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    asmodeus

    You've said before that a lot of the magics we see across the cosmere come from an interaction of Shards and their Investiture with the planets they Invest in. What does this mean practically? If Scadrial explodes tomorrow, will Hemalurgy stop working across the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgy wouldn't stop working, most likely, but it could. There are ways that you could make it stop working. I kind of mean that the Shards are an innate part of physics in the cosmere, and the magics that arise are an innate part of physics because of that. Like atium seeped out into the Pits of Hathsin, in the same way, these magics are just gonna leak out, and different places are going to affect them. You'll see Lightweaving happening in different places, and the way the Shard is interacting with the local... The way the Shard is is going to affect how Lightweaving is administrated in the various magics, but it's still gonna be there. Hemalurgy is kind of a similar thing to that. You will see Midnight Essence, you will see some of these recurring ideas popping up, and these are like natural parts of the physics, but they're influenced by the Shards on the local planets.

    I don't know if that answer, that's gonna be a really fun one for them to transcribe into the Q&A thing, because I go around in circles on that question a ton. Put this part in when you do it.

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    Questioner

    Would it be an advantage to have dandruff as an Awakener?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Adam Horne

    Is that a regretful yes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I mean, it's not a very big advantage, but I suppose. Being able to easily, yeah, sure? I don't think it's an appreciable advantage.

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    Questioner

    Hey Brandon, did TenSoon become more loyal to Vin because he was in a dog's body and started to adopt the loyalty of a dog?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope, I did not work that into it. There are certain things that the body, like getting scratches and things like that, he did start to adopt some of that sort of thing. I kind of explain this to myself as, the way everyone's treating you does affect your self image, but also getting into another body and realizing, "Hey, it kind of feels okay to get scratched on the head." That's not something that's as socially acceptable among humans. In some situations it is, but when you're in the dog's body, it's like "I can just enjoy this," and enjoy the perks. He ended up really liking a lot of things about being in a dog's body, and they were just a good fit for him. But I wouldn't say there's any sort of Spiritual, "dogs are loyal, therefore TenSoon is loyal" thing.

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    Aradanftw

    Kaladin and Vin both have used magic subconsciously. Kaladin while training with the bridge plank and drawing in Stormlight, and Vin burning pewter while being beaten. Does that mean that Intent is not always required, or is a simple Intent like "I will be strong" enough to activate the magic system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to go with the simple Intent answer that you're giving there. So, at the basic level... the more specific and the more powerful you want to be, the more you need to understand your Intent, is where this is. The body has an Intent. Kaladin uses the magic while he's unconscious, right? The Intent is survive, basically the body knowing it needs to survive. And this is possible to an extent with a lot of the magic systems, just kind of in the base, physical sense, your body knowing how to use what it's been given, is going to happen. You're going to see this with other instances in the magic as well. And even kind of not knowing or not wanting to face it, you can get some base level of power in most of the magics. Yes, it's the second one in that you can make the argument that your body just wants to survive, and things like this, but Intent really starts to play into it when you're doing distinct and increasingly powerful things with the magics. Intent is like your ability to focus, right? You can fire a sniper rifle on accident, but hitting the thing that you want to hit with it requires a lot of practice and focus. That practice and focus in the magic systems is often Intent-related.

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    NeedsToShutUp

    If a Shardblade were to cut a Feruchemist's limb and turn it grey, could the Feruchemist still tap a metalmind below the cut?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What a great question, I've never thought that. I'm going to say they could not. That's a really good question. We'll see if I go back on that, if it ever happens in the series.

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    DoritoJH

    Is what happened to the singers on Roshar when Ba-Ado-Mishram was imprisoned mechanically [comparable] to what happened to the Terrismen on Scadrial when they were turned into mistwraiths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's more like what happened on Sel with the Elantrians than it is like what happened with the Terrismen. I can see where you're going, but that's not the [analogy] I would've gone to.

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    Windrunner17

    We now know all nine types of true spren that make up Radiants, but Wyndle has mentioned making a garden for keenspren. Are these an intelligent spren that does not form Radiant bonds, and are there others?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Keenspren is a nickname.

    Adam Horne

    I was wondering if that was a slang term.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it's a slang term.

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    MistRadiant

    When Taravangian first got control of Szeth, he sent a man with a dark face and an accent Szeth didn't recognize, who was also wearing a mask. Is this masked man a worldhopper from southern Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This masked man is a worldhopper.

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    Raddatatta

    In Rhythm of War, Lift came up to the body of Gereh, who had been killed with a messy wound to the chest. Did Mraize kill him with a spike?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO!

    Raddatatta

    And a followup to that, Gereh's rings were gone. Would it be possible to spike someone to take their Feruchemical power and then use a metalmind keyed to their Identity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is theoretically possible.

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    graciemoo

    You've said fainlife has spread beyond Yolen in significant ways. Have we seen this in the books, excluding Mraize's fain branch?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you have not. Watch out for Sho Del, they'll be showing up, dragons will be showing up, but actual fainlife, when I'm talking about that I'm kind of talking about the entire ecosystem. You'll know when you see it.

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    Dr Bonko 360

    Is there a difference between the way that Shallan 'broke' her bond with Testament and the way that the rest of the Radiants broke their bonds in the Recreance that allowed Shallan to use Surgebinding between her bonds with Testament and Pattern?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kind of and kind of not. I mean the thing about it is, some of the things that are happening with Shallan could've happened in the past and probably did, but it's been so long ago that it's not really relevant. So it's less like she's done something super unique and more like things that are happening with Shallan also probably happened—not with everybody but with some—but there's just not record of it and it's not as relevant to the conversation. So, less that she's special and more that this is a possibility. Not giving any confirmations to any specific items, just saying what is happening with Shallan could theoretically have happened in the past and probably did.

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    GrandAdmiralThrawn10

    As a Truthwatcher I am curious, are we going to learn the standard ideals that Stump would give, or will we just learn the ones that Renarin and Rlain speak, since they are bonded to Enlightened spren? Need to know what my ideals are.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will learn those both. You will learn the differences between them. I'm kind of being dodgy until I get to Renarin's book for some of this stuff, but my goal will be to give you both sets of ideals.

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    Kisaoda

    If Kelsier managed to get his hands on a spren to bond with, which Order would he naturally gravitate toward in terms of personality and morals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a really good question. I have trouble answering these cause I feel like I need to take the quiz as Kelsier and check all the boxes. Where is Kelsier gonna be? Maybe I need to start eliminating Orders. So Skybreaker, probably not. Windrunner, close but no. Edgedancer, maybe. The whole "I will listen," and the whole recover the past, it's really more a Mare thing that Kelsier kind of picked up on, but it's where he found his center, so I would give him a partial hit on Edgedancer. Dustbringer is a good hit also, this whole idea of self mastery and pushing himself and things like this, is gonna be a good Kelsier fit. Bondsmith is gonna be an okay Kelsier fit, with the kind of bringing together the crew and pulling off some big thing. Lightweaver, not as much as you would think. I don't think Kelsier is there on the Lightweaver thing. What have I missed? Stoneward, no. Willshaper, he'd be a good Willshaper. Willshaper's high on the list, but I think Edgedancer might win, maybe. But he's kind of borrowing that. It's a tie between Edgedancer and Dustbringer, probably. Willshaper's up there too, three way tie. I'd have to answer the questions from the thing and see where we go.

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    ArgentSun

    Are there any genetic restrictions, Spiritual or otherwise, to using an unsealed metalmind? For example, if Vivenna got her hands on one of Allik's translation medallions, could she use it? Could Iyatil?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, there are not. People from off planet could use one of these metalminds. Good question. I think that's what you're asking. Barring Elantris, most of these things don't have this kind of region lock on the magics, and the unkeyed Investiture is not going to have a problem with that. That's kind of the whole point. It extends to people from off planet.

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    Questioner

    How much have you thought about the mathematical relationship between Investiture and energy/matter? Is there a cosmere E=mc^2?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've thought about the concepts a lot. The numbers, I actually tried to get some mathematicians... There are some lovely folks, I'm like, can we come up with a standardization? And it kind of broke their brains, not because they aren't smart people, they're very smart people, but they're like, "Brandon, where do we even start? How much energy is being expended?" and this sort of thing. I would like to get a unit of measurement, how much Investiture equals how much energy, but at the same time, the work being done by the various magic systems, it's going to be too constrictive to put too much math on that, I feel like. I would like to. It is a much bigger project than you might imagine it being. How much energy is stored in a sphere? That's kind of where we started. A sphere stores Investiture, obviously some of that Investiture is being lost as energy, it is transferring energy as the sphere releases light. That is happening automatically, it's decaying and radiation is happening. How much is it therefore losing, how much could it do, how much of that can be transferred to doing work with a Lashing... All of this stuff, I have thought about way too much, and we have no answers for you yet because it is a really big project. Maybe we will someday, or maybe we'll just say, this is too big a project to even be able to mathematically quantify. I'm sure if you have suggestions, you can post thoughts on the subreddits, and perhaps that will get to the various arcanists who are helping me with this.

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    Raddatatta

    You've said in previous WoBs that that there have been champions of other Shards, like what Dalinar and Odium are doing in their deal. Would the battle between Elend and Marsh or Vin and Marsh count as a similar type of contest of champions, or would that have to be more formalized to have them be considered champions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    To be considered, I would've said that had to be more formalized. I wouldn't consider what happened there... It's definitely an echo, but I don't think it would fit. There's been legit, actual, contractual sorts of things that have happened.

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    Striker_EZ

    Was the prostitute from the Way of Kings that Adolin protected Beryl?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it was not, good question.

    So, I like connections between characters. I liked it in Wheel of Time when Bayle Domon shows up again and things like that, but it would have gone too far in another series without the explanation of the Pattern weaving them together. It sometimes strains plausibility. The Wheel of Time has a built-in mechanism, it's ta'veren, they're getting woven back in, and people are showing up time and time again. I feel like that was enough of a selling point in the Wheel of Time, and the Wheel of Time did it really well. When I built the cosmere, I wanted to be careful, because I knew I was gonna be bringing back a lot of worldhoppers and having people show up in other people's stories. And if I went too far on this, and every random person that you run into ends up being someone later on, it just is too much. So whenever I've considered one of these things, I sit down and say, would they really be there? What are the statistical chances? If I make this happen, what does it do to the lore in the fandom, where now they're theorizing about the connections between these characters, and things like this. I try to be very careful on that. I brought Yalb back for a quick scene in Dawnshard, he's in the prologue of Dawnshard. Partially to be like, hey, this guy did survive! But I intentionally didn't bring him and put him on the crew that is the main story of Dawnshard, because that was one step too far for me. And maybe fans would like more of this, but it's something I want to be careful about. We already have things like Gaz showing up and joining this crew, and we have Felt jumping between worlds, and these are all kind of planned things that I wanted to do. I gotta be careful, I want to be careful, and maybe I'm overly careful on this. But in other words, a lot of times I'm gonna tell you the random person who shows up does not have any connection to the greater story that I'm telling, and that's by design.

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    LewsTherinTelescope

    Why does Hoid in his letter to Frost say, "as you are now essentially immortal"? To our understanding, as a dragon Frost would have always been ageless. Is this understanding incorrect, or is there something else going on with him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is something else going on with him. That is a good question.

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    Questioner

    Considering that Mistborn Era 2 is four books, and Secret History is canonically in Era 1, have you considered adding either a novel or a Secret History to each Era to total sixteen books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I get this on occasion. The other option is doing the cyberpunk series in between Eras 3 and 4, basically turning it into 5 Eras, which also would get us to sixteen books. It seems like a pretty good idea to go to sixteen books, but I don't know if we should count Secret History as one of those or not. But I would like to get to sixteen books, but I have a lot on my plate.

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    Questioner

    Did Evi have a miscarriage or stillbirth before Adolin? She is visibly pregnant in one of the flashback chapters set almost a year before Adolin was born.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that she did... or that's just a continuity error, I don't know whichone  it is. That's a question for Karen. If it's a continuity error, then maybe you found a continuity error and a solution to the same continuity error for us. I'll be completely frank with you guys, the timelines of the flashbacks are really tricky, particularly because I'm writing books like Way of Kings and Words of Radiance without a full continuity team. I just kind of have to keep it in my head. And so when we sat down to run the continuity, particularly starting in Oathbringer, there are a lot of things where it makes Karen's brain break. This is not where a lot of my mental effort went to, planning out each month. I generally knew which things happened in what order and what happened where. The timeline is pretty good and tight now, but there are all sorts of things that I worked into it that I said had to happen. For instance, the dates of births and things like that, that's locked in. I say how old people are. It's totally possible that you caught us on a continuity error.

    Adam Horne

    But with a solution, so that's a double win.

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    Questioner

    Does Nightblood have a favorite flavor or type of Investiture? In addition, does different Investiture taste different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes it would, but the thing is, when Nightblood is eating Investiture, he is generally not in a mental state to really pay attention to that. He's not what you would call a connoisseur, he is a glutton. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but kind of making a distinction there. Because of that, if you asked him, he wouldn't even really be able to remember. Because that time when he's really drinking it in, he is not himself, so to speak. But it would taste different to him, if he were able to pay attention and to eloquently speak about those experiences.

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    Questioner

    If a planet has no sentient life, does it have a Cognitive representation? If not, would the Cognitive area generate in Shadesmar whenever sentience appeared there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    People have started to talk about this, because it is a legit thing. So, if there is no sapient life, or even sentient life, if it's a dead rock out in space and nobody knows it's there, its manifestation in Shadesmar will be basically nothing. I say basically because the Shards are aware of it, so there's probably going to be some bit of something that manifests, but until the attention of sapient beings starts focusing on it, it's not going to manifest very much in Shadesmar. It might be like a patch of ground that is a couple feet wide. It is going to start growing as soon as they do, which distorts space in Shadesmar, and makes routes between planets change and more distance come between them. Which is very very odd, and very very interesting, and it's one of my favorite parts about the whole thing. It should kind of break your brain, and it shouldn't really make sense with our physics.

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    Questioner

    How would Kaladin cope with constantly losing to Malenia, the Blade of Miquella?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would find peace. He would find peace in the struggle, and eventually the journey would be, you know. I think Kaladin would be like, I deserve this, and find a certain peace in it.

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    gk-sudo

    Could primer cubes be used to store powers besides the Scadrial ones, such as Surgebinding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is theoretically possible. So much fun to have in the space age, that I'm not gonna let you have yet. You have one more Mistborn book, one more Stormlight book, three more Mistborn books, and then five more Stormlight books before I'm gonna let you have that fun. Keep theorizing.

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    Sapphire_Bombay

    In Way of Kings, when Jasnah gifts Shallan the Book of Endless Pages, she mentions that someone dear to her once made a very attempt at converting her to Vorinism. Who was he, and how did he manage to appeal to her senses?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, wait for the Jasnah flashbacks.

    Adam Horne

    Did I miss something about it being a "he", or did they assume a gender?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're making some assumptions, I believe.

    Footnote: Jasnah does refer to the person who attempted to convert her as "he".
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    LewsTherinTelescope

    What it is that determines how skilled a Shard is at reading the future? For example, why is Ruin so bad at it, and why are Odium and Preservation both so good at it despite being so different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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    Longshot_97

    In the Stormlight Archive, Cryptics are often humming to tunes that denote their emotional state. A Rhythm of Curiosity is cited, and Pattern often hums when he is curious. The same goes for a Rhythm of Confusion. Are Cryptics humming to the Rhythms like the singers? If not, what are they humming?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are humming to something very akin to the singer Rhythms. I would call them the same, with an asterisk.

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    MoriWillow

    You once mentioned something called "Honor's purposes" to Argent/Evgeni. Are these purposes the same or related to the core theme of each of the Knights Radiant Orders? For example, unity, protection, justice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That gives me a lot of wiggle room. Related to, yes, but that's a wiggly answer.

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    deku12345

    In the Stormlight 5 prologue, wouldn't Gavilar have recognized that Szeth was holding an Honorblade? He was just studying them earlier that day.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Gavilar was pretty busy being killed.

    Adam Horne

    That's a pretty good reason not to notice something.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think it is possible that he could have noticed that, yes.

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    LettersWords

    The Fused only use nine of the Surges (they don't use Adhesion), and Raboniel describes Adhesion as "not a true Surge." Does this mean, in its original form on Ashyn, Surgebinding had no equivalent to Adhesion, and it was created by Honor later?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a valid way of theorizing, and I would encourage you to go that direction. Raboniel is biased. So take those two sentences as separate things. Do be aware she is very, very biased, but also your theorizing could bear fruit going that direction.