Recent entries

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    edgwardoe

    How much have you thought about the evolution of the biology on Roshar? It seems like the creatures we saw in Dawnshard attacking the crew (Sleepless aside, they're a whole other can of cremlings) are basically amphibious chasmfiends? Or some descendent of larkin? Or even an offshoot of hordelings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I imagine there's a lot of aquatic Rosharan megafauna, as many prey species on the planet have literal sources of energy inside of them that (with the right biological adaptations) can be turned into calories. Mix the low gravity, high oxygen, environment--and the possibility for bonding spren for other adaptations--and there's some real fun to be had.

    Rosharan Sleepless, as a species who can self-evolve over internal generations, have managed to interbreed with some species of cremlings to come up with specialized hordelings to do some remarkable things.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    DracostarA

    When the Sleepless refer to 'Surgebinding' with the Dawnshards do they mean it specifically in the Rosharan sense, or just because that is the word Roshar has for magic.

    I.e. if this occurred on Scadrial would they still call it 'Surgebinding' or something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Surgebinding is kind of a catch-all for cosmere magic here, as you're assuming. Literally binding (using) surges (a word for what we would call types of magic.)

    FirebreatherRay

    So, Rosharans would look at an Allomancer or Feruchemist and say, "Yep, that there is a Surgebinder," correct?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Many Rosharans. Many would also just think of them as some kind of voidbringer or other mythological figure, from local lore.

    HORSEthe

    Wait, have mistborn been to roshar or am I reading this wrong?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What I mean is that someone like from, say, Bavland might have different stories they tell about creatures in the night than someone from Rira. So while they might call someone who uses strange abilities a surgebinder, they are probably more likely to talk about the local equivalent of something like a fae creature from local British lore.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    ArgentSun

    With savants, the more they use the magic (the more Kaza Soulcasts, the more Spook burns tin), the more pronounced the effect. Is there something similar going on with the Dawnshards? Would Rysn change more and more as time goes by? Savants do, Vessels do...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, she would change more as time goes by.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Wrong_Shoe

    Do the Sleepless name themselves? Seems like they would since they spawn from "lost" swarms. Would they think of themselves as the original swarm at first? Would this would bring in all the scifi clone identity problems where the clone doesn't own it's identity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO for now. I'll get into their society some other time.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    woodfuryy

    When the Sleepless communicate, are their words being transmitted to each other instantaneously or is the transfer of information limited in speed to the speed of light? Like if one Sleepless was on Ashyn and they communicated with one on Roshar, would they be able to converse normally or would there be a time lag while the information was being sent from one planet to another?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have to RAFO this for now, as there are certain relativity related things I don't want to get into quite yet in the cosmere.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Kalinque

    Wait, Hoid can't eat meat, despite the fact that he loves bacon? That poor, poor man.

    Makes me wonder if this extends to Soulcast meat, though.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's usually part of the joke when I mention his love for it.

    There's a cognitive aspect to it, though--but whenever he's around food, you'll often note him acting a little oddly.

    kaggzz

    So does that mean he was extra mean to the Alethi because he had to show up to all their feasts as Wit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, taking on the Wit persona was his choice.

    neonmarkov

    Is that inability to eat meat and harm people related to the Intent of the Dawnshard he took up? Is he like a Sliver in a way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid. But these are the right questions to be asking.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Elsecaller_17-5

    Would Sleepless be the 3rd race native to Yolen? Man, Dragon, and Sleepless?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Sho Del are the third race from Yolen.

    celestialwolf157

    I've heard you mention the Sho Del a few times, though only that they were the third race on Yolen. Is there anything else you could reveal about the Sho Del that's not too spoilery?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The big thing happening on Yolen (and major plot points of both Dragonsteel and The Liar of Partinel, neither of which I decided to publish) is two competing ecologies on one planet. An entire invasive ecology (called "fain") and the regular one, familiar to us. The Sho Del fill the niche in the fain ecosystem that humans fill in ours.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Algafi

    I also have the theory that Huio will swear Dustbringer oaths (taking spanreeds apart to see how they work and a badass Shardhammer). And I want to get my first RAFO so:

    Can a KR swear 2 order oaths after obtaining a Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO!

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Foxblade

    What are your current thoughts on Silence Divine? The setting and magic are some of my favorite to visualize so I'm always crossing my fingers you'll want to do something with it. It just hits all the right checkboxes for "cool" and with Dawnshard's release, well I was hoping it might be on the radar...

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's on my radar, yes, as are the two other Cosmere novellas I want to write. (A sequel to Emperor's Soul and one to Sixth of the Dusk that I've actually started.)

    Problem is, it's hard to find slots for these things. We'll see. Not forgotten, certainly.

    Foxblade

    I don't know why, (an old WOB?) but I thought we would only be dealing with Sixth in the background from now on, so a sequel is awesome to hear.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Sixth sequel is him exploring Shadesmar. I have a scene done, but it involves some pretty big spoilers for space age cosmere, as within a few years of the story that happened, there is a lot more going on in relation to other worlds. So I'm not sure if it's wise to continue it at this point.

    n122333

    I know I'm a minority in this, but I love normal humans in a magic world. While Sixth has no investiture, the world is still fantastic and has the air of mystery.

    Will we see other cosmere settings where the people don't have magic, but the world does, like in Sixth, and shadows?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you will see more like this. (Many of the settings that involve Aethers can be like this, for example.)

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    The21stPotato

    Can you tell us the equivalent Heightening she [Rysn] now has? She seems to be at least Third Heightening equivalent but I'm not sure how much else she has gained from holding a Dawnshard. Do ALL Dawnshards grant these Heightening-like effects?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All Dawnshards would grant the same effects in this regard.

    As for specifics, I think I'll leave that as what is mentioned in the text, for now. (Sorry.)

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    alercah

    The Sleepless presumably do not want her to swear a Radiant oath because she would be able to use the Dawnshard in conjunction with Surgebinding, and we know that that combination already destroyed one planet in the system so it's pretty understandable.

    But there were a bunch of Soulcasters lying around and they didn't seem bothered. So is this one of the differences between Radiant Soulcasting and Soulcasting via the fabrial? That the Dawnshard cannot be used alongside the fabrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the Sleepless ARE capable of Radiant bonds. (I believe the back jacket of the first book implies as much, if I remember correctly.) However, things they at first thought were great are making them increasingly worried, for reasons that will come up (not related to them specifically) in this book and the next.

    Soulcasting via a fabrial is way, way less dangerous than Radiant Soulcasting--which is in turn far less dangerous than unbound Soulcasting (meaning without oaths.)

    FirebreatherRay

    We've seen that the interpretation of the oaths is largely up to each individual spren (to the point that we've seen an entire Order of Radiants change their allegiance). Would it be possible for there to be a "sociopathic spren" that has interpreted the oaths so radically differently from the rest of their kind that it appears, to an outsider, that they are unbound in the same way the wielder of an honorblade is unbound? Or is there something essential about the nature of spren that prevents this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that spren could go further than we've seen so far, and indeed, many of the older Skybreakers might be horrified by how far their order has gone. However, there are SOME fundamentals that even a spren with a very different interpretation wouldn't be able to abandon.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    psychomanexe

    Are these kinds of threads fun to watch as they run with every little tidbit and try to figure out things that you haven't even fully decided on?

    I feel like there's a little bit of "hehehe, look at them try to understand" along with the the compounding second-hand excitement of watching people be excited about something

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm rarely going "hehehe." Though sometimes they touch on things I haven't decided upon, or things that I hadn't considered. That's not uncommon, honestly.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    HamBoan_87

    Could Rysn "use" her Command power and change change the nature of a Shard (e.g. make Odium not evil)

    Can the Dawnshards be combined a la Ruin and Preservation?

    And on a scale of power who would win: someone welding a Shard of Adolnasium or a Dawnshard? Does it depend of the SoA?

    Nikli referred to Adonalsium as "it" and not "him" or "her". Was Adonalsium a being or a general force?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFOs all around!

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Zachrandir

    Does this mean that Rysn is immortal now? If so that's going to start causing some questions if she stops aging.

    Also, would Hoid be able to tell that Rysn bears a Dawnshard? Solely from having born one before? (Maybe he'd be able to sense it with Breaths or some other mystery Investiture.)

    I also want to see what would happen if you stabbed a Dawnshard (/Dawnshard bearing person) with Nightblood.

    Brandon Sanderson

    These kinds of questions are why I gave a preemptive RAFO. :)

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    TheHotze

    IRL there is a condition called aphantasia where someone doesn't have the ability to use their visual imagination. How would that affect Lightweaving, and possibly other forms of Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's actually something I've read up on, and something I find fascinating. Like face blindness, it asks some very interesting questions. It would affect Lightweaving, but not really handicap it. Just make it different.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    MrSafari

    Are the Sleepless a race that predates the Shattering? And with the Big A namedrop by Nikli, does that mean we'll see them in the future with any future Yolen content?

    Edit: Now I'm wondering if the Rosharan Sleepless are able to communicate to Sleepless on the other side of the Cosmere

    Brandon Sanderson

    Great questions!

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    tskyeguye

    From Rysn's observations in the epilogue, it seems like she has a lot of the same aspects of a Fifth Heightening/Returned at the least. Is this because her Dawnshard is particularly connected to Endowment or because the effects of a certain level of Investment result in similar effects?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The latter.

    Skrimyt

    Interesting. So are actively Surgebinding Radiants or metal-burning Allomancers just not Invested enough to gain those passive effects, or do they not experience perfect pitch/color/etc. because their Investiture is just not as tightly bound to their Spiritweb as Endowment's Breaths or a Dawnshard would be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Be aware that the two groups you mention don't generally hold much Investiture themselves, at least not in large quantities over time. More in Surgebinding. Almost none in Allomancy.

    But RAFO to specifics.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    LegoGunnar13

    And as a transgender woman, thank you so much. To see that little detail of the Reshi king transitioning using Stormlight made me so happy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to make sure I got the Reshi king another cameo at some point because it feels to me there would be a disproportionately large number of trans people among the Knights Radiant, considering the journey of self-discovery they go on in their lives.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Cosmeregirl

    Do you think the Worldsingers will eventually get some time? That's who I'm most curious about. It's just so cool to see new parts of the world/cosmere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Possibly. Someday, I hope to be able to do more with the connection between them and other groups with oddly similar names across the cosmere.

    skewh1989

    I always wondered if there was a connection between Worldsingers and Worldbringers. Can I take this as confirmation there is one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is a connection.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Q10fanatic

    So, the third ideal of the Windrunners. Is it about protecting those you hate or is it more broadly about going against your instincts/wants in order to protect others better?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For most people, it's going to go along the hatred lines--but it extends all the way to what you're implying. Mostly, I think of it as, "I'll get rid of my caveats about those I'll protect."

    You're likely to see the more extreme examples as I write out the oaths for others, particularly in-scene, as I don't want it to feel too repetitive. But you can assume that for most of the original members of Bridge Four (who are slowly hitting this ideal) that it had to do with agreeing to protect a group that they in some way dislike. (So long as it's right to do so, as defined by themselves and their spren, of course.)

    Gale_Emchild

    At or near the endgame of SA do you think you'd release a guide on the specifics of each orders oaths, so that the fans could personalise their own?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, if I haven't gotten to them all by then, I will release them all.

    Psydo5

    Will we find out Sigzil's or was it just a fleeting mention? If so, are we going to get a personal 3rd ideal story from every Bridge 4 member?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Afraid we won't have a chance to see each and every one of them.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Windrunner17

    It seemed like from the story there is a strong connection between the larkin and the ancient lanceryn. Would you be willing to answer whether these are the same species by two names or if there is some evolutionary step between them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was a tad vague on purpose, but you're looking at it the right way. It's KIND OF the same species.

    WrenElsewhere

    Like a pokemon evolution? Most Larkin are charmanders, Chiri-Chiri is a charmeleon, lanceryn are charizard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Have to RAFO it from here out. I'll get into it eventually, don't worry.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    LewsTherinTelescope

    In the Liar of Partinel samples, we see fain life is covered in skullmoss (and iirc seems to have it inside them, from a few mentions of eating fain-touched animals being deadly). If a fain being were to Ascend, would their body retain this skullmoss when they drop (I mean, Leras and Ati seemed to retain their clothes, so it wouldn't surprise me), or would it be killed off by the process?

    (Actually, I'm curious about this with microorganisms and such in general with Vessels, but the fain life is what made me think of it.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Imagine the body that drops after a Shard dies being the essence being recreated out of energy. It wasn't there all along--it was absorbed into the power, then drops back out as a kind of husk. But it's not literally the same atoms. There has been some strange E=MC2=Investiture shenanigans going on.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Interesting. Is this similar to transitioning in and out of the Cognitive through a Perpendicularity?

    And does this recreated thing include microorganisms (like the stomach bacteria or something), skullmoss, foot fungus, clothing, etc? Or just the minimum required to count as the body itself? (Leras and Ati tended to appear dressed, as well as Leras having his knife, but them choosing to appear in the Cognitive might not be the same thing as that body.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO it here. Good questions as always, though, LTT.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    ArgentSun

    Now, I can share the Dawnshard theory I am currently running with, and you can super RAFO it (while also providing a cryptic teasing hint that will frustrate for years?). But before that, thank you for this book. It's not quite Secret History level stuff, but it's fantastic in a very similar way, and I am genuinely happy, and giddy, and also not a small amount of confused :P

    But theory. So, I am thinking that the Dawnshards are Commands in the way "Let there be light" is a command, and the four of them are enough to explain everything. If one of them is Change (something into something else), then other plausible options might be Create (something from nothing), some form of Destroy (something into nothing), and... Stasis? Maintain? Remain? something like that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Super RAFO! Nice theory.

    trimeta

    Ooh, another "identity of the Dawnshards" theory, triggered by OP's "Let there be light" comment: I don't suppose the Dawnshards are in any way related to Maxwell's Equations (of which there are four), which govern electromagnetism? I used to have a t-shirt that said "And God said: <Maxwell's Equations>. And there was light," which is what got me thinking.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a big old RAFO, but mostly because I'm trying to stay tight lipped on the subject of Dawnshards.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    SamsonOption48

    They are not native to Roshar and yet they fit among the Rosharan cremlings so perfectly... So was Rosharan fauna based off of another planet? Or are the crab species on Roshar invasive and from wherever the Sleepless are from? Or are only Rosharan sSleepless made up of crabs because they melded with the local species? Or do living things in the Cosmere evolve into crabs alarmingly often just like in our universe and its a coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The ones on other planets will look less like cremlings. Realize that a swarm is always evolving. The first swarm's hordelings were more spider-like when it first came to Roshar.

    therealdavegreen

    The theme of generations is also a thing we see with the Kandra, who can also disguise themselves. Were the Kandra perhaps modeled after the Sleepless? Or is there any relation at all between the two?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No direct relationship here.

    Phantine

    Was Aimia originally terraformed to be more like their home ecosystem (just like how Shinovar is like the human home ecosystem)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO!

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    asmodeus

    Can you tell us a little bit more about what these things are? The book itself gives us a lot in very little, so it'd be nice to get some perspective on how you think about these. Not necessarily fishing for more information, just... clarity on what we just learned.

    Brandon Sanderson

    By "these things" do you mean the Dawnshards? In this case, I can't say more, I'm afraid. They're plot points in future books, and I maybe already explained more than I should have.

    asmodeus

    I was mostly wondering what happened in the cave. It's... it feels like the Command to change, to remake, was somehow imprinted or passed onto a mural, and then when Rysn looked at it, it passed back onto, and perhaps into her.

    Where I'm a little confused is... is the Command, the Dawnshard, "binding" to her as this thing outside of her, or is it becoming a part of her? Or are these two cases, depending on how you look at this, the same thing?

    Also, curious based on how the mural was described in terms of four fours, but is the number of Shards being 16 a function of how the four Dawnshards were used to Shatter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mostly RAFOs, here, I'm afraid.

    To those in-world, she now IS the Dawnshard. Whether that's what the community thinks is another story.

    Phantine

    Would that make Hoid a "Dawnsliver", or is there some other fancypants terms for it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on a variety of things, Phantine. But I'd be okay with that terminology. It's basically accurate.

    Gale_Emchild

    Does that mean that before she became the Dawnshard that the wall was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More the mural. But yes, that would be the implication. Note that it was not an ordinary mural.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    ArgentSun

    Can a single Sleepless swarm (say, Nikli, or Arclo) form 2+ humanoid bodies and essentially pretend to be two people at the same time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Possible, but difficult. Splitting their consciousness risks accidentally birthing another Sleepless, and splitting them into two people permanently. It's much easier if one of the bodies doesn't have to interact in an intelligent way.

    Mystonic

    Is this the only way for a Sleepless to create a new Sleepless? Splitting an existing one into two, where each of the two retain some personality/consciousness of the combined, but different enough to be two distinct individuals? Is the process extremely painful and hence prevents them from trying to create more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's all RAFO material indeed. I will get into it eventually.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    tvchurch2701

    Wait - there are Sleepless on other worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes indeed.

    Have you seen them? RAFO. (Note that non-Rosharan ones can't imitate humans.)

    m4gE321

    Would the non-Roshar ones have hordelings that look similar to the Rosharan ones, or would they have bred completely differently?

    Also, can the Sleepless communicate with the ones on other planets? Do they do so often?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would look completely different.

    RAFO on the second question.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    i_am_barry_badrinath

    Do you need to read it [Dawnshard]? Like, I went back and read Edgedancer, but it definitely wasn’t required to read the main books. Is this the same, or do you def need to read this to understand ROW?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I write something as a novella, I consider it non-required reading. It will expand, add context, and will usually give more backstory to a side character or two. Consider them extended interludes.

    blazingwhale

    Will it be coming to audible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, eventually--probably not for a year or so.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    LewsTherinTelescope

    I'm curious - they said there's 20 Sleepless working together in this group. Can you give a (possibly rough) estimate of how many Sleepless are on Roshar, in that one group or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nikli is the youngest (and the twenty-fourth) swarm on Roshar. Originally there was only one Swarm on Roshar. All the rest came from it.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Does that mean there are 3 rogue ones (the text mentions 20 still accept the authority of the First)? Or is the First counted in that 20 and there are 4 rogue?

    Edit: the "true traitors", plural, are mentioned. So are the Sleepless factions on Roshar the 21 serving the First, 2 "traitors", and Arclo rogue on his own?

    And why did Arclo tell Lift:

    “If you ever encounter another of the Sleepless, tell them you’ve spoken with Arclo. I’m certain it will gain you sympathy.”

    if he's rogue?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They like Arclo--he's not an "enemy." He just disagrees with them, but they don't hate him.

    That's also a pun on his part. In that they'll be sympathetic that the person had to deal with Arclo.

    I meant twenty including the first, though it's not clear the way I phrased it, is it?

    LewsTherinTelescope

    So this means 4 that do not obey the First? Are all 4 still alive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All four are still alive, and one is Arclo.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    How many of the "true traitors" mentioned are there? (I'm assuming that means traitorous Sleepless.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. Keep an eye out in Rhythm of War. (Actually, you don't have to keep too much an eye out. It's kind of obvious.)

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    Illuminatesfolly

    What is your favorite portrayal of Hive Minds in SciFi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My favorite group mind is from A Fire Upon the Deep, which will probably come as no surprise to people.

    Hive mind...to be honest, Unity from Rick and Morty was a really interesting take on the concept, and is the one that springs to mind right now. But I don't know where the internet is on Rick and Morty these days. First it was cool, then I think it became cool to hate? Still, I enjoy the way the show took some of standard science fiction concepts and give them a much-needed shake up.

    Aradanftw

    How about the Formics from Ender's Game, particularly the sequels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I enjoyed them just fine, though I never felt there was anything super distinctive about them. Just a well done hive mind.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Nanotyrann

    Kaladin's new occupation raised a discussion about the use of shardscalpels against tumors in Daniel's Discord, can you clarify what happens with a tumor when it is stabbed with a shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    With training, it could be made to cut out a tumor--but that wouldn't be the natural result.

    Cosmere surgery stuff is going to be...odd, at least on the magical side. How the person views themselves and the disease could influence things in interesting ways.

    Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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    ArgentSun

    If Rysn's Dawnshard is about Change or Remaking or something like, how do we refer to it? The Dawnshard of Change? The Change Dawnshard? I am asking purely from a semantic standpoint.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't honestly decided yet, Argent. I am playing with several themes for the Dawnshards even still.

    David-El

    It seemed from the way the mural was done in the book that you were implying that there are four Dawnshards, one for each four of the shards, considering the sun was split in four, then each quadrant was then further split into four more.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid. As I said somewhere else, this was written as it was deliberately--but also somewhat vague on purpose.