Recent entries

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1351 Copy

    Questioner

    The warrior monks in Elantris, are they a non-genetic magic system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So here's the thing in Elantris. On Sel, you most usually need to be born in a certain location for the magic to work on you from that region. So, it's not genetic, meaning if you move there, your children count, right? Regardless of what your genetic heritage and things like that is. But it is regional.

    Questioner

    For Dakhor monks, wasn't it that they went to monasteries and trained over time and then they're...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So they do have something done to them that does this. But where they're from is directly related to how that works, how powerful it is, and these sorts of things.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1352 Copy

    Questioner

    Has Wit's bonding a Cryptic bound him to Roshar tighter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, asterisk.

    The reason for the asterisk on Wit is, you've seen him offworld since then. So just be aware there is an issue there, but yes, it's very similar.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1353 Copy

    Jofwu

    Dalinar had two really weird visions. Was that Connection-y stuff like he did with Kaladin and Tien?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which ones are you talking about?

    Jofwu

    End of Words of Radiance, and in Oathbringer with Nohadon.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that would be the same sort of weirdness that's happening with Tien. Yes, so you have basically multiple different ways of interpreting this. One is just--what Dalinar wants is directly... he is starting to change the visions specifically, and some might argue he is pulling from the Beyond. Others would argue that what Dalinar wants, feels things in his past, he is actually enforcing upon the vision, and is changing and altering the visions. And that is absolutely going on. It's whether the other thing is happening or not, depends on your personal religious beliefs. But Dalinar is starting, the Bondsmithing is starting to shape the visions.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1354 Copy

    AndyGranny

    The Five Scholars traveled from Nalthis to Roshar. And Intent is very important across all of the Cosmere. But also, Sel is actually closer than it is to Roshar. And from everything we know right now, when it comes to Intent, the Intent of using the Aons mirrors sort of Awakening. So did they travel to Sel as well, and has that influenced the way Nalthians learned to Awaken?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a RAFO for right now. Let's just say that the things that happened on Sel that prevented travel were not in place several thousand years ago.

    What I sidestepped is whether the Scholars had been to Sel, I heavily implied people from Nalthis had been to Sel. Don't take that as canon, that it's specifically the Scholars. That part is a RAFO.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1355 Copy

    Jofwu

    Did Shallan change her last name when she got married?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You do not change your last names if you are...

    Jofwu

    In Jah Keved?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, so she did not change her last name. She is still Shallan Davar.

    And there's also some... there's some weirdness there in line of succession stuff as well, which wouldn't be the case if she had been from Alethkar, and of certain, proper, you know... But the fact that she is not, she would keep her original name and would not be in succession for the throne.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1357 Copy

    LadyLameness

    The Inquisitors keep spikes in jars to stop the Hemalurgic decay. Is that clotted blood? Like, does it just work with clotted blood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will. So what's going here is the spikes have to - this is a weird Cosmere thing - the spikes have to think they're in a body and you gotta trick them. You don't need to use blood but that's the easiest thing that they could do to make it work. You could also leave it in a piece of meat.

    LadyLameness

    You can put the stake in the steak!

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can put a stake in a steak. But there are plenty of ways to do this without doing that. But yes, it's pretty gross.

    LadyLameness

    Not that I think they have consciousness very much, but I imagine that they're a bit stupid if they think that clotted blood is the same as a human body.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You're just tricking the stupid piece of metal that has a little bit of extra Investiture and has become slightly self-aware, and so it keeps its charge and doesn't... yeah. There are much better modern ways of doing this that have started to be used.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1358 Copy

    Questioner

    Do Sazed and Kelsier still like each other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Very drawn out and with a "but" nearly audibly hanging in the air* Yes.

    Questioner

    Thinking of him as Thaidakar, I have to wonder like, he can't be doing things that Sazed would approve of, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. He definitely is doing things Sazed does not approve of. That's an astute observation. They do understand each other, though, right?

    Questioner

    So then Sazed knows what he's doing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He knows some of it, yeah. A decent amount. You will find out more in upcoming books.

    Let's say that the relationship between Sazed and Kell is... complicated and strained. But they would still consider themselves friends, would be what I would say.

    Questioner

    Would an Xavier-Magneto relationship be a little...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Not quite so antagonistic, but yes.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1359 Copy

    Pagerunner

    The specific word "ralkalest," it appears on multiple worlds. Why did you use that instead of just saying "aluminum"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is mostly us just being cheeky. I like fantasy names for star metal, and I came up with ralkalest because... I go back and forth sometimes about how much I just want to call something what it is in translation, and how much I want to call... In this case, I decided ralkalest sounds cool, it evokes the feeling of the people in world viewing this metal, where they have this view of it as this mythical, magical sort of thing. And simply calling it "aluminum" doesn't convey that in the same way, the mythology associated with it. So I use both, but it's like there's two different languages, and when I'm using "ralkalest," it's more evoking their view of this metal.

    Pagerunner

    On Sel, Shai says one word, and Raboniel says another word, neither of them are saying aluminum? Neither of them are saying some other word that doesn't exist in English?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, they are both saying, ralkalest would be a transliteration of the actual word in world.

    Pagerunner

    But which language, which transliteration?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, which language does ralkalest come from? I think ralkalest is probably original Yolish, but I haven't actually sat down and written that down. But that's what I would say now, that we're looking for kind of a mythological level. And a lot of times if you're gonna get a mythological term that's gonna transfer across worlds, it's gonna go back to what it was called on Yolen, right? Some of the words from Yolen are kind of like the way that we use Old English, or even... Latin's weird in English, so it's not really Latin. Latin and Greek have both been incorporated into scientific terms for things. But ancient terms, maybe more like Hebrew. Sometimes there's just some words that feel mythological. Some Yolish terms, because of that, kind of flow through the cosmere.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1360 Copy

    Kingsdaughter613

    If a Cognitive Shadow or a Splinter gained Connection to the Physical Realm, could they just transition through a perpendicularity to manifest a physical form, or is something else required?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Something else would be required, because you're... But that would take you a long way. It's going to depend on the situation, right?

    Questioner

    Because Ishar was doing something where like he was Connecting spren...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Ishar was doing something, and so for instance, spren are gonna be played a little differently than a Cognitive Shadow would be played. Like, Cognitive Shadows, that's just not gonna be enough. But spren is much closer. This has to do with how much Investiture's involved and how they're Connected and things like this, but it's not quite enough. In most cases.

    Questioner

    So Ishar was doing something in addition to just Connecting the spren to the Physical Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. He was indeed doing something more.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1361 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the source of rubber on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not very exciting, it is a tree. It's not an actual rubber tree, it is a Rosharan version of the tree. I actually had to think about this, cause silk doesn't come from the same place that silk comes from. And then, I'm just going too far. Silk I can at least talk about and I can name it seasilk, but for rubber I'm just like, it's a rubber tree. We'll just make it rubber. It's not petroleum based. That's gonna be a hangup on Roshar, that they don't have petroleum reserves in the same way. They are a planet that has only been around for 12,000, 13,000 years. And beyond that, there's the whole crem thing. They do have some sources of petroleum that are biological, or I guess it's all biological, but it's not, yeah. That's gonna be a problem for them, let's just say. Access to large petroleum reserves is not a thing you will find there.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1362 Copy

    Kingsdaughter613

    Was Kelsier directly involved in causing the showdown with Bloody Tan that ended up with Lessie...

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. As I have it written right now, no. Indirectly involved, possibly, but this is not an outcome he wanted, it's not something he influenced, and not something I would even say that he was aware was happening. I haven't written Secret History 2, so that's totally possible that... But I don't have it planned for him to be involved right now.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1363 Copy

    Pagerunner

    The Hemalurgy table, you wrote down "atium steals any power, lerasium is all abilities, nicrosil is Investiture"; what's the difference between those three?

    Hemalurgic atium, lerasium, and nicrosil. What's powers, abilities, and Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    People are Invested in ways that do not give them active powers. So for instance, everyone on Nalthis is Invested. Everyone in the cosmere is, really. You want to steal their Investiture, but they don't have a power. You're still ripping off a piece of their soul. So there is a distinction between the actual Investiture that's in a human being and a specific power that they have.

    So that distinction is pretty easy. You can also, with Hemalurgy, steal specific things. You can steal just general Investiture. You can steal, if you want--this is where the kandra Blessings come from. You can instead steal specific things that are not like stealing Allomancy. Stealing, for instance, someone's mental acuity.

    Pagerunner

    So abilities is like the half that's all the strength, speed, all that kind of stuff? Those are abilities, versus the Metallic Arts are all powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Pagerunner

    Then Investiture, is that offworld magics?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, no, it's the raw power.

    Pagerunner

    Nicrosil is their soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. A piece of their soul, essentially.

    Pagerunner

    So how would you go about stealing an offworld power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to depend. A Breath, you would steal with nicrosil. It's general Investiture, is what you would probably going call that. You could forcibly remove someone's Breath from them. The ability to be a Sand Master you would steal with the power ability.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1364 Copy

    Pagerunner

    Question about primer cubes and Rhythms. There's a Rhythm associated with every metal when they're used and that's what gets sensed by bronze Allomancy. Does the primer cube sense that same Rhythm and replicate it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's actively like, drawing the Investiture in. The active...*hems and haws* is that what's going on? I will have to RAFO that, I'm going to have to go back to think about that some more.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1367 Copy

    Kingsdaughter613

    When Warbreaker has the priest's daughter manipulate her Breath, it doesn't appear to be permanently damaged afterwards. Like, Vivenna notes it flickers, but it seems to go back to what it was before, and Hoid loses some when Odium does something very very similar. Why is that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Odium was being more invasive and more destructive. And is less practiced at what was happening.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1368 Copy

    Kingsdaughter613

    And I want to know if Kell has worked with Khriss since he met her.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Worked together...

    Kingsdaughter613

    To study something.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kingsdaughter613

    So like, they've been research partners on a paper.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They have worked together.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1371 Copy

    Kingsdaughter613

    What would the Surge of Transformation look like to an observer in the Cognitive Realm when someone's transitioning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will RAFO that, and I plan to show it someday.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1372 Copy

    Pagerunner

    Bronze Allomancy and tones. Normally you can only hear Allomancy--they haven't figured to use Feruchemy. Is that because they need to learn to listen on a different pure tone?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not necessarily, but I like the way you're theorizing.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1373 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Kelsier confirmed as the leader of the Ghostbloods?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is. I can tell you that. They will make an appearance in the next Wax and Wayne book, now that the full secret is out.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1374 Copy

    Pagerunner

    In The Traveler, which you read here [at a prior JordanCon], Hoid was on Yolen. He has only worldhopped with perpendicularities. Does Yolen have a perpendicularity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yolen has something very similar.

    Pagerunner

    Okay, is it associated with a Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You would call it a perpendicularity, but there is not a Shard in residence on Yolen.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1377 Copy

    Ted Herman

    So besides Sja-anat, Cultivation, and El, does anyone know about the new Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that most of the Shards will be quickly finding out, if that makes sense. Like, this is a thing that they would know. Pretty quickly.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1378 Copy

    Mark Lindberg

    The red bird in Rhythm of War that Lift saves... Is that Magellan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not Magellan, the coloring is slightly different. But it is inspired by my love of parrots. So yes, the colorings are slightly different from Magellan's.

    Mark Lindberg

    Is that an Aviar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is an Aviar.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1380 Copy

    Pagerunner

    I've got a question about fabrial epigraphs. So you've got the pewter and tin, about the augmenters and diminshers, and the tin one says you can use steel and iron to change the polarity. Then the iron one says they haven't figured out how to do...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they haven't been able to figure it out.

    Pagerunner

    Is that because they haven't found the right kind of steel? I mean, but they have it for *motions at augmenter/diminisher epigraphs on phone*.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, what are you...

    Pagerunner

    So what does the steel and iron, how does that... Cause I would just think, if they're going to switch polarity, you'd just use both tin and pewter, and that switches the polarity. What does the steel and iron actually do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO that for now. But yes, basically... I'll RAFO it for now.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1381 Copy

    Argent

    With Intent and Command, I've been thinking about how these things would apply to other worlds. On Nalthis they seem kind of folded together into the same thing, but I can't crack the metals on Scadrial and the Aons in Elantris. Because the Aons seem very Command-y, not very Intent-y, right? What about the metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Aons, you should be able to eventually figure it out. With the metals, when I wrap this in, it's going to be very slight, and you shouldn't assume that every one of the permutations of the cosmere magics are going to require the same levels of... I need the freedom on each one. So Intent and Command can't be a major feature of every magic, otherwise it's too restrictive. You're going to end up with too many that feel the same. You can imagine, on Scadrial, that different metals would not have had to do what they do in the origin of the magic system. That is not necessarily innate, that is relating to the creation of the magic.

    Argent

    How it was built manually, almost, by a Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does that make sense? You can imagine an in-cosmere magic system that is very similar to Allomancy, where each of the metals do a different thing than is in Allomancy.

    Footnote: While the question was being asked, Brandon was nodding the entire time until he first spoke.
    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1382 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there like a Cosmere-significant reason why, on Scadrial, the Investiture is hereditary, but that that doesn't really seem to be the case on any of the other worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes there is, but it has to do more with the fact that on Scadrial, human beings were directly created by Ruin and Preservation. And most of the Cosmere worlds you've seen don't have that same sort of aspect. It is the case on Nalthis, but it's not the case on Roshar, it's not the case on Taldain, it's not the case on Sel. And so because of that instance, that's how I'm kind of working, that changed the way people interact with magic directly. But there is some wiggle room there for me. But that's your answer, that's the actual... there's.. I'm not hiding anything there, there is wiggle room. What I'm saying is don't extrapolate that that has to happen every time that the Shards were directly involved in the creation...

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1384 Copy

    Pagerunner

    Is the rhythm of a metal, is that a Command? Are all Commands Rhythms?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *makes uncertain noises* They are similarly related, but I wouldn't call them that. But I could see the argument, but I'm gonna say no, that's not how I view them. They're related, right?

    Pagerunner

    It's all how the magic is manifesting, but not necessarily...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Yeah. Like if you hear the vibration of my voice when I'm telling you something, is the vibration the telling-you-something? I don't know.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1385 Copy

    Questioner

    When a Shard changes hands, does the god-metal change names and/or properties?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It can. It doesn't as a rule.

    Questioner

    So it'll still be raysium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Well, the name, you would change the name, probably. But it shouldn't necessarily do anything different. The name that it's given is cultural. So you could continue to call it that. People might call it that. I think people in-world would call it something else. But depends on the person.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1387 Copy

    Pagerunner

    There's a line in the new Mistborn leatherbound Hero of Ages, there's the stories about "mistwraiths, shades, spren, brollins." Is "brollins" a Cosmere thing that you made up or is that just something...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, no. So "brollins" is a thing that I wanted when I... often when I make a list like that, I wanna make sure that there is some sort of local flavor. Like, for instance, that, uh... basically that's a myth locally, that's not a deep Cosmere deep cut. And I did this also, y'know, with the lines about nonsense words that Hoid uses. You're not supposed to be like, really dissecting each of those. Does that make sense?

    Pagerunner

    Yeah. 'Cause you changed all the other stuff and left this one and it's like "what the heck's this one"..

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. But no, this is just...

    Pagerunner

    We're not gonna get to the end of Stormlight 9 and be like "ohhh the brollins!"

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you're not. This is... I mean, it's relevant, 'cause everything in the books is relevant, but you shouldn't be like "ohh I..."

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1389 Copy

    Pagerunner

    Were all spren wounded by Ba-Ado-Mishram's capture like the Sibling was? Did it prevent them from hearing Honor's tone in the same way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright, so first part is, were all spren wounded by it?

    Pagerunner

    Like the Sibling was.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not all were wounded in the same way.

    And no, not necessarily, to the second part.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1391 Copy

    Pagerunner

    The silver-nickel alloy that is used in Raboniel's dagger where the... Is that going to do the opposite effect (like a Pushing vs. Pulling) of what silver does to shades on Threnody?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, good question. Good question!

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1392 Copy

    Pagerunner

    I would like my [cosmere constellations] map to have one more planet on it than everybody else's maps.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a smart idea. I'm on board for that.

    *adds a new planet and writes "here there be Aethers!"*

    Pagerunner

    But no name on it? Just that there there be Aethers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I can't canonize the name yet until I write the planet, right?

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1393 Copy

    thegatorgirl00

    Do spren feel any kind of sexual or romantic attraction?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not as a rule. There are some orders that are more likely to do so. There are a lot of orders that you would call asexual. But it depends on the individual, and it depends on their breed or race of spren. So, it varies.

    JordanCon 2021 ()
    #1396 (not searchable) Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am going to read to you from Wax and Wayne 4.

    It is always a little bit of a trick to figure out what to read, because I also generally don't want to spoil too much for people who have not read the series. But the Wax and Wayne, it's always been fairly easy because the prologues of each of them are flashbacks to the past. Like I do in Stormlight with flashback characters, we get basically one flashback sequence per book in the Wax and Wayne books. So this is actually going to be from the prologue of The Lost Metal, which is from Wayne's viewpoint as a little boy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wayne knew what beds were. A few of other kids in the settlement had them. Sounded much better than a mat on the ground, especially one he had to share with his mom when nights were cold because they didn't have any coal.

    Plus, there were monsters under beds. Yeah, he'd heard stories from the other kids in the settlement about mistwraiths. They hid under your bed and stole the faces of people you knew. So beds sounded real nice; soft and squishy on top, with someone underneath you could talk to. Sounded like rustin' heaven!

    The other kids were scared of those things, but Wayne figured those kids just didn't know how to properly negotiate. He could make some friends with something that lived under a bed. You just had to give it something it wanted, like someone else to eat. Maybe he could ask Ma to have a little brother.

    Anyway, no bed for him; no real chairs. They had a table built by uncle Gregor, before he got crushed by a billion rocks in a landslide and mushed up into a bloody pulp what couldn't hit people no more. Wayne kicked the table sometimes, just in case his spirit was watching somewhere, 'cause he'd made that table and maybe it'd make him mad. Rust knew there was nothing else in this little one-windowed home that Uncle Gregor had cared about.

    Best Wayne had for sitting was a stool, so he sat on that and played with his cards, drawings hands and trying to hide cards in his sleeve as he waited. This was a nervous time of day; every day, he thought, maybe she wouldn't come home. Not because she didn't love him; Ma was a burst of sweet spring flowers in this sewage pit of a world, and he'd punch anyone who said otherwise. No, he worried that, one day, Ma wouldn't come home. Pa hadn't come home one day. Uncle Gregor (Wayne kicked the table) hadn't come home one day. So...

    Don't think about that, Wayne thought, bumbling his shuffle and spilling his cards all over the table and floor. And don't look. Not until you see the light.

    He could feel the mine out there. Nobody wanted to live next to it, of course, so Wayne and his Ma did. Just under the window was a pile of laundry that Wayne had done for the day. His Ma's old job, what hadn't paid real well. So he did it, while she pushed mine carts. He didn't mind the work; spent half the day trying on all the different clothes, from ones sent by Gramps to the ones sent by young women, pretending to be them. His Ma had caught him a few times and seemed angry, minding why he did it. That exasperation still baffled him. Why wouldn't you want to try them all on; that's what clothes was for! It wasn't nothin' weird; he just liked it, and what harm did it do? None to nobody. Besides, sometimes folks left stuff in their pockets, like decks of cards.

    He fumbled the shuffle again as he gathered the cards up, and he did not look out the window. Not until he spotted the light. He'd feel it, anyway, though, the mine, that gaping artery, like a hole in someone's neck, red on the inside and spurting out life like blood and fire. They had to go down, dig at the beast's insides, searchin' for metals, then escape its anger. And you could only get lucky so many times.

    Light. With relief, like fire on a frigid night, he glanced out the window and saw someone walking on the path, holding up a lantern to illuminate her way. Wayne scrambled to hide the cards under his mat, then he was certain to lay on his mat with his lamp out, pretending to try to sleep with the door open. She'd have seen his light go out, of course, but she appreciated the effort he put into pretending.

    She settled down on the stool, and Wayne cracked an eye. His Ma wore trousers and a buttoning shirt, her hair up, clothing and face smudged. She sat just staring at the light in the lantern, watching it flicker and dance, and her face seemed more hollow than it had been before, like someone has taken a pickaxe to her cheeks, digging away like rock in the wall. That mine's eatin' her up, he thought. Even if it hasn't gobbled her all whole like it did Pa, it's gnawing on her like rats on a barn wall.

    Ma blinked, then fixated on something: a card he'd left on the table. Ah, hell. She picked it up and looked right at him. He didn't try to pretend to be asleep no more; she'd dump water on him. She'd done it before.

    "Wayne," she said, shifting on the stool to look at him. "Where did you get these cards?"

    "Don't remember."

    "Wayne..."

    "Found 'em," he said.

    She waved her hand toward him, and he reluctantly dug the rest out from under his met and handed them over. She tucked the one she'd found into the box. He knew from experience she'd look all day through the settlement for the one who'd lost them. She didn't have time for things like that; he wouldn't have her losing more sleep on account of him.

    "It's <Tarn Vestingdow>," Wayne mumbled. "It was in a pocket of his overalls.

    "Thank you," she said softly.

    "Ma, I gotta learn cards. See, that way, I can earn a good living for carin' for us."

    "A good living?" she asked. "With cards?"

    "Don't worry," he said quickly. "I'll cheat. Can't make a livin' if you don't win, see?"

    She sighed, rubbing her temples.

    Wayne looked at the cards in the stack. "Tarn," he said. "He's Terris, like Pa was."

    "Yes," she said.

    "Terris people always do what they're told," he said, "so what's wrong with me?"

    "Nothing's wrong with you, love," she said. "You just haven't got a good parent who can help you."

    "Ma," he said, scrambling off the mat. He took her arm. "Don't talk like that, Ma. You're a great ma!"

    She hugged him to her side, but he could feel the tension in her. Ah, hell. What had they found?

    "Wayne," she asked softly, "Did you take <Demmy's> pocketknife?"

    "He talked?!" Wayne said. "Rust that rustin' little bastard!"

    "Wayne, don't swear like that!"

    "Rust that!" he said in a rail worker's accent instead. "The rusting bastard!" He looked at her innocently and was rewarded with a smile she couldn't keep in. Silly voices always made her grin. Pa had been good at them, but Wayne was better, particularly now that Pa was dead and couldn't say them no more, anyway.

    But then, her smile faded. "You can't take things what don't belong to you, Wayne. That's somethin' thieves do."

    "I don't wanna be a thief," Wayne said softly. "I wanna be a good boy. It just... happens!"

    "She hugged him closer. "You are a good boy. You've always been a good boy." When she said it, he believed it. "Do you want a story, love?" she asked.

    "I'm too old for stories," he lied, desperately wishing she'd ignore the objection. "I'm eleven. One more year, and I can drink at the tavern and prove how old I am."

    "What? Who told you that?"

    "Doug."

    "Doug is nine!"

    "Doug knows stuff."

    "Doug. Is. Nine!"

    "So you're sayin' I'll have to snitch booze for him next year, because he can't get it himself yet?"

    He met her eyes, then started snickering as she smiled. He helped her get dinner; cold oatmeal with some beans in it. But at least it wasn't only beans, and there was some oatmeal. Then he snuggled into his blankets on the mat, pretending he was a child again to listen. It was easy to feign that; he still had the clothes, after all.

    "This is the story," she said, "of Blatant Barm, the Unwashed Bandit."

    "Ooooh," Wayne said. "A mean one?"

    His mother grinned, then leaned forward, wagging her spoon toward him as she spoke. "He was the worst of them all, Wayne: baddest, meanest, stinkiest bandit. He never bathed, you see."

    "'Cause it takes too much work to get properly dirty," Wayne said.

    "No, because he... wait, it's work to get dirty?"

    "Gotta roll around in it, you see," Wayne said.

    "Why in Harmony's name would you do that?"

    "To think like the ground."

    She smiled again. "Oh, Wayne. You're so precious."

    "Thanks!" he said. "Why ain't you told me about this Blatant Barm, if he was so bad? Wouldn't he be the first one you'd told stories about?"

    "You were too young," she said, sitting back, "and the story too frightening."

    "Ohhhhhhhh this is gonna be a good one!" Wayne bounced up and down. "Who got him? Was it a lawman?"

    "It was Allomancer Jak."

    "Him?" Wayne said with a groan.

    "What?"

    "Jak brings them in," Wayne complained. "He never shoots a single one.

    "Not this time," Ma said, digging into her oatmeal. "He was young this time. He knew Blatant Barm was the worst killer to the core. Even his two sidekicks, Gug the Killer and No Ways Joe, were ten times worse than any other bandit ever walked the Roughs."

    "Ten times?" Wayne said.

    "Yeah."

    "That's a lot; almost double!"

    His Ma paused, then leaned forward and got back into it. "They robbed the payroll, taking not just the money from the fat men in Elendel, but the wages of the regular folk."

    "Bastards!" Wayne said.

    "Wayne."

    "Fine. Regular old turds, then!"

    Again, she hesitated. "Do you know what the word 'bastard' means?"

    "Yeah, it's a real bad turd. The kind when you really got to go, but you hold it in too long!"

    "And you know that because...?"

    "Doug told me."

    "Of course he did. Well, Jak wouldn't stand for stealing from the common folk of the Roughs. Being a bandit is one thing, but everybody knows you take the money what goes toward the city. The trick is, Blatant Barm, he knew the area real well, so he rode off into the most difficult part of the Roughs to reach, and he left one of his men to guard each of the spots along the way. So Jak, he was gonna have to fight his way through all three."

    "Why's it always three in stories, Ma?" Wayne asked. "Three bandits, three guns, three mines."

    "Well, how high do you think most bandits can count?"

    "Probably not that high," Wayne agreed. Ma always had good answers to such things.

    "Fortunately, Jak was the bravest," she said, "and the strongest."

    "If he was the bravest and the strongest, " Wayne said, "why was he a lawman? He could just be a bandit, and nobody could stop him, right?"

    "Well, what's harder, love?" she said. "Doing what's right? Or doing what's wrong?"

    "The right thing."

    "So who gets stronger? The fellow what does the easy thing, or the fellow what does the hard thing?"

    "Huh." He nodded. "Yeah, I can see that."

    She leaned forward, grinning in the light. "Jak's first test was the River Human, the vast waterway marking the border with what had once been Koloss land, but now was controlled by bandits entirely. The swift waters moved at the speed of a train; the fastest river in the whole dang world! And it was full of rocks. Gug the killer had set up there across the river and watched for lawmen. He had such a good eye and a steady hand with his rifle that he could shoot a fly off a man at three hundred paces!"

    "Why'd you ever wanna do that?" Wayne asked. "Better shoot men right in the fly, right? That's gotta hurt somethin' bad!"

    "Not that kind of fly, love," Ma said.

    "So, what did Jak do? Did he sneak up? Not very lawman-like to sneak. I don't think they ever do that ever. I bet he didn't sneak."

    "Well..." Ma said. Wayne clutched his blanket, waiting. "Jak was an even better shot," she whispered. "When Gug the Killer sighted him, Jak shot him, right across the river."

    "How'd Gug die?" Wayne whispered.

    "... by bullet, love."

    "Right through the eye?"

    "I suppose."

    "And so Gug took sight, and Jak took sight back and shot him right in the eye! Right in the eye, right, Ma?"

    "Uh..."

    "And his head exploded!" Wayne said. "Like a fruit, the crunchy kind, all ripe so the shell is tough but it splats anyways. Is that how it happened?"

    "... yes."

    "Dang, Ma. That's gruesome! You sure you should be tellin' this story to me?"

    "Should I stop?"

    "Hell, no. How'd he get across the water?"

    "He flew," Ma said. She absently set the bowl aside, oatmeal finished, and made a flourish with both hands. "He had powers, Jak did. Allomancy powers. He could fly, and talk to birds, and eat rocks."

    "Woah... eat rocks?"

    "Yep. And he flew right over the river, but the next challenge was even worse. The Canyon of Death."

    "Ohhhh. Bet that place was pretty."

    "Why'd you say that?"

    "'Cause no one is gonna visit a place called Canyon of Death unless it's pretty. But someone visited it, right, because we know the name. So it's pretty, right?"

    "Beautiful," Ma said. "A canyon carved through the middle of a bunch of scattered, crumbling rock spires, the broken peaks lined with colors. But the place was deadly; as deadly as it was beautiful."

    "Yeah," Wayne said, "that figures."

    "But Jak couldn't just fly over this one, for the second of the bandits hid within the canyon: No Ways Joe. He was a master of pistols, and could also fly, and turn into a dragon, and eat rocks. So if Jak tried to sneak past, Joe would shoot him from behind."

    "That's the smartest way to shoot someone," Wayne said, "on account of them not being able to shoot back."

    "True," Ma said. "So Jak didn't let that happen. He had to go right into the canyon. But it was filled with snakes."

    "Bloody hell!"

    "Wayne..."

    "Regular old boring hell, then. How many snakes?"

    "A million snakes."

    "Bloody hell!"

    "But Jak, he was smart," Ma said, "as well as bein' a great shot and able to eat rocks, too. So he thought to bring some snake food."

    "A million bits of snake food?"

    "Nah, just one, but he got the snakes to fight over it, so they mostly killed each other. But the one that was left was the strongest, naturally."

    "Naturally."

    "So Jak talked it into biting No Ways Joe."

    "And Joe turned purple!" Wayne said, "and bled out of his ears, and his bones melted on account of the poison being so bad, so the melty bone juice leaked out his nose while he was bleeding, and he collapsed in a puddle of deflated skin, all while hissing and blubbering 'cause his teeth was meltin' too."

    "Exactly."

    "Dang, Ma. You tell the best stories."

    "Wait," she said softly, leaning down on the stool, their lantern burning low. "Because the ending has a surprise."

    "What surprise?"

    "Wait and see," she said. "Because once Jak was through the canyon, what now smelled like dead snakes and melted bones, he spotted the final challenge: the Lone Mesa. A giant plateau in the center of an otherwise flat plain."

    "That's not much of a challenge," Wayne said. "He could fly over the top."

    "Well, he tried to," she whispered, "but the mesa was Blatant Barm!"

    "What?"

    "That's right! He joined up with the Koloss, the ones that could change into big monsters; not the normal ones, like old Mrs. <Gnaw>. They showed him how to turn into a monster of humongous size, so when Jak tried to land on the mesa, the mesa done gobbled him up."

    Wayne gasped. "And then?" he said. "It mashed him between his teeth? Crunching his bones like--"

    "No," Ma said. "It tried to swallow him. But Jak, he wasn't just a good shot, and he wasn't just smart; he was somethin' else."

    "What?"

    "A big damn pain in the ass!"

    "Ma, that's swearin'!"

    "I meant it in a good way, though, love."

    "Oh, well, that made it all right, then."

    "He," Ma said, "was always goin' about doin' good, helpin' people, makin' life tough for the bad ones. Pokin' his nose into things, askin' questions. He knew exactly how to ruin a bandit's day, he did. He stretched out his legs and pushed and made himself a lump in Blatant Barm's throat what so the monster couldn't breathe. 'Cause monsters like that needs lots of air, you know, and right then Allomancer Jak done choked him from the inside. Then, when the monster was dead on the ground, he sauntered on out down his tongue like it was some fancy mat set down outside the carriage for a rich man."

    "Woah. That's a good story, Ma." She smiled, stepping over and kissing Wayne on the forehead. "Ma," he said, "is the story about the mine?"

    "Well," she said, "I suppose we all gotta walk into the beast's mouth now and then, so maybe, I guess.

    "You're like the lawman, then?"

    "Anyone can be," she said, blowing out the lantern light.

    "Even me?"

    "Especially you." She kissed him on the forehead. "You are my love, Wayne. You are a whatever-you-want. You're the wind, you're the stars, you are all endless things." It was the poem she liked; and he liked it, too, because when she talked, he believed her. Ma didn't swear, and she didn't lie.

    So he snuggled into his blankets and let himself begin to drift off. Because a lot was wrong in the world, but a few things were right. And as long as she was around, stories meant something. They was real.

    Until, one day, there was another collapse at the mine. And that night, his Ma didn't come home.

    Barcelona Virtual Signing ()
    #1398 Copy

    Koajan

    I have a question about the man at the end of Rhythm of War that Kaladin finds, that used to recollect lost objects from the Shattered Plains, such as Rock's razor or even Tien's horse. Will we get to know more about him, or is it just a random man?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, what is happening there is all RAFO material. I'm not gonna answer any specifics about Tien's horse or even about Tien. There are lots of ways you can theorize that this happened, and I'm not gonna canonize which of them it is. One of those includes Hoid and his shenanigans, that's a possibility. One of which is kind of some Fortune being bent around what's going on. Other possibilities are that there's a divine manifestation. I'm not gonna say which of those it is, but there are lots of plausible answers there.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #1400 Copy

    the_doughboy

    Its interesting that his most popular female characters all seem to have mental health issues.

    • Steris: Autism Spectrum
    • Shallan: Dissociative Identity Disorder
    • Jasnah: Also Autism Spectrum but not as much as Steris, and was treated for some kind of disorder as a child.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Hmm, I’m not aware of Jasnah being on the spectrum. Her trauma is something different, though we may not find out until we get her flashbacks.

    All of the Knights Radiant (basically, all of the Cosmere’s Investiture users) have some kind of trauma.