There seem to be several black trinkets in your books (Vin's obsidian chunk, the polished-to-a-metallic-look pendant Roadan receives as a wedding present, & the sphere Gavilar gives to Szeth) My question is...are these things related?
No. Unfortunately, you've seen a coincidental connection. Several of these things are important, but for different reasons.
Is there any substance that reflects Allomantic power? (For example, such that a Coinshot could appear to be a Lurcher if this substance were behind the piece of metal being Pushed, or perhaps said Coinshot could Push things around a corner if this substance were angled properly?
Nothing like this is known right now.
I just read Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell and loved it. How did the first shade come to be? Are there shades in other worlds? Do shades have bones?
Shades are what we call "Cognitive Shadows" in the cosmere. They're basically "spren" or "[seons]" created from human souls. (Where Investiture--or magical power--keeps a consciousness alive after it has lost its Physical connection.) Yes, shades all once had bodies.
Think of them like petrified souls, where instead of stone replacing the tissue of a corpse, magical power replaced the parts of a soul that connect that soul to the Three Realms.
A theme throughout a lot of the Cosmere novels is that form, of one sort or another (patterns, aons, etc.) has a crucial role to play in unlocking or using Investiture.
As a chemist, I'm curious about the role of form in Allomancy and Feruchemy. Does the underlying molecular or crystalline structure of the metal or alloy play a roll? Different processes, doping ratios, and metal mixtures result in different molecular packing, lattices, and ultimately structure. It seems like that kind of very defined, orderly matrix would be right in line with other forms of unlocking Investiture.
Yes! I've actually mentioned to people before that the chemistry of the various metals acts, for Allomancy, in the same way that the Aons work for AonDor. It's more a key than it is a source of power itself.
I've seen people saying that Alloy of Law takes place during the gap between the first five Stormlight books and the last five. Is there any chance for some crossover?
What was Hoid up to during the Lord Ruler's Ascension?
I might tell you some day.
Can a person who dies but somehow hasn't passed Beyond the Three Realms (a la Kelsier) serve in place of a spren for Radiant purposes?
This is theoretically possible, but it would require an unusual sequence of events.
We know that the Stormfather is a Cognitive Shadow and is also acting as a spren for Dalinar but is he able to do that because the "unusual sequence of events" took place or is there something else going on specific to the nature of the Stormfather?
If Kelsier became a "spren" for a Radiant, would he grant Surgebinding or Allomancy?
The updated Elantris map (from the anniversary edition) includes a city map, and the interior of Elantris looks awfully like Aon Ela. Was it indeed designed so the streets for Ela, and if so - does this merely augment/support the giant Aon Rao, or does it have a separate effect?
This was designed this way! It is separate from the shape of the city itself.
But does it have an actual effect, or is it just aesthetic?
It doesn't have an effect at the moment. It might once have.
Since burning Feruchemically charged metal seems to require a choice between getting the Allomantic or Feruchemical property (e.g., Miles only sees gold ghosts when he wants to, not as a side effect of compounded healing), is there any special advantage to compounding pewter and tin, where the Allomantic and Feruchemical use is the same? Is their compounding even stronger than normal compounding because you can tap both power sources simultaneously, or maybe because Preservation is particularly attuned to providing those powers through those metals?
Remember that compounding is a "hack" of the magic. You're looking to fool the magics, and use one to power the other. The value in it is that you can use Allomantic power to fuel Feruchemy. It's like hooking a power cord up to a device that, up to that point, you'd powered by using a hand crank.
Compounding requires practice, according to The Hero of Age's annotations. And yet, it's apparently as easy as burning a metalmind. What was going on that meant the Inquisitors couldn't figure out how to do it (despite Ruin likely knowing how and undoubtedly wanting them to learn) for over a year? What skill did they need to practice doing, exactly?
And what happened while they were practicing burning metalminds without successfully Compounding? Did they get an Allomantic effect?
What I think I was getting at in the annotations was a cosmere magic rule that, perhaps, I hadn't completely refined yet. This is the idea that INTENTION is vitally important to the workings of most cosmere magics.
You can learn to burn metals instinctively over time, but it does take time--time for your body to figure out what it's doing. If you have instruction and guidance, you can pick it up in an evening, like Vin did. Same goes for most of the magics. This ties into Awakening, with the idea that you have to form a command.
During Warbreaker was where I really refined this aspect of the magic. Logically, since the beginning of the cosmere, I've wanted all three Realms to be important to the way the magics worked. The "Practice" therefore for compounding is mental practice--a barrier to overcome in understanding what is happening, and what it will do to you.
If you already know all of these things by having it explained to you, that barrier is far less high. I think that was what I was talking about in the Annotations, without really having the idea specified yet--though I'd have to look back at the annotation and re-read it to say for certain.
So was Adonalsium a divine being or a pure force/essence of creation?
Is Dalanar just Seeing visions or is he visiting/interacting in the past a-la Quantum Leap?
They are essentially visions. They don't change the past or create alternate timelines or anything like that.
Excuse me, the E of Edgli is pronounced like E of Echo, or E of Egypt? Or else?
Why does Marasi's memory of the voice of "Death" or Marsh, change? From Alloy of Law to Bands of Mourning chapter 15?
This is a thing that drives Peter crazy. My research tells me that people change memories based on expectations and environment.
On occasion, you'll see me having characters miss-quote themselves, or remember events clearly wrong. I do this for realism.
(Though on occasion, it's just a mistake or lapse on my part. Those we fix. The rest drive my editors crazy.)
How did you come up with the cool names in Mistborn? Did they just come to you or did you twist already existing names?
A mixture of both. The thieving crew names came from getting into Kelsier's head, and letting him name people.
Good to see annotations again! Would love to see Stormlight ones, though I imagine the time sink would be a bit too much!
I tried doing them for TWOK, and yes, they were just draining too much writing time. :(
Did Korean inspire the combination of glyphs to create writing for men like in Amaram's study?
Yes, a little. Korean was a bigger inspiration for Aonic (in Elantris) though.
Re-reading Way of Kings. Thanks for the epic ride! Can you share something about my fav Renarin?
In the original draft of The Way of Kings from 2002, Renarin created the Diagram.
Is Steris intended to be on the autistic spectrum? She reminds me of my brother.
Sorry for the late reply, but yes. She is.
With your magic systems, do you plan it ahead or do you develop it with your first drafts?
A little of both. In some cases, it's more front loaded, but there is always tweaking during the drafting process.
I've read and reread Calamity looking for clues but I can't figure out what Mizzy's powers are! Why did you not reveal them?
I wanted to be vague because I need to have freedom to tweak them when I write a follow-up.
I have plans, but can't lock myself in too much until the outline for Mizzy's book is done.
Is there a relationship between the power of [iron] Ferrings and the power of Windrunners?
Just curious. Sazed says that filling his [ironmind] affects the pull of gravity on his body and Windrunners are similar...?
An [iron] Ferring is basically changing weight. It's not the same as lashing.
Can Forgery be used to rewrite a person's Spiritweb?
That's basically what Forgery always does.
Are Mistings exposed to the "burning bad alloy or wrong metal" problem (hurting them), like Mistborn are?
Good question. I don't know if they can even sense an off alloy of their metal.
Chronology question: Coppermind says White Sand probably after Elantris. I thought considerably earlier. Anything canon yet?
Not yet, but I suspect it's after Elantris.
I thought Kaladin was dark skinned.
Most of the Alethi are darker skinned, and would not look Caucasian to us. But most cover artists (and readers) miss this fact.
It's not something I've been clear enough about to publishers when they commission art. My bad, not theirs.
Can the 16 Shards be mapped onto the chart of Allomantic metals? i.e. does each Shard have a corresponding Allomantic metal?
The Shards were first. The metals are in a way a...further division on an established pattern.
About 1/3 through [The Bands of Mourning] I see Hoid is up to his old tricks again. And how can he "technically" own Seran?
I'll hopefully get around to explaining that some day...
Help us with some at-work Bands of Mourning conversation: what is the intended pronunciation of "Marasi"?
Are Odium and Devotion opposites?
One could make that argument.
I love Marasi with Wax! But Steris looks like she is winning so I'm gonna stop reading cuz it made me cry. It's been fun.
I'm sorry. He just didn't feel about her the way she did about him. (Plus, her path leads other directions.)
Would being fat be advantageous for steelpushing? Asking for a friend.
Advantageous in pushing against someone else, trying to knock them over. Disadvantageous when lifting yourself into the air
I'm still reeling from the amount of cosmere material we got in Bands!
The Mistborn books in particular will slowly skew more and more cosmere-oriented over time.
In Elantris, are Forton's "potions" magical, or is he using natural substances?
They are invested. (Magical.)
Is Wayne cosmere-aware? a couple little moments make me wonder, even though it's more than unlikely.
He is not, but he has (unknowingly) spent time around people who are. A little has rubbed off.
Is there any relation between Shardplate and the spren like there are with the Blades?
Ooh could a kandra pretend to be Returned on Nalthis by using the bones of a recently deceased person?
Heightenings would still recognize them as being alive, as their flesh is alive--even if they're pasting it over dead bones.
Dunno if you can answer this now, but if everyone is from Yolen way back when, is there a migration story?
Not all humans originated on Yolen, but the first humans were there. Watch the books for myths that hint at more.
Reading the BoM Ch. 2 preview, would "welch on a promise" be an idiom in a universe without Wales? Is Earth in the Cosmere?
All cosmere books are to be read as if translated to our language. The translation often uses our idioms to convey ideas.
Usually, you should assume if we didn't translate it directly, it's something that wouldn't work too well in English.
For instance, using the name of a city in the Roughs where people are thought to be like that.
Very clever, solves a lot of problems. BTW, what would the Scadrial version be? Roughsmen are less trustworthy, roughed?
I often consider using something in-world, but you have to be careful about how much jargon you use. It can be off-putting.
Is asking for an Aonic version of my name (Eugene also works) as the leatherbound Elantris personalization too much work?
I wanted to check before I put the order in. If it is, I'll do something more standard.
I can totally do that. EnE is an Aon. (Sarene's Aon, of wit.) You'd probably just be Evene.
Would the Arelish write that like in Hangul? If so, would each Aon represent a single sound, or its full name?
They would write the ENE as a single Aon, and the Ev in their equivalent of hangul, where each letter is a single sound.
But those are not available in the book? I was aiming for 100% in-world version of my name, but this looks hard now...
The Aonic Alphabet is not something I ever designed, I'm afraid. This was before I had Isaac.
I name my computers and smartphones after spren. But I am out of names. Is there a name you wouldn't mind revealing?
Well, do you need good spren? Or is the occasional evil spren acceptable?
Your call! And evil spren would be fantastic for my new phone.
Ulim. (Also, the Unmade count as spren. You could look those up.)
I didn't think spren could be good or evil??
Most spren are neither. Sapient spren (capable of making choices) can be either one.
I'm absolutely obsessed with this Faultline character in Steelheart is there anyway there might be a spin off about her?
I've toyed with doing something about her. We shall see. It's not outside the realm of possibility.
In the original outline there was a part where they take down Faultline. Brandon took it out before he wrote up to that far in.
If you went to Shadesmar on Scadrial would there be spren there?
"Spren" is a term for things on Roshar. So yes, there are a few, but they're from Roshar originally.
Do Allomancers smell or taste different due to the metal in their system?
Most do not.
Is there a unique symbol that represents Allomancy? Instead of just the individual metals?
We usually use tin as the official symbol, just because we like how it looks.
Talking about physics and cosmere... Is the gravity on each planet the same as on Earth? It shouldn't.
And if it isn't? How does the changes affect things like Coinshoting or Surges out of Scadrial/Roshar?
They are not all the same. And you'll have to wait and see on how that affects things. :)
Could you make a Lifeless out of someone killed with a Shardblade?
Shardblades sever the soul from the body, but Awakening makes a "fake" soul for a body, so how the soul left doesn't matter.
The Lord Ruler with all 16 metals vs Rand al'Thor. Who wins?
Rand. The one power is far stronger than even compounding metals.
The question is where does the Chasm line go on new Aons? The bottom right, away from the Aon?
http://brandonsanderson.com/beta/wp-content/gallery/elantris-illustrations/arelon_map_10yr_color_ebook.jpg The chasm line is under the bottom of the square, right of the center dot.
On the Rao it's above the bottom circle, just to the right of the small vertical line.
Ahh, ok. So would it be going down and away from the line (which is the road, right?) in a SE direction?
Yes, the same angle as the chasm in the picture I linked to.
Though of course, Raoden drew it ending by the road rather than starting by the road. (Stroke direction.)
Thanks Peter! Does this imply that stroke direction/order doesn't matter as long as the end result is right?
I can't remember what it says in the text—but you certainly won't go wrong if you draw it like Raoden did, since that obvsly works
Shadows of Self - What an awesome story, and what a gut-punch of an ending! Was that planned when you wrote Alloy of Law?
Once I finished Alloy, I wrote the scene with Bloody Tan and Wax, intending it for Book 2. That was when I built this plot.
We eventually moved the scene to the start of book one, and I revised with the new perspective on Lessie.
So it was there by the time Alloy came out, but was not part of the first draft. Advice from [Dan Wells] caused it.
You have my sincere apologies