Recent entries

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Korombos

    Vorthosy How-does-magic-work Question: In your mind, is Planeswalker magic a different kind of magic than clerics, wizards, druids, and such who are not Planeswalkers, or just different in scale? Does every plane have its own rules for magic (and other existential things) or are they all sharing a common rulebook (if-you-will)? Are there different kinds of planeswalkers, do you think (different sorts of sparks)? Have you ever played Mage: The Ascension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is Brandon canon, not official MTG canon. I've always imagined that growing up with the mana all around them in MTG planes that almost everyone has some kind of little, innate magical gift that you wouldn't really call a spell. More powerful ones manifest in dramatic ways. But you can also learn to do more with study, becoming a wizard or the like. I do imagine that every plane has some slightly different tweaks of physics, and metaphysics.

    I think there are probably different kinds of planeswalkers and sparks, but again, this is my instinct--not official canon. Here, I'm just a fan talking about how he sees the game.

    I have played Mage, and like most White Wolf games, I found the experience to be very fun--but reading the sourcebooks tends to be even better.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    tharmsthegreat

    Davriel is UB just like Brandon's favorite colors.

    Tacenda is probs WG before the entity but I guess we could see her Abzan.

    I hope both of the demons get cards too.

    Brandon Sanderson

    As for color identities here, I'd mostly agree with you. I see Davriel as mostly black, but with a blue element to him. I could see him printed under mono black, UB, or even--under just the right circumstances--esper. (He believes in the structure of laws and society, though admittedly mostly as a thing for "other people.")

    Tacenda has a strong red streak to her--in fact, my initial concept for her was a mono-red character, but one who expressed the red aspect through music, song, and passion. The entity inside of her is green, however, and the white/green nature of her society has had a big influence on her beliefs in fate, the needs of the many, and that sort of thing. So I'd make her RWG.

    sskeeto620

    I was considering the same colors for both of them as well. Definitely black and blue for Davriel. I was personally leaning towards Esper, however. Like you said, he does believe in structure of law and society. Also, his ability to summon weapons seems like a white effect to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, he stole the weapon-summoning spell. I was told I could have Davriel steal and use spells of any color, so long as it was painful for him, and it was clear he was using them as part of a theft mechanic--meaning he only had access to them for a limited time.

    BreezyIsBeafy

    I personally thought he was grixis. I know I am wrong but, he is a demonologist, and I know demons are mostly black, but secondarily red. As well, most devils are also red. As for stealing powers is also very dimir, so I understand that. I would like to know what is the white mana coming from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He doesn't use white mana--he can use black mana to cast white spells, if they are stolen. However, there's not a lot of red in Davriel, despite his fondness for devils. He's not emotional, or artistic, and is more about planning and forethought than intuition.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    KaladinarLighteyes

    Are you able to comment on when [Children of the Namesless] takes place on Innistrad?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is about a year or so after Eldritch Moon, though I section off my own little part of Innistrad that is off in the woods, without a lot of influence from places like Thraben. Though the story does touch on the social ramifications of some of the events in recent sets, it's mostly concerned with its own lore and history.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
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    Personification

    With the ten Silver Kingdoms, what were actually their roles and what kingdoms did they correspond to? Can you say that, or-?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, what do you mean by correspond?

    Personification

    Did the ten Silver Kingdoms each have a job like Alethela was the kingdom of War?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would all consider themselves specialized but it wasn't official like that. It was more like their own philosophy and how they view themselves. And I wouldn't align them straight up with orders of Knights Radiant or anything like that.

    Personification

    I wasn't saying that, I was saying, maybe different job or it was like--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They all did kind of have different roles but its not like they had any-- you know, Thaylenah is your navy, right? Its not necessarily that it's-- if that makes sense, but Alethela has like the view of itself, it had a very distinctive view of itself.

    Personification

    Okay, so it wasn't like each one actually had a different role?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they were not quite, quite, organized enough for that.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Smackashi

    Who is your favorite planeswalker story wise? And who is your favorite non planeswalker character!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really enjoyed all the lore of the Brother's War, and so Urza has a soft spot in my heart. I liked the spin that MTG took on the "Gandalf" character, making him quite flawed--even dangerous.

    For newer walkers, I love the design (both the visuals and the card) on Ashiok, though they don't have a lot of lore associated with them.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    mbue

    Did Tacenda and Willia start out as a pair of twins who visited the Nightwatcher in your head? Their background sounds a lot like a boon/curse pair. :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    More, I was looking for a curse to be involved in the story (because I liked the flavor of the curse mechanic in Innistrad) and curses/boons tend to be connected in my brain--probably from playing too many D&D games where I got a ring of wishes, and the DM was feeling grumpy.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Aurimus_

    From a writerly perspective - as part of your process, how do you come up with magitech solutions that feel like they're a natural part of the magic system - IE fabrials, medallions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As for magitech, I try to make them still have a sense of mystery and magic to them--but also have those who, in world, do understand them. To walk that line between science and the fantastic.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    drostandfound

    Are these characters yours, as in you have claims to them for future writing, or do you hope to see other authors take them and move them through the multiverse?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I absolutely want to see other authors do things with these characters. Part of the fun for me in doing an MTG story was the chance to do something like create a character for the Marvel universe--I wanted to add to the story, and throw some of my creativity into the mix, and hope to see them get used in the future.

    I'd hope that if there's ever a main-line story involving Davriel or Tacenda that I get a chance to write it, or at least consult. But I don't consider them "mine." They were a chance for me to add to the lore of something I love.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    drostandfound

    Is the similarity between an entity and a Shard intentional? They both are objects of great power that allow their holders to move between planes and try to twist the holders personality.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this is intentional. When Notch designed a card, I liked that he had a nod to his own creation in it. I wanted to bring something that would have a "Brandon Sanderson Lore" feeling to MTG, kind of in the same way.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    drostandfound

    As far as I know, the Entities are new to the Magic lore. Were they your idea? What was the process like of working with creative to develop a new type of being within a very defined lore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These were something I wanted to do and create, and a pitch I brought to the lore team. They were on-board from the beginning, though they did a lot of work to help me bring my idea into line with something that would work with MTG lore.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    drostandfound

    It is mentioned that the Entity is the compressed power of a destroyed plane. How does this happen? Why is it sentient? Why is one in a puddle on Innistrad? Are they related to the planar souls from M15?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of this will have to be revealed at a later date, but what I can say is that yes, M15 was the inspiration--and the creation of these entities happened through some very special circumstances.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    wackyHair

    How did writing this differ from writing the Infinity Blade novellas?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The IB novellas were interesting in that I was specifically looking to explain game mechanics with a narrative, something that the Wizards people didn't want me to do. (That said, I slipped a little in here and there, such as Davriel "flashing back" many of his spells, using them again and again.)

    I'd say that here, the biggest difference was knowing of an existing lore and mythos that I wanted to weave my story into, rather than creating it wholesale from the game. (Which is what I did with IB.)

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    carnivorouspickle

    If you hadn't had the opportunity to write for MtG, would any of these characters have made it in one form or another into one of your other books, or would they only fit in this setting? If they would have made it into a different story, which one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've wanted to do this story for a number of years, and it was inspired by me asking myself (after my first visit to WoTC a number of years back) what I would do if I were to write a story for them.

    I didn't seriously consider doing this in another setting, since the concept of demons and contracts isn't really a Cosmere one--and the first ideas were for Davriel and Miss Highwater. That said, spren bonds have some slight similarities, so it's not impossible.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Rutherfox

    Did you consider other planes for the story, or was Innistrad your go-to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Since this story had been brewing for years as inspired by Innistrad, I didn't really consider others. I'd say that if I hadn't done Innistrad, I might have done an old-school story about one of the legends from Legends (which is the first MTG expansion I ever bought) that doesn't yet have a story.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
    #1622 Copy

    wiresegal

    Tacenda seemed to Planeswalk at the end. Did she, or did she just "ascend" within Innistrad? Was she an unsparked planeswalker before she accepted the Entity? If she wasn't, did the Entity give her a Spark, similar to how Slobad was grafted one? And if that's not it, the third possibility... is the Entity native to the Blind Eternities, like the Eldrazi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will give you both the canon and Brandon head canon.

    Canon is: ambiguous on all counts. It's not confirmed that Tacenda planeswalked at the end, or whether she (or Davriel) had sparks of their own--or if their planewalking powers are granted by the Entities. I can say, in canon, that the Entities are not native to the Blind Eternities--they are the souls of ancient, powerful planes that were destroyed, and their power harvested.

    The Soul of planes sequence from m15 were their inspiration, though something special happened with these specific planes. I can't confirm or deny how many of them there were, but at least two.

    Now, the Brandon Head Canon. (See my post at the top of this thread for an explanation.)

    In my discussions with Wizards, they gave me leave to create one planeswalker--but in the course of the story, I decided to have Tacenda spark as well. This wasn't done with canon permission from Wizards, and I promised them that I'd leave it ambiguous in case they didn't want to have to deal with me playing loose and free with creating planeswalkers.

    I personally imagine that the entities are providing the sparks for both Davriel and Tacenda. Davriel THINKS it's his own spark, and it ignited when he saw the true nature of the multiverse--and this is, right now, the canon answer. But I personally like the idea that one of the reasons these Entities are important is because they provide planeswalking ability to whoever holds them.

    That has too much lore implication for me to canonize, however--and I didn't push Wizards to do so. (I also didn't ask them to make Tacenda a planeswalker; I simply wrote the story, and left them the option of using her in the future.) So take this part all with a grain of salt.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Before we start, I wanted to say something about continuity and canon. I don't represent Wizards of the Coast, obviously. This was a very fun project, and I had a lot of freedom in developing Davriel, Tacenda, and the lore of the Approaches. However, I can't state or make official Magic canon, beyond the extent of what is in the text of the story.

    So, when I answer these questions, I'll often have a couple of different terms. If I mention Official Canon, this is (by my understanding) the current canon of the Magic storyline--as explained to me by the local in-house experts. I could be wrong on this sort of thing, but I'll try to pass along my understanding of what the canon answer is in relationship to this story. (For example, I was assured it was okay to have female demons in my story, despite it not being something that Wizards has done very much in the past.)

    I'll relate my own Head Canon on other items--things that I haven't cleared with Wizards. This should be taken as what I was going for, and can work for your understanding of the story, but it shouldn't be taken as gospel--and it could very well be contradicted by future decisions by the lore team. They take their continuity very seriously, and I am not up-to-date on everything they're doing with the stories of the other characters. I was pretty focused on my little corner of the multiverse.

    In other places, I'll talk about decisions I made (or didn't make) in relation to the story--if I am talking about the process, you shouldn't infer too much from decisions I didn't make. I did a lot of this work before talking to the lore team about larger continuity, so things I considered (and discarded) before the story was finished shouldn't be taken as hints for the larger story. To be honest, I didn't know much about it at that stage anyway.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    DataLoreHD

    When can we expect all your non-Cosmere novellas be collected into one anthology book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We are quietly getting everything ready for the non-cosmere collection, just in case. The thing that would make us pull the trigger early would be if Snapshot actually gets greenlit for a film at MGM--though I don't know how close we are to that. We want want to be ready just in case.

    I feel like it needs one more story or two before publishing it otherwise, though, so I'd expect a little wait.

    Glamdring804

    I remember hearing a while ago that there was a non-Cosmere collection in the works. I too would like to know if this is still a thing, before I go and buy each novella or short story individually.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It WILL happen, so you might want to wait--but the release of the movie (if it happens) for Snapshot will influence timing. I wouldn't expect it in 2019, if it does happen. 2020 would be much more likely.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    Lopen's arm. In Stormlight, you cannot regrow if your brain-- your soul has accepted the change?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perception is very important to this, yes.

    Questioner

    So is he just crazy enough to believe that he still had an arm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's more like, he never saw himself as being-- he saw himself as the person *inaudible* and not being disabled by what happened to him. It's not craziness, it's just a matter of perception. What you're running into Kaladin with his brands in particular is that he thinks he deserves them.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    What's the relationship between spren and seons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are the same thing from different magics.

    Questioner

    Okay, exact same thing from different magics?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Exact," may be a little too strict, but yeah.

    Questioner

    So a seon can be transferred to another person, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Can a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    Are we ever going to see the Moon Scepter on screen and what it does?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you should see the Moon Scepter on screen. What it does is it works as a kind of Rosetta Stone for interpreting some of the magics.

    Questioner

    So that's why Hoid wanted it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's why Hoid wanted it, yes. He's  trying to figure out how to give himself-- To be able to use the magics on Sel, and that's a key that he wanted.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    If I were to alloy atium and lerasium, would I get harmonium? Or is harmonium different after the Shards combined?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's different after the Shards combined.

    Questioner

    If I was to take harmonium and separate it out through distillation, would I get lerasium and atium or something that functions similarly?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you would-- It actually has become a different--

    Questioner

    Can't be split?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I mean, you could find a way, but you're not going to get it through normal, mechanical means.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    What's Kaladin's last name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin doesn't have a last name because, in Alethkar, your last name is your House name. He is vacillating on what his House name would be, everyone just calls him Kaladin Stormblessed. There's a realistic expectation that if he wanted to be a Kholin, he could be a Kholin, if he wanted to adopt that as his own House name instead of having a different one.

    But right now he's just called Kaladin Stormblessed.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    To get into the mind of Bleeder, was that hard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, to get into the mind of Bleeder, who is an antagonist in Shadows of Self, is probably the darkest I've gone in one of my books, and yeah. It was, but it was also somewhere I hadn't explored before, and so it was really interesting to me.

    Questioner

    It's my favorite character so far.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will like, if I ever write the Threnody novel, you will like that one. Which is the Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, that book. I do have a book in the Cosmere sequence planned in that world, but it doesn't have that character.

    General Signed Books 2018 ()
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    MiToRo94

    Since all matter and energy are Investiture in different forms, and the magic of Investiture depends on the Shard it is most closely connected to, could it be theoretically possible for Lift to burn food on Scadrial to have the powers of a Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This wouldn't happen naturally - she would still get Surgebinding powers, even on Scadrial.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    Did Kelsier help in the search for [Hoid] that Galladon and Demoux were doing in the Purelakes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question--

    Questioner

    He's the only one that can call him something similar, like "Drifter" so -

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I'm going to RAFO that-- Not quite where-- I'll just RAFO it. I'll just RAFO it. Kelsier is not on Roshar, but obviously that's not what you're asking, which is what I thought you were.

    Questioner

    He has an aura that fits in with--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm!

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    Is the cosmere, the thread connecting several of your series, something that came from the beginning, or something that kind of grew?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What a great question! So the cosmere, which is the thread connects a lot of my books together. All of my epic fantasies are connected in this world called the cosmere. Was that from the beginning, or was it something that grew?

    So I had, I often point to the fact that I had those years not getting published as a big advantage, because while I was working on those books, I didn't write the first ones as a connected shared universe. It was after I had done a number of them, that I'm like, "Hey, there's something here! There's a thread that I can weave together." But by the time I got published, I knew all of that right?

    And so, like when I wrote Mistborn, which was my, the first book I wrote knowing it would get published. Elantris was my first published, it was number 6 in those years. I sat down specifically with Mistborn and built the cosmere, using some of these unpublished books as the history of what had happened. So from the get-go of reading it, it was all interconnected. Elantris got retrofitted a little bit, to fit in with this. From Mistborn is where it all kind of starts working together and things like that.

    I was inspired to do this by authors I had read who did this really well, that I liked. Stephen King did it. Michael Moorcock did it. It really kind of blew my mind when Asimov connected the Robots and the Foundation books. Of course, you know, comics have been doing it forever. But when I saw authors doing it is what made me really excited. I would count those as inspiration.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    If you would spontaneously, prematurely die, is there any author you would consider ideal for finishing your work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually pick Brian McClellan. Just because he's my student and I wanna be mean to him. I've warned him, I haven't asked him if he'd do it, I just warn him. I tell people that he will do it. And he's like, "Oh. *grumble*" We're good friends. But Brian would actually be a really good match. Properly outlined, Brian is one of the better writers out there.

    Second Questioner

    I love that caveat.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brian is-- Brian can go off. He knows this but-- yeah.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Paladin Brewer

    Previously you were asked if Hoid could have been using the lerasium to alloy with other metals to change his spiritweb, and you answered it was technically possible. Does that mean you’re finally admitting that Hoid did not digest the bead?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am not admitting that. It was possible for him to do that, but he did not.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
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    Questioner

    Would it be possible to Awaken a microbe, like a bacterium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not. I could imagine that happening. Awaken is the wrong term for it. I would say "No, because Awaken is the wrong term for it." But Investiture could potentially create something weird out of that.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
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    Questioner

    I noticed during Oathbringer, is there a symbolism between the color red? Because I noticed that red is mentioned many times. Is it tied directly to the Thrill?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I am using red specifically for spren and eye color, I'm doing it intentionally. It means something. I'm not gonna tell you what it means yet.

    Questioner

    Azure's cloth was red, and Adolin picked up a red glass sphere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some of that is going to be coincidence. But the color of the thing that is going to Scadrial is not coincidence.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
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    Questioner

    What happens if there was a Feruchemist who was an Elantrian? Could they store Elantrian abilities into a nicrosil metalmind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm RAFOing most of the stuff, but that one's a RAFO just because I am leaving nicrosil Feruchemy far away until I get there... I'm basically RAFOing everything about Investiture and Connection metalminds and things like that...