If you could pick one character from the Cosmere to be a planeswalker, who do you think would cause the most chaos or have the most fun?
Most Chaos? Lift.
If you could pick one character from the Cosmere to be a planeswalker, who do you think would cause the most chaos or have the most fun?
Most Chaos? Lift.
Are you able to comment on when [Children of the Namesless] takes place on Innistrad?
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.
With the ten Silver Kingdoms, what were actually their roles and what kingdoms did they correspond to? Can you say that, or-?
Well, what do you mean by correspond?
Did the ten Silver Kingdoms each have a job like Alethela was the kingdom of War?
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.
I wasn't saying that, I was saying, maybe different job or it was like--
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.
Okay, so it wasn't like each one actually had a different role?
No, they were not quite, quite, organized enough for that.
Over 50% on the secret project, which I'm going to give the unofficial title "Death by Pizza!" No, that won't be the final title.
Who is your favorite planeswalker story wise? And who is your favorite non planeswalker character!
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.
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. :)
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.
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?
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.
Is Cobb his first or last or only name (and what's the other part of his name if he has it)?
Cobb is his last name. His first name is Matthew. But he's not really a Matthew, so few people use that for him--not even his family.
Callsigns. They seem to start with the same letter as the person's name. In world, is this a tradition or coincidence? (I know the irl reason was to help keep them straight).
I'd say this is tradition in world too, but not 100% strict.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Are there more entities? Is the powerstone that powers the Weatherlight an entity? Is Phyrexia an entity?
I can't confirm how many there are, but I think you'll see more from them in the future.
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?
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.
How did writing this differ from writing the Infinity Blade novellas?
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.)
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?
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.
Did you consider other planes for the story, or was Innistrad your go-to?
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.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Lopens or 1 Lopen-sized duck?
One Lopen sized duck, assuming it's not a Surgebinder.
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?
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.
Is the Nameless Angel the same missing W/B Nameless Angel sister of Sigardia, Bruna, and Gisela?
Wizards has asked me to RAFO. So read into that whatever you will.
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.
When can we expect all your non-Cosmere novellas be collected into one anthology book?
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.
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.
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.
Zane got his spike through an odd sequence of events. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to reveal yet. I hope to get that out eventually.
Is Jasnah on the autistic spectrum?
Jasnah is not, good question. I would not say that she is. Though, you know, I'm not the perfect person at giving diagnoses.
Lopen's arm. In Stormlight, you cannot regrow if your brain-- your soul has accepted the change?
Perception is very important to this, yes.
So is he just crazy enough to believe that he still had an arm?
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.
What's the relationship between spren and seons?
They are the same thing from different magics.
Okay, exact same thing from different magics?
"Exact," may be a little too strict, but yeah.
So a seon can be transferred to another person, right?
Can a spren?
Because of connection and the fact that we attribute emotions to animals, can you use emotional Allomancy on animals?
Depends on the animal and the situation, but generally, no.
Are we ever going to see the Moon Scepter on screen and what it does?
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.
So that's why Hoid wanted it?
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.
If I were to alloy atium and lerasium, would I get harmonium? Or is harmonium different after the Shards combined?
It's different after the Shards combined.
If I was to take harmonium and separate it out through distillation, would I get lerasium and atium or something that functions similarly?
No, you would-- It actually has become a different--
Can't be split?
Yeah. I mean, you could find a way, but you're not going to get it through normal, mechanical means.
What's Kaladin's last name?
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.
To get into the mind of Bleeder, was that hard?
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.
It's my favorite character so far.
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.
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?
This wouldn't happen naturally - she would still get Surgebinding powers, even on Scadrial.
Did Kelsier help in the search for [Hoid] that Galladon and Demoux were doing in the Purelakes?
He's the only one that can call him something similar, like "Drifter" so -
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.
He has an aura that fits in with--
If you were going to live in one of your worlds, which one would it be?
Good question, I would live on Scadrial because they are the closest to the Internet and instant noodles.
How tall is Kaladin?
Kaladin I think is 6' 4"? But I'm not 100% sure how the equivalent-- Like he is 6' 4" to Rosharans, which may actually put him several inches taller to the 6' 4", like the feet on Roshar are not exactly the same as feet here.
Is the cosmere, the thread connecting several of your series, something that came from the beginning, or something that kind of grew?
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.
If you would spontaneously, prematurely die, is there any author you would consider ideal for finishing your work?
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.
I love that caveat.
Brian is-- Brian can go off. He knows this but-- yeah.
If a person had the power of Mistborn and other powers like Surges, could he use duralumin to power the Surges?
This is possible.
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?
I am not admitting that. It was possible for him to do that, but he did not.
In Secret History, outside of Fadrex City, Kelsier was in the Cognitive and Hoid was in the Physical. Kelsier touched Hoid and got hurt. How did that happen and was it intentional?
We know that Hoid was offered a Shard and turned it down. Was he offered a specific Shard?
He was. There is one of the Shards that he would've-- yeah.
Would he have been the 17th person or did someone take his place?
No. Someone took his place.
Is there anywhere on Scadrial that has a a region that they pronounce it "Kelsier" (ˈkɛlsiəɹ)?
That they would say "Kelsier?" Sure, I bet there are some that would say "Kelsier."
What would happen if a Bloodmaker somehow burned stored <renewal>?
Would it be possible to Awaken a microbe, like a bacterium?
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.
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?
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.
Azure's cloth was red, and Adolin picked up a red glass sphere.
Some of that is going to be coincidence. But the color of the thing that is going to Scadrial is not coincidence.
What happens if there was a Feruchemist who was an Elantrian? Could they store Elantrian abilities into a nicrosil metalmind?
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...
Could a Feruchemist, by tapping a duralumin metalmind on Sel in Arelon, be able to become an Elantrian? Or would it have to first fill an aluminum metalmind...
Vyre's knife that killed Jezrien, did it have to be a sapphire to kill Jezrien because of the Ten Essences? Or could any other gemstone work?
...I will RAFO that one right now.
Would it be possible for someone to store Stormlight in a nicrosil metalmind?
I will RAFO that for now, but you're thinking the way I want you to be thinking.
I heard you talk about the Vorin languages have a vowel shift. I'm a linguist so...
I'm kind of bad at vowel shifts, but it does have a vowel shift. You'll see Kalak being called Kelek, and some of these things like this. And I try to stay consistent with it, but I've also not been as rigorous with it as I maybe should be. Peter always points out little errors I've made. So it's a vowel shift that has some inconsistencies, how about that. But of course, real-world vowels shifts have it.
You need to publish something only about the conlang.
Only about the linguistics? Yeah, having an assistant who has a degree in linguistics is really handy. Peter's been of very big use, particularly on Stormlight, because I didn't have him before those books. I just kind of had to muddle through it. And now I've got him. I'll call him up and say, "Pronounce this; pronounce this." There are lots of names in Stormlight that I can't pronounce that he can... The Arabic /q/ ...he can do, and I can't. Which we use a lot in some of the names over in Azir, and stuff like that.