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    Manchester signing ()
    #3501 (not searchable) Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    A WARNING FROM BRANDON: This scene gives major spoilers for Words of Radiance. Please don’t continue unless you’ve finished that book. This is a very short sequence of Jasnah’s backstory I’ve been reading at signings. It’s not a polished draft. I often read very rough (and potentially continuity-error filled) sequences at signings as a special treat to people who attend. This scene is even rougher than most—first draft, and shouldn’t be taken as canon quite yet, as I haven’t firmed up or fixed all the terminology or Shadesmar interactions.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jasnah Kholin opened her eyes and gasped, fingers rigid, clawing at the obsidian ground. A knife in her chest! She could feel it grinding on her bones as it slipped between two ribs, glancing off her sternum. She spasmed, rolling into a ball, quivering.

    “Jasnah.”

    No. She could not lay prone. She fought to her knees, but then found herself raking her fingers across the ground, trembling, heaving breaths in and out. Moving—even breathing—was perversely difficult, not because of pain or incapacity, but because of the overwhelming sense of tension. It made her shake, made her made her want to run, fight, do anything she could to not die.

    She shouted, stumbling to her feet, and spun about, hand on her chest.

    Wet blood. Her blood. A dress cut with a single knife hole.

    “Jasnah.” A figure all in black. A landscape of obsidian ground reflecting a bizarre sky and a sun that did not change locations.

    She darted her head from side to side, taking in everything but registering very little of it.

    Storms. She could sense that knife again, sliding into her flesh. She felt that same helplessness, that same panic—emotions which had accompanied the knife’s fall. She remembered the darkness consuming her, her hearing fading, the end.

    She closed her eyes and shivered, trying to banish the memories. Yet the effort of trying to do so only seemed to solidify them.

    She knew that she would remember dying for as long as it took the darkness to claim her again.

    “You did well,” Ivory said. “Well, Jasnah.”

    “The knife,” she whispered, opening her eyes, angry at how her voice trembled, “the knife was unexpected.” She breathed in and out, trying to calm herself. That puffed out the last of her Stormlight, which she had drawn in at the last possible moment, then used like a lash to pull herself into this place. It had kept her alive, healed her.

    Ivory said that while a person held enough Stormlight, only a crushing blow to the head itself would kill. She’d believed him, but storms that hadn’t made it any easier to lay there before the knife. Who would have expected them to stab her? Shouldn’t they have assumed that a blow to the head would be enough to—

    Wait. Shallan!

    “We have to go back,” Jasnah said, spinning. “Ivory, where is the junction?”

    “It is not.”

    She was able to locate the ship with ease. In Shadesmar, land and sea were reversed, so she stood on solid ground—but in the Physical Realm, Shallan and the sailors would still be in their ship. They manifest here as lights, similar to candle flames, and Jasnah thought of them as the representation of the person’s soul—despite Ivory telling her that was an extreme simplification.

    They spotted the air around her, standing up on deck. That solitary flame would be Shallan herself. Many smaller lights darted beneath the ground—faintly visible through the obsidian. Fish and other sea life.

    Nerves still taut, Jasnah searched around for the junction: a faint warping of the air that marked the place of her passage into Shadesmar. She could use it return to the ship, to…

    One of the lights up above winked out.

    Jasnah froze. “They’re being executed. Ivory! The junction.”

    “A junction is not, Jasnah,” Ivory repeated. He stood with hands clasped behind his back, wearing a sharp—yet somehow alien—suit, all black. Here in Shadesmar, it was easier to distinguish the mother-of-pearl sheen to his skin, like the colors made by oil on water.

    “Not?” Jasnah said, trying to parse his meaning. She’d missed his explanation the first time. Despite their years together, his language constructions still baffled her on occasion. “But there’s always a junction…”

    “Only when a piece of you is there,” Ivory said. “Today, that is not. You are here, Jasnah. I am…sorry.”

    “You brought me all the way into Shadesmar,” she asked. “Now?

    He bowed his head.

    For years she’d been trying to get him to bring her into his world. Though she could peek into Shadesmar on her own—and even slip one foot in, so to speak—entering fully required Ivory’s help. How had it happened? The academic wanted to record her experiences and tease out the process, so that perhaps she could replicate it. She’d used Stormlight, hadn’t she? An outpouring of it, thrust into Shadesmar. A lash which had pulling her, like gravitation from a distant place, unseen…

    Memories of what happened mixed with the terror of those last minutes. She shoved both emotions and memories aside. How could she help the people on the ship? Jasnah stepped up to the light, hovering before her, lifting a hand to cup one. Shallan, she assumed, though she could not be certain. Ivory said that there wasn’t always a direct correlation between objects their manifestation in Shadesmar.

    She couldn’t touch the soul before her, not completely. Its natural power repelled her hand, as if she were trying to push two pieces of magnetized stone against one another.

    A sudden screech broke Shadesmar’s silence.

    Jasnah jumped, spinning. It sounded a trumping beast, only overlaid by the sounds of glass breaking. The terrible noise drove a shiver up her spine. It sounded like it had come from someplace nearby.

    Ivory gasped. He leaped forward, grabbing Jasnah by the arm. “We must go.”

    “What is that?” Jasnah asked.

    “Grinder,” Ivory said. “You call them painspren.”

    “Painspren are harmless.”

    “On your side, harmless. Here, harmmore. Very harmmore. Come.” He yanked on her arm.

    “Wait.”

    The ship’s crew would die because of her. Storms! She had not thought that the Ghostbloods would be so bold. But what to do? She felt like a child here, newborn. Years of study had told her so little. Could she do anything to those souls above her? She couldn’t even distinguish which were the assassins and which were the crew.

    The screech sounded again, coming closer. Jasnah looked up, growing tense. This place was so alien, with ridges and mountains of pure black obsidian, a landscape that was perpetually dim. Small beads of glass rolled about her feet—representations of inanimate objects in the physical realm.

    Perhaps…

    She fished among them, and these she could identify immediately by touch. Three plates from the galley, one bead each. A trunk holding clothing.

    Several of her books.

    Her hand hesitated. Oh storms, this was a disaster. Why hadn’t she prepared better? Her contingency plan in case of an assassination attempt had been to play dead, using faint amounts of stormlight from gems sewn into her hem to stay alive. But she’d foolishly expected assassins to appear in the night, strike her down, then flee. She’d not prepared for a mutiny, an assassination led by a member of the crew.

    They would murder everyone on board.

    “Jasnah!” Ivory said, sounding more desperate. “We must not be in this place! Emotions from the ship draw them!”

    She dropped the spheres representing her books and ran her fingers through the other spheres, seeking… there. Ropes—the bonds tying the sailors as they were executed. She found a group of them and seized the spheres.

    She drew in the last of her Stormlight, a few gemstones’ worth. So little.

    The landscape reacted immediately. Beads on the ground nearby shivered and rolled toward her, seeking the stormlight. The calls of the painspren intensified. It was even closer now. Ivory breathed in sharply, and high above, several long ribbons of smoke descended out of the clouds and began to circle about her.

    Stormlight was precious here. It was power, currency, even—perhaps—life. Without it, she’d be defenseless.

    “Can I use this Light to return?” she asked him.

    “Here?” He shook his head. “No. We must find a stable junction. Honor’s Perpendicularity, perhaps, though it is very distant. But Jasnah, the grinders will soon be!”

    Jasnah gripped the beads in her hand.

    “You,” she command, “will change.”

    “I am a rope,” one of them said. “I am—”

    You will change.

    The ropes shivered, transforming—one by one—into smoke in the physical realm.

    Words of Radiance Los Angeles signing ()
    #3502 (not searchable) Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    <Eelyell> was awakened by the whispering of the dead child who followed him.

    “Death and die. Death and die.” The girl’s words were often gibberish, though usually he could make out a few of them. Tonight, what she said felt eerie. It made the whispering in the darkness send a shiver up his spine.

    <Eelyell> sat up in his cot, realizing that he had fallen asleep in his uniform again, and looked across the darkened room, seeking out the child. There, she hid in the shadows beside the wooden bin that held his canes. Small, maybe four years old, she had long straight blonde hair that hung down by her face, ears peeking out like rocks in the sand.

    She met his eyes, “Death and die,” she whispered. It would be nice when that particular Echo passed.

    <Eelyell> rose, tugging at his crumpled jacket, still enough of a soldier to feel ashamed at its state. His father would have had <Eelyell>’s head if he’d seen such a uniform. Climbing from bed <Eelyell> took the cane beside it for support, then walked out onto the balcony. He put his back to the dead child; she was a figment, an Echo, or a side-effect from an Incubation he’d done a few years back. It was so long ago that he was losing hope that the Echo would ever fade. He might be stuck with this hallucination, for good.

    He stepped out onto the balcony, using the cane by habit though he was currently strong enough that he didn’t need it to walk. He was recovering from his Incubation two months back. The grind from that one had finally worn off. In fact he was probably too strong; he’d been getting too much sleep lately, he'd been eating too well. He needed to maintain a certain level of physical weakness so he could be open to Incubations, assuming he wanted to remain effective in his duties. And he did want to remain effective, for his own reasons, if not for the Corps themselves.

    Outside on the balcony, the sky burned. It smoldered high above, deep red lines, the color of a serpent’s tongue, glowing like rips in the air. The magma cast a warm red light across the city of <Suigmaat>. As always the air smelled faintly of smoke, though he only noticed it when he was first stepping out of the building into the open air. He knew logically that the burning place he saw above was actually the ground. He knew <Suigmaat> flew in the air, a city reversed, one of the few bastions of life left in the burning land. <Eelyell> was the one who was upside-down, as were all of the city’s inhabitants. It didn’t feel that way to him; he’d lived here too long. Upward was towards the burning ground and the land, downward was toward the sky and the sun. Things he never saw except on the rare occasion when he was called upon to visit the farms and orchards on the city’s sunward side.

    <Eelyell> stood for a time, holding to the cast-iron railing, staring up at swathes of burning ground high above. Molten rivers, a land destroyed. A warning flag, raised to them all. Omnipresent. Undeniable. The city itself slept beneath that scarlet glare, bathed in red. Sleeping.

    “Death and die,” The girl whispered from behind. She’d crawled out onto the balcony and now crouched there, looking up at the air.

    <Eelyell> glanced at her, “<Kareem’s> gaze, you’re a creepy one,” he whispered, “What must I do to be rid of you?”

    “Death and die,” she whispered

    He tapped his finger on the railing, then strode back into his quarters, splashed some water on his face, and checked the sword blade of his walking cane. Seconds later, he was out the door.

    The offices of the Corps did not look as a police station should. A police station was supposed to be a box-like thing, stable and functional, designed to indicate to all who visited that this was not a place where nonsense was permitted. Those ornamented columns, etched with the silver serpents of <Mokdeelor>, those golden doors, those soldiers with ridiculous feathered helms. Those were not the symbols of efficient law-keeping. They were quite the opposite.

    <Eelyell> walked up the steps and approached the guards, who were at least armed with functional halberds and two flintlock pistols at their belts. They saluted him by raising fists to their sides. As an Incubator, he outranked everyone in this building, except of course the ones who actually mattered. <Eelyell> felt a moment of lightheadedness at the top of the steps and was forced to stop, gripping the railing and leaning on his cane. So he wasn’t completely well. Good. Neither guard stepped to help him. Weakness was expected of Incubators, one of the marks of their station. And being near one of them at the wrong time could be dangerous. One need only look upward at the burning land to be reminded of how dangerous.

    With his head cleared, he continued up the steps, cane clicking, and passed the men without returning their salute. He stopped just inside the building, however, coming alert. Motion. Lesser watchmen calling to one another in a large room, aides carrying stacks of paper. Reddened eyes and yawns accompanied both groups. Many of these people had been called up unexpectedly, despite the early hour.

    “<Eelyell>?” A woman rushed up to him through the bustle. <Cual> wore the yellow and blue uniform of an Incubator, like his own but better fitting and far better kept. “You look like ash, man,” she said, “Are you still on a grind?”

    <Eelyell> looked back at the hall, noticing the motion of the bodies. Nobody was going into the weapons locker, though riot gear had been set out at the side. Large metal shields and larg swords cordoned in rubber from trees on the sunward side. They were getting ready for something, but he didn’t know what yet. A prophecy, he guessed.

    “I still can’t believe they called you up,” <Cual> said, “You deserve some relaxation after--”

    “I will visit <Patseepa>,” <Eelyell> striding, striding through the room, leaving <Cual> behind. He tried not to let himself be carried away in the chaos. The event that he'd been waiting for would come eventually, but this might not be it. <Patseepa> made prophesies with some frequency; that was why the Corps maintained her, and why she carried her terrible burden.

    It was difficult not to feel tense, however, in the room's frenzy. Nearby, a scribe turned and accidentally knocked over an hourglass, smashing it to the floor and spraying sand across it. He spared it a glance; sand always drew his attention. But he otherwise ignored it, focusing on a set of doors at the back of the room. This must have been an alarming prophecy indeed to cause such a fuss. The guards at these doors were even more flowery, with feathers on their shields after an old-fashioned style almost no one used any longer. The murals might depict men in simple wraps and women in nothing above the waist but necklaces. Those days had long ago passed, centuries before <Eelyell's> times. The <Moknee> people were as modern a one as he'd ever known. His own brownish-tan skin and dark hair blended in here well enough that he could have passed for <Moknee> himself, assuming he didn’t open his mouth. That was something he'd been better at when he'd been younger.

    These guards let him pass too, and no scribes or watchmen beset the hallway beyond. Only Incubators were allowed in here. Unfortunately, while they presented a more solemn group, it was no less unruly in its own right. Some two dozen of them clumped together at the other end of the darkened hallway, like a clot of hair clogging a drain. <Eelyell> strode forward, passing doors on either side set with glass. The small, well-lit rooms showed in the glass that they weren’t exactly cells, just like their occupants weren’t exactly prisoners. They just couldn’t leave. With the hallway dark and the rooms lit, each window glowed, like they looked into other worlds. Other worlds inhabited by the sick.

    It was hard to think of it that way anymore, after so long in this land. The people in those rooms weren't simply ill; they were Lay Incubators. Their job was to live in those little rooms, bearing their afflictions until they started to recover. Whereupon another individual could be brought in to catch their malady and take their place, ensuring the Incubation itself didn’t vanish. It was good money, assuming you didn’t mind the discomfort, which could range from the sniffles to deadly fevers, depending on the Incubation you agreed to receive. And of course there were... other benefits. In one room he passed, the occupant, a young man, hovered in the air reading a book; and in another, an elderly woman tapped on a cup, idly changing the color of its liquid inside with each tap. In <Suigmaat>, indeed upon on this entire land, every disease also granted a special capacity. That ability lasted as long as the ailment did. Many of these blessings were minor, while others were grand. Some few were very, very dangerous. And hence the existence of the Incubators themselves.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3504 Copy

    Questioner

    I've heard you say before that Mistborn was gonna be three trilogies?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It'll be three trilogies, yes.

    Questioner

    So the technology advances to faster-than-light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. The FTL is built into the magic systems, so there will be something where they figure out how to do that with the magic, and spaceships will be propelled using that.

    Questioner

    Expanding bubbles around the engines and around the ships?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll see. You will see.

    Questioner

    Someone on the site has a very convincing theory.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're missing a very big important piece of the puzzle that you won't get for a few more books.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3505 Copy

    Questioner

    Before you started on all of your books, did you already have an idea of how they all came together or was it a sort of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did by the time I was writing Mistborn. But the thing you have to know about my career is that I wrote thirteen novels before I sold one. So, in a lot of those early novels I had no idea what I was doing, that's how authors are. By the time I wrote Mistborn, which was book number fourteen--it was the second book published--but I really had an idea of what I was doing then. Elantris had to be retrofitted a bit to fit into it, because Elantris had been written when I was still figuring things out, but by Mistborn the whole thing was coming together and I had quite a good idea of what I wanted to do.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3506 Copy

    Questioner

    Would Dalinar or Kaladin like Kelsier?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I think they both would have their issues with Kelsier.

    Questioner

    'Cause he's more of a rogue.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would really depend on what situation they were in. But I think Dalinar would not approve of his methods. And I think Kaladin would empathize with him, but at the end would not approve either. To Kaladin he would probably represent the things that Kaladin kind of wishes he would do, but is too moral to do. And that would be a dangerous thing for Kaladin.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3507 Copy

    Questioner

    Hoid references a place [in The Traveler] where, there's a presumption in the question, presumably he thinks he might be able to restore something he's lost. As of Oathbringer has he visited that place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *hesitantly* Visited the place?

    Questioner

    Visited the pace he thought he could restore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I won't say a hundred percent if it's a place.

    Questioner

    Where did he hear about it from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hear about what? Give me the exact line, if you would.

    Questioner

    Yeah, I can look it up for you. "Besides, I've heard of a place... it doesn't matter, I don't care."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so he has visited that place he is referencing, but the place is not what he wants to restore.

    Questioner

    Thanks for the clarification. Who did he hear about it from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will RAFO that.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3508 Copy

    Questioner

    Dalinar Ascends, right? Like, right then, there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have RAFO'd that. Whether he is Ascending or not is a RAFO.

    Questioner

    Okay, because I know he kind of mentions from that, I don't know how to say his name but the older guy who has the Diagram--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Taravangian, yeah. Whether that deserves to be a capital "A" or not is a matter of argument. It can be disputed.

    Questioner

    I guess my main question would just be Dalinar's now able to pull Stormlight and give it to people now.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He definitely can. That is a Bondsmith power, so.

    Questioner

    That is a Bondsmith power, okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is specifically a Bondsmith power.

    Questioner

    Because my roommate was saying well, the Stormfather was surprised he could do that or was the Stormfather surprised that he was able to bridge--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was surprised by what was happening to Dalinar as a whole.

    Questioner

    Oh okay, that's what I thought because I was like, because I felt like the Stormlight, that power would be a Bondsmith power.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's say that the Stormfather and Odium were seeing something in Dalinar that, perhaps, the average person watching even who is knowledgeable about Surges would not completely understand... But he will be able to use that power and Bondsmiths in the past have used that same power.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3509 Copy

    Questioner

    So at the end of Sixth of the Dusk, there's those people that travel in space.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the Ones Above.

    Questioner

    Are those people from Silverlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not revealed where they're from, but they are from a place you have seen before.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3511 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Hoid like-- Would you say he's generally well known in Silverlight? Most people know who he is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Yes, I would say he is fairly well known in Silverlight. If you went to your average person in Silverlight and said, "Do you know this guy?" odds are they would know. There are some people who wouldn't, but odds are they would.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #3512 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering what the Alethi, what kind of music they listen to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're gonna like stuff that sounds stuffy and snooty to you. So, the kind of equivalent would be a soft string quartet in our world. Granted, it's a little different there, but that'll-- Not much percussion. There is a time where they like a nice battle hymn, or something like that, you could get some equivalent of brass.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #3515 Copy

    Questioner

    So you said earlier that color has a lot to do with things and in Warbreaker obviously color is like a big thing *inaudible*. Will that have a relation to anything else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will have relations to a lot of things, including the way The Way of King's magic plays out and works. 

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3516 Copy

    Questioner

    My question was about Hemalurgy. There was a disagreement on the last Shardcast. When spiking a Mistborn to charge a Hemalurgic spike, does it matter how the Mistborn is killed or is what power is stolen based only on the metal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So you want to place the spike in a specific place.

    Questioner

    In the donor. In the recipient, not the donor.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the recipient. And you want to use the specific metal and so basically if you aren't precise about how you spike, you risk taking the wrong thing within the same family. Some of those, that's not as big a deal, but for some it is kind of a big deal. And so you want to be very precise, you'll get something, but if you're not placing the spike in the right place and going into the right place, then you risk it.

    Questioner

    You risk stealing the wrong thing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Now if you're going off of somebody who's not a Mistborn, you can be a little more flexible, but you still have the danger that you're not going to end up stealing the power, you're going to steal something else. So, precision is advisable, how about that?

    Questioner

    Yeah. Because the question was kind of specifically about, like, we know that atium spikes can kill-- can steal pretty much any power.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You want to be super precise with your atium spike.

    Questioner

    So, part of the question was like, exactly, if you just killed a Mistborn, you stab a Mistborn in the heart with an atium spike, and you're not placing it immediately--

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you end up with? You are rolling the dice, let's say. Not as big a roll of the dice as you might think, but you still are. You might not get what you want.

    Questioner

    And then when you place the spike on the recipient, if you like tore that spike out again and put it in someone else, you're not going to be able to get more than one power out of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. No, and if you place the spike in the wrong place, then you're going to end up with interference and things like this where the spike might just not work the way you want it to. Taking a spike and putting it in the wrong place in someone is not going to make them have a different power, in other words.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #3517 Copy

    Personification

    Was there a similar things like the ten Highprinces were like-- What were the different roles that each Highprince could hold?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Highprinces were more like warlords fighting for and squabbling for land, they were not good at anything like that. So they were more like warlords.

    Personification

    But the Highprince roles though?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, the Highprince of? Yeah. They did have the official things like that and when it was working, way back in the day, you could probably align them-- I don't even know if you could align those to Radiants--

    Personification

    I wasn't saying the order of the Knights Radiant, I was saying just like, what role did they have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, they would be pretty official, but if you're going back in the day, to where it actually worked, then they would have distinct roles that they would fulfill, and they would kind of be like-- Imagine the cabinet of a country.

    Personification

    I was wondering if I could have some specifics on the names.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, I can't do that right now. I might be able to dig that out of the notes, but I've remained flexible on some of those things because I don't want to name them all, specifically.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3520 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspired Hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Hemalurgy was probably-- It's hard for me to say, because it's been fifteen years, but I think I started with the image of the Inquisitors with spikes through their eyes. At the same time I was trying to work up a third magic system to go in the trilogy so I could have one magic, two magic, three magic, and I wanted one that was super creepy and evil. And I built it around those two ideas.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3521 Copy

    Questioner

    I know you have Dragonsteel planned and Hoid will play a role in the cosmere, does it have like a behind-the-scenes Hoid story like Secret History?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is possible, but I don't have it on the list to do right now. 

    Questioner

    Just in your head maybe, someday.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. Secret History was like that too, I wasn't sure I was going to get it out. We will see.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3522 Copy

    Questioner

    So, any idea when we'll get the sequel to Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no exact promise. My goal right now is to get Stormlight 5 out, right, and then alternate Mistborn, Elantris, Mistborn, Elantris, Mistborn. Warbreaker will have to wait and see how that plays out. I do intend to get to it, but it's entirely possible that this won't be something I do until after Stormlight 6.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3523 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you always envision the way that Legion ended?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I did not. That is one I worked out-- I didn't have an ending in mind for Legion when I started. So when I sat down and said, "What ending am I going to write?" This is the one that evolved out of that, but that one was more-- I outlined the story, but it was more of a discovery written ending.

    Questioner

    It was fascinating. I loved it, but I was really surprised.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is perhaps one of the oddest things I've done.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3524 Copy

    Deana Whitney

    What would Rock's favorite vegetable be in a soup? Like the Earth equivalents?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh! Well, see, Rock is gonna base it based on the soup, because he's a chef. But if it's his perfect favorite, he's gonna want something crunchy, so he's gonna want like—

    Deana Whitney

    Well, I know he'll want the, the essentially the equivalent of crawdads.

    Aubree Pham

    She's trying to write a cosmere food article...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah. But there are-- like, if you can get like a... radish, that's going to crunch, he's probably going to look for that in a soup, because that's going to be closer to what he likes. Something that's got some variance in the texture.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3525 Copy

    coltonx9

    How are the floating cities in Ashyn held aloft?

    Brandon Sanderson

    By local magic... So basically, I can tell you how it works, because I'm not saving any secrets here.

    One of the diseases gives this power. The reason it's called The Silence Divine is right now, the way I've devised it, is this power also causes hearing loss. So you have this virus that does this weird thing, but also gives you the power. And so there's a conclave of them, a chorus of them that keep the cities aloft. And that's why the book, if or when I write it, I guess it can't be a virus in this case. Whatever disease they have, someone develops penicillin and can potentially cause the city to come crashing down. That was the premise for me, but that means it needs to be a bacteria, not a virus but it needs to be a bacteria that stays with you long, so I have to work out exactly how I would make these diseases work.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3526 Copy

    coltonx9

    How many kings have had a Wit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is common for a king to have a Wit.

    coltonx9

    Has Hoid been more than just Elhokar and Jasnah's Wit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has been. Most Wits, historically, were a little more fool-like, more court-jestery. Wit does not think highly of that. But there have been others in the past that were more like what he would think what a Wit should be.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3529 Copy

    coltonx9

    Are there types of Investiture that the larkin can't consume?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I would say that there are, but it's going to depend on the state they're in. Pure Investiture, a larkin is always going to probably be able to grab, but lots of people can get pure Investiture. Kinetic Investiture they're are gonna have a good chance at being able to grab, but they can't get everything.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3534 Copy

    Questioner

    Moash killed a god? One of the Heralds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He did. One of the Heralds. And trapped his soul so he couldn't be reborn.

    Questioner

    That's what it is. Trapped his soul, didn't actually kill him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's killed him-- It was like, extra killed. The Heralds are bound to a cycle of rebirth that happens-- that they wanted to make sure didn't happen that time.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3535 Copy

    Questioner

    I have a question about the epilogue in The Way of Kings. You have Wit give this interesting, kind of philosophical-- sermon-thing on novelty. I wonder, what do you think about what he's saying, do you--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Usually those little things that Wit will do, he does one at the end of each book, are things I've thought about. I don't always one hundred percent agree with Wit. He tends to hyperbolize in order to make a point, but I do think it's really interesting that novelty is so important to us. Even if you did something independently, but come up with it after someone else, then it's not considered as great an art, right? Which is really, really, really interesting if you think about it. And I love that idea, and I like talking about that sort of thing, so these-- All of Wit's little monologues--there's one, like I've said, at the end of each book--is something I think about, but he goes off in his own direction sometimes.

    Questioner

    I've used that little monologue in some philosophy class that I've in, such as philosophy of art.  

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did take a-- I took a lot of philosophy classes, if you can't tell, during my undergraduate years. I was quite fond of philosophy. Though the philosophers were all really needed to learn how to write. Man, those guys just, I mean, paragraphs like this that don't really even say anything. I love the ideas, but man, they could use editors. But, yeah, I enjoyed my philosophy classes, and I really liked philosophy of art in particular, it's very interesting to me. The whole Oscar Wilde's intro to Dorian Gray is my favorite speech on art, that all art is, by necessity, useless. Stuff like that really, really gets me going.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3537 Copy

    Questioner

    You always come up with new ideas for books, when you have so many to write as is, that you've recently started to go from saying things like, "Whenever I get to this book," like the Threnody novel, to, "If I ever get to it." Would you ever let another author write for Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is possible. Isaac [Stewart], my art director and long friend for, you know, fifteen years, who's been collaborating on the visual style of Mistborn, really wants to write a Mistborn novel set on one of the Southern Continent places off by itself and I'm intrigued by this idea, 'cause he's somebody I've worked with for so long. So we might see how that happens. So far I haven't been willing to collaborate on any Cosmere stuff, but it's p-- I could see it happening.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3538 Copy

    Questioner

    In White Sand 2, you changed the artist. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that was-- we didn't want to do that, I actually hate doing that, but it was with-- keeping-- meeting deadlines and things we were having trouble with the old artist, and so we just needed to make the switch so that we could get the books out. And that's the thing I like the least about the comics industry, artists changing, it's really-- yeah. But it is something that had to happen, so we made the call. We do intend that the sec- now this artist will do the book three, so we shouldn't change again, but, yeah.

    With the Dark One comic, which we're working on right now, one of the things I've said up front is we need an artist to make sure that we don't ever change, because I really don't like doing that, I like the same visual style. 

    Questioner

    Yeah, it's like an actor doing this huge thing--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, and then you get a new actor, it's like-- who?

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3539 Copy

    Questioner

    I've seen a lot of forum posts about the mistcloaks themselves. What is the standard wear underneath those? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there isn't a lot of standardization, because Mistborn are rare and each Mistborn commissions their own cloak. Most of the time, I think you're going to find that they would wear a buttoning shirt with short sleeves. Probably something dark would be my guess, probably a dark gray. But it just really depends on the person.

    Questioner

    Okay. I was thinking about working up a Mistborn cosplay--

    Brandon Sanderson

    My theme for clothing other than miscloaks was a look a little of-- Dickensian London was my inspiration, so.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3540 Copy

    Questioner

    When Jasnah says she should've opened a pit, does she mean a chasm or a kind of Androl, Wheel of Time, kind of thing? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Androl, Wheel of Time, what do you mean by that?

    Questioner

    When he opens a gateway? What does she mean by pit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. *evil smirk* I'll RAFO that right now.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3541 Copy

    Questioner

    If you used Hemalurgy to steal Allomancy, Harmony gets some kind of insight into the person that was spiked? He can talk to them? And with enough spikes hear their thoughts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. Yes. With enough spikes, take them over.

    Questioner

    So if you use a spike to say, steal Breath, would Endowment?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO that for now. Good question though, I haven't been asked that yet. 

    Questioner

    If you stole Breath, would Harmony still keep the same effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's why I'm going to give a RAFO.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3542 Copy

    Questioner

    What was the thought process behind Shinovar being so similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A couple of reasons. One is, by having some sort of Earth analogue on-world, I could give some contrast, and I could have a kind of an explanation for why they might use words like chickens and things until I can get to the big reveal. Like, if there weren't Shinovar there to act as a red herring, I think it would give away the twist very early.

    Beyond that, I like the idea of the people that are like us being the alien ones to the society. Kind of helps separate it and make it this is a different world, this is a different culture. So, it gave me a lot of advantages. Plus it also gave an explanation for how they could-- humankind create a foothold on this planet after coming across. So, lots of different thought processes behind that.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3543 Copy

    Questioner

    Is it possible for a Returned with sufficient knowledge, to sacrifice themselves to mend the Oathpact?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not without work. It just wouldn't work naturally that way. So no, I mean technically any Investiture-- with that amount of Investiture, there's like, a chance they could do something like you want to do. But I'm going to say, kind of, would be no...

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3546 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you explain how the Well of Ascension worked? How it actually held him and why releasing the power released Ruin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is the sort of thing that I can't explain in a brief amount of time, but hit me with an email, all right? Say that I promised to answer this, keep pushing me and eventually we'll get an answer written out for that one.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3547 Copy

    Questioner

    So, who's your favorite Planeswalker or like-- color of mana to play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Can I say my own Planeswalker? 

    Questioner

    That's because you did write--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did! If you throw my Davriel out, because obviously I'm gonna pick my own, let's see, who is my favorite? Ashiok is probably my favorite, just because they have such an interesting look to them and I like the powerset, that's the way I like to play, and there's so much mystery about Ashiok, so Ashiok. If we're talking about one that's actually had a story written about them, I really love how they handled Urza, just because you'd expect Urza to be very Gandalf-y and wise, and he was kind of, you know, that black side to Urza was really cool to me. And so-- yeah, there you go.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3548 Copy

    Questioner

    In the reading that you did, the Nahel bond, has it changed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So, spren were added, and things like that. What [Taln?] had would still be called a Nahel bond. A Nahel bond in the original definition means bond to divinity, but that's come to encompass a lot more in the cosmere, any time you're bonding with-- the bond between a soul and Investiture. But in the original version, it was more only with a Shard of Adonalsium or something like that.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #3550 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanted to ask have you ever considered making any of your books into an animated series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would! If the right people approached me, I would certainly not turn that away. I think there are more people wanting to get series made than there are people making good ones, but I would jump on it if the right people came along.