If a thieving crew had an Aviar of the breed of Kokerlii, would that be able to function as a Smoker?
If a thieving crew had an Aviar of the breed of Kokerlii, would that be able to function as a Smoker?
If a Listener were on Scadrial, would they be able to hear Allomantic pulses, like a Seeker?
If you were to Feruchemically drain your Identity, would you just be able to be soulstamped by any-- Would any soulstamp work on you?
Not the way I have it now. Because-- You're getting into stuff that I really would like to have my notes next to me for. So don't take this as too gospel. But the way I have this worked out right now, is if you drain your Identity, you still can't use Feruchemical metalminds that themselves have not been drained of Identity, right?
So, any old stamp still is going to be keyed to someone's past and Identity. So my instincts say no that would not work, but I have not worked out that specific interaction in the notes.
So, Miles Hundredlives. If you were to spike his Allomantic gold out of him, would that change his Identity such that he could no longer access his metalminds?
That would not necessarily change his Identity, but it would change his Investiture. So if you took off the piece of his soul that could do Allomancy, and then gave him his metalminds. Well, no... No, this is more complicated than I was assuming. So you're saying if someone took away his ability to do Allomancy, could he still access his Feruchemy metalminds. Yes he could. He could still do that. That should work just fine.
Do the metalminds kind of have a pointer to his Identity, they don't have a copy of his Identity that they're keyed to?
Yeah... he is still him unless you spike him and do something with the Identity specifically.
So you could potentially steal his Identity.
That strays into RAFO territory, so we'll go ahead and give you a RAFO card. But simply taking it away would not change his Identity to the point that it would prevent-- Good question. Very detailed.
The screenplay that we got with DMG came in at like 250 pages.
Yeah, but that's like a four hour movie, not really viable.
I'm good with four hours.
Nobody wants to make a four hour movie.
Yeah, that's why we're looking more at television.
Is that a possibility, of just doing shows instead?
Yeah, it's a distinct possibility. It really depends on what offers come and what DMG puts together, and stuff like that. But it is something that we have always been open to and they have always been pursuing. They just wanted to see, what does a screenplay look like? Turns out, it's a four hour screenplay.
Why do spren appear on Roshar and nowhere else?
They do, but they're in different shapes. Seons are the same thing that spren are, for instance. So there are places where you will see them, it just is going to depend on how the worldbuilding is built and how the magic is channeled and things like that.
In terms of discussing Identity, I know that in Emperor's Soul, they talk about Identity, and the Parshendi talk about losing their Identity, and then I was just rereading Bands of Mourning, and one of the kandra talks about how the spikes are their Identity. Are all of those things connected somehow or are they different forms of Identity?
They are connected, although the Parshendi losing their identity is a little more metaphorical. But yeah, the idea of these things-- Identity is an innate attribute in the cosmere that is related to your soul, your spirit, and it is one of the things that Hemalurgy can fiddle with and Feruchemy can fiddle with. It's kind of important to how the [Metallic] Arts play out, but it's important to all the magics...
Identity is involved in why you can't use another person's metalminds, right, that kind of thing. And those are all related. The Parshendi is more metaphorical.
I wondered because it's always capitalized, in the book.
Yep, and it's done intentionally. Peter always asks, "Are you sure this one is capitalized?" "Yeah."
Are there any Hemalurgic bind points in the mouth or digestive tract?
Eh. *laughs* Why do you want to know this?
...We're trying to make sure we're doing it right.
The Hemalurgic table will be released later this year. I have not planned any bind points inside the mouth. But the Hemalurgic table that we will release will comprise the knowledge of the people in-world at a specific point, and it's entirely possible that new bind points could be discovered.
At what point will they be known? Like, when, in-world?
When will we know what's smaller than a quark and how gravity interacts with subatomic particles?
No, I mean what time in-world, like what knowledge era, for the chart.
Oh, okay, I get what you are saying. I was answering the wrong question. What technology era. I believe we are setting the table-- Wax and Wayne era, is what I told Isaac. But it's weird because it's going in the third Mistborn [leatherbound]. But I think our intent is it's what they know by that era.
So it's what Spook found out?
Yes, basically it's what Spook found out. But you can't count that quite as canon until it comes out, because Isaac's going to be in charge of setting that date.
You know Felt?
Felt, I know Felt.
Is Felt originally Scadrian?
Yep... You guys know about that, right? I don't think that's a big secret. But, he is, and that should be raising other questions.
About his name? Or how he's showing up on Roshar?
About that and the fact that-- He should stand out more.
In the cosmere, sixteen is obviously a very important number, or very significant, but on Roshar everything comes in groups of ten. Is that a cultural construction or is that really how things are being grouped on that planet?
It is both. It is a cultural construction that came from slight cosmere events that are not super, super, super important. Like, there's a reason we think in base ten, right? Is it important to the universe? Meh? Right... And it's maybe a little more on Roshar, but at the same time it's like**
There are ten orders of Surgebinders. Did they order them that way? Or are there actually sixteen different--
Well, it kind of goes back to there were ten [Heralds] with ten sets of power given by Honor, and Honor is an individual, right, so does that make sense? You cannot separate, in a lot of places in the cosmere, the perspectives of the sapient beings who are interfering with what's going on. Even going back to the number sixteen.
Why did you choose the political system in Elantris, just based on an economic system, I thought that was fascinating.
I wanted to explore, this was just an idea for a story I had: what if an MLM were in charge of a monarchy? And it obviously didn't go straight that direction, but that was my pitch to myself. I feel like sometimes fantasy books just take everything as assumed. And you end up with these-- And sometimes it's okay, right? But in every book I write, I'm like, let's look and see if there's something different, not taking all of our assumptions for granted. And with Elantris it was that--MLM runs a monarchy, go. And that's where my worldbuilding went. You can probably blame Dune a bit for this, because Dune's worldbuilding and economy are so wrapped up together that ever since I read that,almost everything I've built has had an economic component to the worldbuilding.
Do you have any book recommendations that are about the same level of "prudishness" as your own? For reference, Dresden and Lightbringer were a bit too much... You and McClellan are perfect.
Prudishness like me. Robin Hobb tends to be right in that same realm. I haven't read all of Robin's work, but everything of I've read fits within that level of prudishness. Have you tried Robin?
...You probably want more epic fantasy or sci-fi. *thinks* Not Guy [Gavriel Kay], and not Nora [Jemisin]. I really like Jane Yolen's short story collection from last year. Well, it didn't cross any lines for me but it might for you. It's possible. I would put it further than I go. Hmmm. Peter Orullian... I'll be honest with you, the first book was weak, I thought the second book was good. I thought his short fiction was really strong...
I mean there's a ton in YA, like Charlie Holmberg but that's very different (she's one of my students, she's very good). I should come up with a list. I mean, Terry Brooks is always safe, but everyone knows Terry. Have you read Pratchett?
I read the Color of Magic.
Okay, Color of Magic is terrible... Go read The Truth. It's not terrible, but Color of Magic is his weakest book by far. The Truth is great, Going Postal is great, those are my two favorites. If you don't like either of those then Pratchett is not for you. And they're both standalones.
In [Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell], when silver turns to dust, is that a Spiritual transformation or a chemical reaction?
Both, as I have it right now. That one's not canon, but I say not canon because I haven't written it into the books yet and I still have another book to write, there. But I would say both right now.
Can you tell me about the mechanics of Nightblood's revulsion vs. compulsion magic?
What do you want to know?
Is it like Rioting? Like in--
Yes, Rioting is a good parallel to that.
Is agency being taken away?
I wouldn't say agency is taken away but it depends on how you view Rioting, right? If you are enhancing someone's emotions-- Here is the question for you. If someone is feeling depressed, is their agency being taken away? And this is a question that our society has a really bad answer to, right? So if you are being Rioted, strict-line I would say no, your agency isn't being taken away, but you are certainly under the influence of another force which is taking certain emotions you might have and emphasizing them a great deal.
So is it the same kind of push that makes a virtuous person want to vomit?
Virtuous might be the wrong way to put it. But yes, that sort of thing is related. It's related to Nightblood and it's related to how he was created and all of those sorts of things.
How does an object in the Cognitive Realm view itself if there are competing viewpoints of it? Like if two kids view a toy as their toy, how does the toy view itself?
There is going to be often, things are going to be in a position of change. And usually it will have one thing. You will say, "What am I?" "I'm Brandon's toy." Then a little later it might be you say "What are you?" "Well, I'm Brandon and Joel's toy." And then at some point it might just become "Joel's toy." There's-- It's kind of the "When does a pile become a heap?" and that sort of philosophical question. At what point do you transition between one and the other? It happens, but it's fuzzy and it's vague. And it also influences what you can do to it and how to change it and things like that. Like a rock viewing itself as a rock changing into sand, there's some fluidity there.
So far there hasn't been a lot of the Stonewards in the books. Are they going to come forward in the next few?
...Yes. One of the reasons I built the structure of The Stormlight Archive the way that I did is because I knew it would be easy to overwhelm with the number of magical abilities, and to let myself get distracted by some of them and not do them justice. So I've been very careful, perhaps more careful than I need to be, and when I show like a Fused using a power, I focus more on the ones you know about and things like this, intentionally to keep the reader's attention on what they know as I expand.
Can they shape stone? In one of the flashbacks they kind of melt it and it becomes sand.
Basically, my original pitch to myself on Stonewards, one of their main powers--I mean, everybody has two--but this power you're talking about was the ability to grab matter and just kind of-- like what if the whole world were clay to you. Not just stone, not just rock, but if you could just pick something up and stretch it, whatever it was, that was my original pitch for that order.
So architects or combat engineers fill that order?
Yeah, stuff like that, but also, just kind of like you need to get out of a room? Well, let's mash ourselves a doorway here and step through, or just all kinds of stuff.
Can they do that to living flesh?
No. That's the general, the more Invested something is the more it resists, and Stoneward powers are highly resisted by things... Even a small amount of extra Investiture is gonna prevent them. Like if you stuck Stormlight in [an object], say a Windrunner did, a Stoneward wouldn't be able to change that.
Can you transfer consciousness via Hemalurgy? Like could you spike someone's ability to--
I'll RAFO that for now. It's a good question.
If all the Elantrians combined their efforts and made a massive Aon, an Aon Daa, would it be like a Death Star?
*laughs* To do Death Star? This would be a lot of Investiture and a lot of work. This is theoretically possible.
There's... a foreman named Trell. Is it cosmere significant or is it just someone--
Shardplate, I know that you need to put Stormlight into it to regenerate it from a piece. Why can enemies not do that? Is it a thing that only the owner can do?
We haven't dug into this in the books, but if you've got a piece... If you've got pieces you can regenerate it, and if multiple people are trying to regenerate different pieces there is kind of a sort of tug-of-war that goes on there. And certain things are involved in whoever ends up regenerating it. One thing is how much of it you have, but another is how much Stormlight, and things like this. It is possible to steal a piece of someone's Shardplate and start a little war over it that way.
Kaladin comes to make a Shardspear and everything, but why were all the Blades left behind by the Radiants, Blades?
RAFO. That's a good question.
Was the painting the same painting in Warbreaker?
Because apparently it matters that it is or isn't
When you say Ire, what do you mean?
I mean the word for "ancient" in Aonic.
Okay, because we've only ever heard it referred to in the one little thing in Secret History so hearing you refer to the lighthouse as the Ire was...
I don't know if he actually be-- Yeah.
Who here was in the beta for [Oathbringer]? ...They had a lot of affect on part four in particular
Part four, so I had this weird thing... So I had this thing in Oathbringer where the plot archetype was Kaladin feeling like he needed to get to Dalinar, followed by him failing to do so. Which was a really important thing for Kaladin, but the original time where he discovered he needed to get to Dalinar was when he met the Ire and it was in the city--Celebrant. And in the beta that's where it was.
And so what it felt like is, everybody on the ship is like, "Oh we need to get to the perpendicularity in the Horneater Peaks." And then, I just took them down south instead. So I'm like, "Oh I need to get them there." And all the readers were like, "This feels like a digression, it feels boring. Why are we not going-- why are we going the wrong direction?"
It was just one of these promises thing where I had promised--set the expectation. So moving the Ire to the lighthouse meant that Kaladin was a contrast to the other people. And you were like, "Oh yes, Kaladin" When a character in the fantasy novel has a strange vision of the future, that means something! So we will be okay with following Kaladin down south.
The Fused that wield, like--their Lashings can be a lot faster than Kaladin's are. Is it because it's based on a different planet than the Radiants?
Kaladin can go faster, but they are more-- they are faster over a large span. What's going on with the Fused is they have-- The way their Investiture works, it doesn't leak and they are able to use it for much longer periods of time. But they don't have access to the number of times that Kaladin can Lash himself directions and things like this, and the speed with which he can pick up speed. So in the short Kaladin is favored, in the long they're favored.
In the first book, Kenton, after all his friends and family and everybody is wiped out and he becomes the new ruler... suddenly he becomes more powerful. Something happens, and I missed what the change was. Somehow, something changed in him and he suddenly is more proficient?
He has more skill. His whole character arc is "do more with less," right? He is about taking what he has and doing the best he possibly can with it. I would not say that he--
Suddenly gains more skill?
Yeah, I wouldn't say that. I would say that he is progressing, he is learning, and by being forced to do heavy lifting-- Like, I would say the biggest two places I grew in writing skill was writing my first book, and then when I had to take over the Wheel of Time, because suddenly everything was beyond my skill and I had to rise to the occasion.
Warbreaker, you were talking about a sequel. Is that for sure?
It is a for sure thing. It's not a direct sequel, meaning some of the characters will be in it, other ones won't. I need to get Nightblood into a certain place.
I wondered how involved you are with the board games.
The board games I usually leave more to my assistants because I don't play board games. The RPG I was, like, all over, right? Reading all the drafts and things like that. But I play Magic, I don't play board games. But my agent loves them and Kara loves them, and so basically when board game stuff happens I say to them, "You guys need to determine if this are any good, because I have no idea."
Do Honorblades bestow their abilities similar to an Identity-free nicrosilmind with other Metalborn abilities?
Yeah, these are working on similar principles. Same principle, divergent applications by the magic system, but yeah, I would say, they come back to the same principles.
If a Knight Radiant were to store Connection and Identity into the appropriate metalminds on a heavy basis, would it affect their spren bond, and how?
Oh, right. Yes, but I won't answer the how, but it definitely has an effect.
Could we hear the name of Cultivation's holder.
The Vessel of Cultivation? No, I'm going to RAFO that for now.
I think there's a flaw in my understanding of Cognitive Shadows. I assume that... they would have more visibility into the Cognitive Realm, like a Herald would be able to see spren more easily, that kind of thing. Is that incorrect?
That is incorrect. A Cognitive Shadow simply means a copy of the Cognitive side made by a deep amount of Investiture. And everybody has a Cognitive side. Basically it's a fake soul. Or, fake is the wrong term. Fake is the wrong term. Even in-world they don't know if it's really them or not. It is Investiture has replaced the Investiture that is fleeing from them as they die, or enhancing it in some way to keep it around. So some Cognitive Shadows trapped on the Cognitive Realm are going to be-- have a lot of Cognitive-- I mean, they're there, right? But some Cognitive Shadows inhabiting a body in the same way that your mind inhabits your body, the way the cosmere works... So a Herald is going to feel like they are alive just like-- but their soul has been somehow transformed. It's not really transformed, it's been reproduced or copied by an injection of Investiture...
And I'll say for the purpose of the recordings, I haven't canonized any of that terminology that I just used about Cognitive Shadows. I'm just talking about it, I'm not necessarily saying that this is how you are supposed to refer to it. You can refer to it however you want. I've often used the metaphor of how fossils get made. When a fossil is made there is a pattern and it is slowly replaced with another substance that is stronger and more endurant, and has the shape of it, but is it still the bone? When you have a fossil bone is it the dinosaur bone? In most cases no, but yes. It's the ship of Theseus sort of thing again. Is this the bone or is it not? Is this the soul? Is this the person or is it not? That's the same sort of thing is happening with Cognitive Shadows. And it's happening on all three Realms to an extent, though of course the body is not. The body stays. It's happening on two Realms. It's happening Spiritually, mostly Cognitively.
All of these steel plates in the caverns, before chromium was well known, how did they not get rusted?
I actually thought about this. I kind of imagine some of them rusted, but at the same time I've read about-- What was my answer to this? I have an answer. I can't remember what my answer is, so I'm going to RAFO that. Send it to me and I'll try to look it up. I had an answer to this. They were... using some sort of thing to keep it from rusting.
So there were people in the Steel Ministry keeping it clean?
I don't think that was my answer. I thought that I had them plating it somehow, but I'm not sure. I mean we're talking ten years ago now when I wrote this. I think I had them plating it somehow, because I needed them to last longer. You can just write that one as a RAFO, but it's a RAFO that Brandon can't remember. It happens sometimes. It's one of those things Peter asked me when we were working on the books and I'm like, "Oh, we'd better have an answer for this," but now I don't remember what it is.
It seems that taking something metal that is Invested and melting it down, and reforging it, does not destroy the Investiture in it. For example the spike that got turned into a bullet.
Well, and the-- yeah. There are other examples as well.
If that doesn't ruin its Invested nature, what would happen if Wax were to take one of his ironminds, have that melted and alloyed into steel, and then tried to burn it?
So you are saying mixing in-- right. Um, this would probably not work. But I'd have to go to the document on this one, because I've theorized in it. So I'm going to say probably won't work, but I have to go to my document, so Notes And Find Out. As soon as we get into the really detailed-- One of the things I want, even when I was building the Mistborn magics, is I wanted it to get really complicated. Because, my philosophy was making a wheel is easy to understand what's going on. Making a car uses all the same physics and simple tools, but is infinitely--well, you know, not infinitely--hugely more complex. Making a spaceship goes beyond that. And I wanted when we dug into all the actual mechanics it all works, but it's like the difference between making an abacus and making a computer. And we're starting to stray-- not into computer-making realms, but starting tjo stray into combustion-making realms, and so these are the sort of things that I just can't talk about off the cuff as easily. Because I have this document and I'm like "this, this, this, this." Does that makes sense?
So I'm going to say that probably wouldn't work. I believe what is going to happen there is you're probably going to end up with one of these things where you see a reservoir there but you can't access it that happens quite a bit when things get muddled once you mix in other metals and things like that. But I can't give you 100% on that without the notes to double check myself.
If Harmony could make it so that koloss can reproduce, why is it he did not do the same thing for the kandra?
*long pause* I'm not sure how to answer this without straying in directions I don't want to go. It was a conscious choice, I'll tell you that.
After another thousand years will the Well of Ascension to fill up again, or did Harmony do away with that?
One would not expect the Well of Ascension to fill again. People in-world assume it will not, and they have legitimate reasons to think that.
What was your hardest scene to write?
I'll have to pick it by book, right. Like actual, actual hardest. Have you finished Oathbringer? Hardest scene in Oathbringer to get right was actually the scene where Kaladin met with the guy in the lighthouse, that involves the foreshadowing of where he needs to go and stuff like that. No, actually that's not it. The first chapter. The Dalinar scene where he is in the vision and he jumps off and he goes and inspects the rubble and things, I did four versions of that chapter that were completely different, that weren't in the vision. That one was actually really hard. Finding out where to start this book so that it felt like it had it's own soul, but it wasn't, you know--
I know there is nothing set in stone and there is a long path of compromises before the game becomes available. Is there any "teaser" you could share with our readers?
This is something really small—not a big deal—but I am planning to work into this game the origin of Mistcloaks.
Will this game explore only the nobility of the Mistborn world or will it include some of the lower class elements? Are you going to bring in any aspects of the empire or the long planned revolution?
This story is taking place several hundred years after the Ascension of the Lord Ruler; 700 or 800 years before the events of the trilogy. I don't want to give any more spoilers than that, but there will be lots of things in the game dealing with lots of different aspects of the Mistborn world.
Do you intend to create a novel (or series) to go along with or to follow this game?
I'm not intending that right now. There's a chance we'll do a graphic novel, but I feel like this story that I'm building matches the game, and I want it to be for the game.
It is early in the development process, but I am sure you have some intentions as to what you want this game to be. If you could get everything you desire in this project, what type of game would it be? I assume you have played a few games yourself, would it be an RPG like Dragon Age or Two Worlds II, a graphical adventure like Monkey Island or Myst, or will it be more of an FPS like Bioshock?
We're definitely shooting for, on this game, Action RPG. A little less like Dragon Age in that it's a solo adventure with one person—certainly there are NPCs and things, but we're not talking about a party; we're talking about a Mistborn doing awesome stuff. That's what I wanted this game to be. There are so many different ways you could take a game like this; I would like to try different aspects.
One of my favorite games recently was Demon Souls, and its sequel Dark Souls. I like gameplay mechanics like that, for a game like this. But we have to mix it with something more like Infamous in its combat system; powers and things like that. A blend of those types of games is what I would be shooting for. Certainly with a stronger RPG element to it.
As an author, you can completely control all aspects of a story, the environment, and the characters in the story. When you move to a game realm, there will be many limitations and aspects you can't or won't control. How important is it to get "right" the following aspects of your fantasy realm? What do you plan to do to ensure they work?
a. The look and feel of the environment, which includes environmental sounds, and musicb. Character dialog and interactions, as well as NPC dialog and interactionsc. The storyline and sequences of eventsd. Other aspects very important to you
This is quite an in-depth question. Certainly the things you mentioned, that you can't control all aspects of the story, are a consideration. The bigger thing for me with a video game, that is different from my own work, is that a video game is a collaboration. A novel in most cases is a solo work, certainly with the help of talented editing staff and art direction and things like that—but at the end of the day, I can do the bulk of the work on the book myself. On a video game, I can't. Nor would I want to.
On a video game, you take a step toward films where you need to have people who you trust working on aspects of the game that you yourself can't do. Certainly the look and feel and all these things you're talking about—I can oversee them, and Little Orbit has been great; they're showing me concept art and things and saying, do you like this or do you like this? What feels more like Mistborn to you? But at the end of the day, I have to let them do their job, which is program a great game, and come up with an engaging and fun system.
I can have some input in it myself, such as the dialogue and story—I can step in and say hey, I know how to do this; let me do it. So I have done that for this game—I've stepped in and I'm writing the dialogue and the story myself, and I'm going to try to make it the best it can be to match Mistborn. From there I'm working with and trusting people whose job it is to make great games be great.
Why did you decide to try to create a game? Was it to satisfy a need of your own, that of your fans, or perhaps some other reason?
I'm a gamer, and I've been playing games since I spent my vacation money on a Nintendo instead of what I was supposed to spend it on.
Doing the job that I do now gives me some opportunities that I just didn't want to pass on; making a video game is one of them. I tried a couple of times earlier in my career to launch a Mistborn video game, to get a developer interested, and it just didn't go anywhere. I wasn't a big enough name yet. I eventually had to wait until the trilogy was done and had a good reputation, and then people started approaching us about making a video game out of it.
The reason to do it is just because I love video games. It's a bit of a self-indulgent reason, but let's just say that it's one of the perks of being an author with some success.
Author’s note: I have no issues with his “self indulgence”. Anyone who has read and enjoyed a great fantasy novel would most likely enjoy the chance to play in that world. As a successful author, Mr. Sanderson can bring fans into his world via a game. That is a terrific thing, especially if it is done right.
Have any Chasmfiends managed to mature? Or have they all been caught before they could finish?
You've already seen one. The enormous Chasmfiend that Dalinar fought was one that had successfully matured. You haven't seen what they start out as...
Is the fact that Shadesmar is more dangerous to travel to through Sel related to the battle between Odium and its Shards there?
It is indirectly related.
The fact that Odium has bested other Shards implies he is more powerful. Is Odium inherently a more powerful Shard or is it a matter of his nature?
Both factors play a role.
Have we met the recipient of "the letter"?
Some people have, you probably have not.
So Beta readers?
Is Harmony more powerful than other Shards?
More powerful or more potent?
Harmony is two shards in one.
Could he take Odium?
His two shards are at odds with one another.
(This was interesting to me, from his name being Harmony I had assumed Ruin and Preservation merged seamlessly. Brandon seems to be implying that while Sazed can utilize the power of both shards, he can't simply add them together)
Why did TLR have to spend time old?
He didn't have to. He allowed it to happen, it was a sign of his weariness.
So, I'm having a discussion with some people on discord and we were wondering, what color is a koloss's genitals?
I know Sazed gave them the ability to breed, and the discussion stemmed from Koloss-blooded people. If you can give me an answer, I'd be incredible grateful! If not, thanks for your time anyway. I know you're busy and silly questions don't exactly endear me to you.
I imagine they'd pull a Dr. Manhattan, and the genitalia would be blue. I'll admit, I haven't given it much thought, though.