. And she is going to write a different ending.
I was actually curious how you ended up with such a mathematically heavy magic system in The Rithmatist.
I wanted to do something different. I wanted to push myself and stretch, and it is where it went. It was very much a discovery written book, rather than an outline book. I was writing it to avoid writing something else that I didn’t want to be writing.
What were you avoiding?
I was avoiding Dragonsteel, the Liar of Partinel, which didn’t work. I didn’t know how to fix it, and I still don’t.
With the introduction of ebooks does that really like, open up a way for new authors?
It did. It’s actually-- what we find is in general, more authors can make it professionally, though across the board everyone earns a little bit less. Um, and so, but that’s like… that’s a very good thing for new authors. It means there’s more opportunity to break in. And I do talk in the lectures-- I have a self-published person come in and talk about breaking in through self publishing, which is totally viable these days.
Is it easier to move to actual publishing from the ebooks?
It is... It is. Usually they say your threshold is when you’re selling ten thousand books. If you can get to ten thousand. Then New York publishers will be willing to give you enough of an advance that it’s worth it for you to take it. So that’s kind of your threshold. Between two thousand and ten thousand they’re willing to look at you. So that’s kind of where you want to try to hit. And the best thing you can do with self publishing is… The best thing you can do for your writing is just to keep writing. And the best thing you can do for self publishing is to maybe save up until you’ve got a couple books. You know, write one, then go write the second, then revise the first and make it good, then release that, then revise the second and release that. So you can kind of do two…
So get like some books in your holster before you start…
Yeah yeah, you probably at least want to know that you’ve been able to take a little time and get two or three done. Then release them in rapid fire and use them to promote one another. Plus you will learn so much writing your first few books that by the time you’re done with your third one you can revise the first and they’ll have an even quality rather than kind of-- you know--
Better every time
I just finished Rithmatist, so just a general question, where did the idea come from?
The Rithmatist began as the magic system as you probably could guess. I wanted to do an interesting magic system that people played a game with. Because I have used most of my magic… You’ll read in these, that they’re kind of martial arts based, warfare based, things like that. I’m like, people play games with everything. Why do I have no games-- magic systems with games. So it kind of just spun out of that.
Do you update your own website? [...] I was wondering because you’re [...]
If it’s in my voice, then I wrote it. Uh… Anyone who updates-- Like you go sometimes [wording?] say “Assistant Adam here, here is something Brandon told me…” So if you hear an “I”, it is me. If it’s not an “I”-- it’s in third person or something-- then it’s one of my assistants.
I’m a big fan of Jasnah. And I hope you’ll do her justice in the next book. Do you say it “Jasnah” or “Jasnah”? [different pronunciations]
I say “Jasnah” [soft-J], but you can say it however you want. Remember she’s got a--- she will get a book in the series that has her flashback sequence--
--but it’s a little ways off.
Does she get a [???]?
She will-- She… You will see a lot more of her, but she is intended to be one of the main characters of the second five Stormlight books. In the first five Stormlight books she’s a supporting character. So we’ll reverse some of the supporting characters and some of the main characters in book 6. Um… So you just gotta to wait until we get some more. But she is on the cover of book 3, so...
Is being a Knight Radiant at all genetic? Because you have Jasnah, Dalinar, and Renarin in the same family.
It is not genetic, however… Um… Families or people close to one another are more likely. It’s not genetic. So for instance, if everyone were adopted it would still have the same prevalence.
[interruption hard to hear]
Well, there are a couple of reasons for that. One is which, attracting the attention of a spren can mean that other spren are paying attention to that area. There are also things in the Cosmere (the shared universe of them) where people are connected spiritually. Um… and that’s part of the magic as well. So… You are more likely to become a Radiant if you know a Radiant.
Out of all the magic systems, do you have a favorite?
In the Stormlight Archive we saw the sword from Warbreaker and we also know that the royal line can change more than just their hair, will that come into play?
They can! What’s that?
...will that come into play?
That will come into play, keep your eyes open.
We know that recording things can lock spren into position in the cognitive realm. Does the existence of the written Diagram have a significant Realmatic effect.
The Diagram has Realmatic significance.
Did Taravangian know that when he wrote it?
Define “know.” On the same level perhaps that a table on Roshar knows it’s a table.
Nalthis has 5-centric numerology.
Do regular humans count as the 5th type of biochromatic entity?
[laughs] Um, I will RAFO that, not for any real good reason, but for a mini-good reason.
(written in book: Is there a radiant order that would accept Allomancer Jak?)
(written in book: It would depend on the spren, but possibly. There are a few that would have liked him once...)
There’s some portent in that answer.
(written in book: Do oathgates obey physical realm speed-of-light constraints?)
(written in book: Nope! Good question.)
We are playing fast and loose with causality.
I’m curious, are the red eyes in The Bands of Mourning also linked to Odium?
There’s a similar thing happening, but it may not be the link you expect.
Lopen. Is he a squire, or does he actually have a spren?
He’s a squire. You’ll find out a lot more about what the squires are in the upcoming book. For most orders, squire were knights radiant potentially in training, so you can see what happens in the next book.
(Paraphrased) [Something about treating religion fairly]
I feel that a story is best when there are multiple people with strong viewpoints who disagree.
In a lot of books, religion is the weakness.
I always hate it when there’s a character in a book who expresses an opinion I have, and they’re the idiot.
Szeth, can he or will he use both a spren Shardblade and Nightblood at the same time?
He will be using Nightblood, the rest is a RAFO
First, I have a message from my older brother
He says, "just tell him that Szeth is the man, and he expects a bloody revenge story, where he whoops off all the heads of all the Shin guys who still have honorblades
Tell him that Szeth is anticipating that too.
Why does Stormlight make things cold?
It’s not the Stormlight, it’s condensation because something is going directly from a gas into a solid. The coldness is caused by that, it’s not necessarily that the Stormlight is making things cold, but that the Shardblade is condensing.
The Heralds, back before Honor died, were they directly powered by Honor?
Yes. You’ll find out more about that, but the Shardblades [pretty sure he means Honorblades here] were pieces of Honor’s soul that he gave them and direct access to his essence.
Like Vin and Elend?
Yeah, a little like that. That’s why Honorblades don’t work like Shardblades do, like Radiants do.
The second part of the question is, what would happen if they were directly powered by Honor and they were holding Nightblood?
Hoid. Does he have more unkeyed metalminds?
Hoid has access to lots of different things, so, yes he does.
How do you keep your characters’ voices distinctive? Because Jordan is terrible, all the women sound exactly the same, but you don’t.
It’s weird. Character is the one I have the hardest time talking about. I’m naturally an outliner and planner for everything but my characters. What I do is, I cast my characters. I put a person in this role and I write a scene from their viewpoint and, if it is distinctive and it works, I go with it. If not, I set it aside and I try some other personality until I get something that feels distinctive, and then I use that chapter as a model. Anytime I’m going to go back to that character, I go back to that chapter like, this is who they are. Later on, I’ll have touchstone chapters where they change and I’ll use that one instead.
Who shaves Marsh's head? Is he able to see his hair well enough to do so? Does he have a barber?
Is it a matter of Spiritual Identity? Marsh sees himself as Ironeyes, like Kaladin sees himself as branded. Seems like similar things.
I do not think it's like that for Marsh in this case, for various reasons.
Why does Vorinism use imperial instead of metric base ten?
They don't really use imperial. The words don't mean quite the same thing. A foot or mile won't correspond to the exact same measurement.
But still, why don't they use a metric system? They're all about number 10.
Who said they don't? The foot has ten inches.
Are there requirements to join the Seventeenth Shard, and would they accept, for lack of a better term, a non-enhanced member?
Yes and yes... Baon is not Invested...
What would they not like? 'Cause, like, we know they don't like Hoid, and what he's doing-- *laughter*
They do like what Khriss is doing, alright? This is an acceptable thing to them.
...What about when people start integrating themselves with a culture, is that gonna make problems?
They would prefer that people didn't do that.
So not Vasher?
Not Va-- Vasher is very far from being Seventeenth Shard. *laughter* So very far.
Would you say they are a community of scholars?
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.
So they're the Apocalypse Guard? *laughter*
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.
Have we seen the resonances of either Wax or Wayne?
Yes, well, Wax is really good at sculpting bullets and things away from him.
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.
I might be wrong, but I thought you said it was because he was becoming a steel savant.
A savant, yeah, definitely, but this is what this is coming from.
But being a savant has to do with being really good with one power--
Being a savant has to do with using Investiture a lot, and it's starting to permeate your soul. Like we've ta--
So he's more a savant with both of--
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.
Yeah I can see that. And Wayne?
So Wayne's is not as obvious. I'll go ahead and RAFO that right now.
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--
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."
The ball of Preservation energy that Kelsier used, is that Stamping, Hemalurgy, or a third kind of the same thing?
That is a different thing. You haven't really seen that before.
Because it seems to have similar effects--
Yeah, you haven't seen that before. It was designed to do what it did.
Is it just Connection?
Connection juice. *laughter*
We'll get into this, this is involving Silverlight stuff, so let's RAFO it for now.
If you Stamp yourself, to have another, overwritten spiritweb, and you get Spiked-- *laughter* What would happen?
We actually worked this out. *laughter*
Well, you'd die, or very close to it, but would it revert when the Stamp reverts?
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--
What if you Soulstamped a city?
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
Make a new hole, rather than making one that has existed.
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".
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?
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.
So a Soulstamp doesn't necessarily change the core of your spiritweb.
It does, but it's overwriting it. It's like Hemalurgy. What you are is still there underneath when it's ripped away, right?
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--
Uhh, it's physiological in a cosmere sense, but that can involve your Cognitive and Spiritual aspects.
I guess the question there is, are there other similar processes to savantism with other--
Yeah, yeah you've seen it. So, Soulcasters.
Where their skin turns--
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.
Sak, Dusk's non-native Aviar. That ability is very, very similar to Allomantic electrum.
And his other Aviar is very, very similar to Allomantic copper.
Is there a connection between those two, deeper? Or is it--
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.
Was Cultivation close enough to when Odium got Honor, to know how to fight back?
Heheheheh. I would say yes.
And Cultivation, is she--
She is still there.
Alive and kicking. Okay, you've said that before--
She is alive and kicking.
And she can probably know how to not turn her back to the--
Well, I mean... She has learned from the experiences of others.
Did Ambition fight back?
What role will the chasmfiends play?
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.