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Interviews: Herald Washington Library Center-AU Tour

Summary:

Entries

76

Date

Dec 6th, 2016

Type

Paraphrased

Location

Chicago, IL

TourCon

Arcanum Unbounded

Bookstore

Herald Washington Library Center

Links

17th Shard

Transcript

  • 1

    Question

    I want to know how Hoid travels between worlds. Or, if you won’t tell me right now, will we ever find out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid has traveled between the worlds by getting in one Shardpool in Shadesmar and coming out a different one. So that is one method he has used to travel between the worlds. The worlds are connected through Shadesmar. Um, things that people don’t think about as much reflect very minorly in Shadesmar, so most of the space between planets is cut out, and there’s some weird, twisted geography going on there.

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  • 2

    Question

    So we know that you can’t just have someone--if someone were to do something similar to Hoid, he can’t just pop and go ‘oh look, I can now do Allomancy or now do Surgebinding’. What about Breath? Could somebody give Breath--could they still get the benefits--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, good question. Yes you can, actually. Breath, once it is given to you, it is being keyed to you--your Identity. So that transfer makes it yours to use however you want.

    Question

    So you could Awaken?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could Awaken. If you were to somehow make it there, you would be able to Awaken. It’s the easiest of magics to get the magic from, and then to manipulate. Because it has keyed into it Identity.

    Question

    [garbled]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you can take Breath onto another world. In fact, you’ve seen characters do this.

    Question

    [garbled]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it would work the same way. The only magic that is location-dependent-- the ones who aren’t interested in this, just hum to yourself, okay? You don’t need to know any of this stuff to enjoy the books, okay? I’ve [written] them so that each series can be read independently, and enjoyed. There is behind the scenes stuff, and if you want to dig, it goes pretty deep. So on Sel, we have AonDor. AonDor is based on the fact that the Dor, which is an amalgamation of Dominion and Devotion, has been pressed together and stuffed into the Cognitive Realm by Odium who didn’t want it to gain sentience, as Investiture will do if it is left alone. It will either seek someone to be its Vessel or it will gain sentience. He pressed it in there; he pressed it together, which creates the violent reaction, because those two Intents are opposed. And that is the foundation of the magic. Because it’s stuck in the Cognitive Realm rather than the Spiritual Realm (the Spiritual Realm is location-independent; Cognitive Realm is location-dependent), it makes the magic on Sel only work in close proximity to what is keyed through there to the location they’re keyed to. This has to do with Identity and Connection--mostly Connection. So that means you can’t do AonDor on another planet, but you can do other magics works anywhere, because they’re drawing the magics specifically through either the place, or they’re end-neutral, like Breath is, and don’t need any extra power.

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  • 3

    Question

    So if I’m a Surgebinder and I have my own Cognitive entity with me, can I go off-world with that and [have] everything continue to work in exactly the same way? Because we’ve seen Cognitive entities that--

    Brandon Sanderson

    So...taking a Cognitive entity off-world is hard. So, Surgebinding, if you can find out how to make it happen, remember, the Investiture is keyed to Connection. This is why Kelsier is--Oh, sorry, spoilers! When a certain somebody [laughter] getting off Scadrial, because he basically was a spren by that point so…[laughter] So, yeah Surgebinding would work off planet, but you’d have to get the spren off first. It’s hard to do. Well, Cosmere-wide it’s not hard hard...You could learn how.

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  • 4

    Question

    Does the Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith, no, good question. I see what you guys are getting at, who’s the third Bondsmith. So, uhh, this is a RAFO. I will eventually start talking about the third Bondsmith. I’m gonna RAFO all questions about it for a while though.

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  • 5

    Argent

    There’s a scene in Way of Kings, where Syl appears full-sized. It’s the only time she does that, why is that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was a very special moment. And there’s was some matters of connection going on, but in the Cognitive Realm, she’s full-sized, and so this is echoing that, so that when, if later on you were to see her, you’d be like ‘oh, she’s human sized’, that’s how she would appear.

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  • 6

    Question

    Did Taln’s Scar [star system] look the same before and after the Shattering of Adonalsium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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  • 7

    Question

    Did you come up with Prof’s powers prior to setting up the context to the story or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That one was prior. [Turns it into a general question]

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  • 8

    Question

    Any new Alcatraz books coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    [He will maybe write the 6th book sometime this year. The plan is Stormlight 3, Alcatraz 6, Rithmatist 2, Wax and Wayne 4, Stormlight 4.] On Apocalypse Guard: The pitch is: ‘What if you call like the Justice League for help, and they’re all gone, solving a bigger problem, so you’re left with the intern?”

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  • 9

    Argent

    When Kaladin speaks his oath, there’s always a very visual explosion of power, like a glyph.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That doesn’t necessarily happen with them all, and you’ll find out why.

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  • 10

    Argent

    The essays in Arcanum, how trustworthy are they?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They’re pretty trustworthy, as much as you would trust a scholar nowadays who’s an expert in their field. Do know that they take place before Sixth of the Dusk occurs. These are contemporary with most of the books right now, not contemporary with all the stories in there [Arcanum Unbounded].

    Argent

    Were they all written at the same time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, same time for a little thing she was doing about the worlds for people.

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  • 11

    Question

    Name a Shard, not Preservation, from the alternate Well of Ascension ending.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Answer in book, see thread on 17th Shard Forum

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  • 12

    Question

    Can Elsecallers move without perpendicularities on other worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they can.

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  • 13

    Question

    Are the Shards from Aether not canon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aether of Night is not intended to be canon anymore. The thing is, I’m trying to work it back into the Cosmere, so when it’s done there are going to be dramatic changes.

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  • 14

    Question

    Would Sebarial and Cett make good roommates?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They’d make a good comedy show.

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  • 15

    Question

    Does Hoid have any relations other than his friends?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Like direct blood relatives?

    Question

    Yeah

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay. In the book when I wrote it, he did not. Dragonsteel isn’t 100% canon anymore so that may change, but he did not, and there are none in my mind right now, so he’s an only child right now. It’s unlikely to change, but asterisk because I haven’t written Dragonsteel yet. Oh no, he had a little brother! Even in the original, he had a little brother.

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  • 16

    Question

    The hemalurgic constructs in Shadows of Self, are they as twisted as they are because something was spiked into them, or because something was spiked out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Something spiked in. RAFO on the spiked out part, but nobody knows how to spike something out of someone without killing them, so most likely just spiked in.

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  • 17

    Question

    Are there any greatshells in Roshar larger than the ones we’ve seen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Question

    So the Reshi Isles are the biggest?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, those are the biggest, and even with that I’m doing major fudging on the square-cube law. They’ve just spren-bonded, we’ll talk about this. Even with the spren, it’s a stretch. That’s as big as it gets. They could exist in the ocean because the square-cube law doesn’t apply the same way, with buoyancy and things. But I think we don’t need anything larger than islands.

    Question

    No Godzilla?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They’re bigger than some version of Godzilla.

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  • 18

    Question

    I’ve gotta ask, you talk about your writing process and there’s so much joy and motivation. How do you keep that going?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mostly, I love doing it. I’ve had to build good habits, cause otherwise we’ll all goof off. But I just love it.

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  • 19

    Question

    Who writes these perspectives? [Talking about the blurbs on the back of Stormlight books I assume?] (yeah presumably)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are the Sleepless, the Aimians.

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  • 20

    Question

    Not really sure what the question exactly is, but it relates to the chasm and breaking AonDor. Seems like the question was written in the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some are from before, some are from after. They are not all the same age.

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  • 21

    Question

    I noticed a very similar fire-starting tool in both Sixth of the Dusk and Forests of Hell [Shadows for Silence]. Two levers you push together and they spark.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did intend there to be a connection there but it is not a connection that is supposed to be super meaningful. Just that somebody figured something out, and Sixth of the Dusk is many years later. We have them in our world too. This technology has gotten around because the Ones Above have started visiting. I don’t think they’re of a technology level that they couldn’t have discovered it on their own, so it’s not supposed to be some big reveal.

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  • 22

    Question

    Is Nazh a cartographer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nazh knows more than the average person, but I wouldn’t call him a cartographer. I would describe him as a grumpy Cosmere James Bond, but not nearly as cool. Like, here’s the mission, get in, do this thing.

    Question

    My crazy theory is that Nazh is Isasik Shulin

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is not. Nazh is Isaac’s character, he designed him and came up with him. I said need somebody to be getting these, and the character is all him, doesn’t necessarily look like him. He wants to write some stories in the Cosmere; he might write about Nazh.

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  • 23

    Question

    What is the experience of Steelrunning? It doesn’t speed up your mind, so how do you control yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most forms of Allomancy give you a small boost to any attributes you would need in order to survive and manipulate it, just like atium. So you might have just enough to get some reactions and things, otherwise you just can’t do it. What I don’t have it doing is cancelling friction. I did that intentionally, so you can burn yourself up.

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  • 24

    Question

    If you’re willing to answer it, how did Bloody Tan pull off the move in the intro to Alloy of Law?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. I will actually answer that some day, or I’ll put it online. Bloody Tan had influences.

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  • 25

    Question

    Are we going to hear much about Dustbringers in the near future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it’s going to be very slight for a little while. I’m intentionally digging into these magics somewhat slowly, all the different orders, just we can get used to them. They’re one of the later ones. Let’s talk more about Bondsmiths and Skybreakers before we do that.

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  • 26

    Question

    If Kaladin and Dalinar were Magic cards, what color do you think they’d be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dalinar now is mono-White. He was mono-Red in his youth, inching toward Black-Red, but I would call him mono-Red. Kaladin I would call Blue-White because they like things that fly and that have to do with the wind. So he would get the elemental Blue and personality White. Maybe a tinge of Red, but I would make a Blue-White Kaladin.

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  • 27

    Question

    Can you tell us something about the magic on the Dark Side (presumably referring to Taldain)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not nearly as explosive and obvious as the magic on Dayside. Most of the Investiture you’ll find is on Dayside, but there is some stuff going on over there. (This went with a book personalization which has been posted somewhere else)

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  • 28

    Question

    Asks about the knife given to Kelsier by Nazh.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The knife is weird. That’s all I’ll say.

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  • 29

    Question

    Has Denth ever been to Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Scadrial is one of the planets that’s easier to get to, in Cosmere terms. I will say this: he did not travel the Cosmere widely. But Scadrial is one of the easier ones to get to - he spent a lot of time on Roshar, and did not travel widely.

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  • 30

    Question

    Will there be any more Silence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The world is very relevant to the Cosmere. I have several books planned there, I don’t know how many of them I’ll write. I will at least write one of them. Silence herself is not a character from the books, that story matched the world so I put it there. There will be other things from that world.

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  • 31

    Question

    Can you write something about Szeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He writes something, not sure what it is.

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  • 32

    Question

    In Secret History, Hoid says something to Kelsier about him destroying the Pits and destroying an entire mercantile system. Is he talking about literal inter-Realmic trade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Interplanetary trade, yes.

    Question

    Is House Venture involved?

    Brandon Sanderson

    House Venture is not involved. People in House Venture might be.

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  • 33

    Question

    When Hoid took the bead of Lerasium, did he actually eat it or did he just hang on to it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You have seen him use Allomancy in other books, so… that’s your answer.

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  • 34

    Question

    I’ve been fixating on this mass exodus. The Iriali, are they the people of the mass exodus? I’ve always wanted it to be the people of Threnody.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Iriali are not native to Roshar. There is stuff going on on Threnody too, it shares some similarities.

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  • 35

    Question

    The two Shards on Sel were kind of pressed into the Cognitive Realm. Is that what makes travel there so difficult?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Because you usually travel through the Cognitive Realm, but that’s not exactly what you want to be doing on Sel.

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  • 36

    Question

    Are there any books of yours you would like to experience as a first time reader?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would love to read Way of Kings for the first time.

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  • 37

    Question

    I wanted to ask you about the Sleepless, if anyone will see them again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You have seen them multiple times already, so you will see them multiple times again. Watch for cremlings in places…

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  • 38

    Question

    On the map here, are the other Cosmere worlds on the map and just unlabeled, or is there a bigger map?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are stars on there that are unlabeled that have inhabited planets.

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  • 39

    Question

    When you put together different magic systems, do you just have a file of those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a file of magic systems, characters, and settings and plots. Periodically I review it for a while and certain connections are made. I build on those in my head, then put it back in if it isn’t working. Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, I wanted to write a book about a bounty hunter woman who runs an inn and kills the people who come to the inn. I developed that all without the magic system or anything like that, and then said what world would this fit on? Would it fit on any of them? Do I need to make a new story? This worked really well on Threnody, so I put it there and put the magic in. Usually it’s the other way around, I’ve got the world and I need some characters to plug in.

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  • 40

    Question

    The Epilogue of Words of Radiance. Hoid makes particular note of a cremling.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Question

    Dysian?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hehehehe. You’re starting to learn!

    Question

    That epilogue just got so much--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, he was speaking to one of the Sleepless there.

    Question

    So, he knows.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, he knows!

    Question

    Because he makes a comment about having “no intelligent audience.”

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes, yes. [laughing] Of course he doesn’t have an intelligent audience!

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  • 41

    Argent

    So, the Edgedancer’s Resonance, the Perk? You’ve called it Resonance at some point, is that still accurate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that totally works. The powers affect each other in interesting ways.

    Argent

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, so the thing about it is, calling it a Perk, that like saying--

    Argent

    It’s a side effect right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s...yes a “side effect”, it’s like, when the powers merge, they are always slightly different. For instance, Lightweaving from a Truthwatcher is different slightly--there will be things. So, you’re gave access to the Surges, but in combinations, they act a little differently from one another.

    Argent

    So is the Edgedancer’s Resonance something to do with communication? Because we see Lift…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah we’ll RAFO that.

    Footnote

    In the answer, "Lightweaving" should be Illuminating instead (Lightweaving is an order, Illumination is the surge).

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  • 42

    Question

    Is it possible that someone could have gotten to the Cognitive Realm on Scadrial without the Well of Ascension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Question

    ...Can we know how?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, how many Shardpools would Scadrial have?

    Question

    Two, so the Pits of Hathsin would be so?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So you’ve adopted the term “Shardpool.” That was never really my term, but I’ve started using it. What happens with a Perpendicularity is large concentrations of Investiture, particularly purely attuned to one of the Shards, will create an access point. You’ve seen another one--

    Question

    Yeah, yeah I know these.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know which one I’m referencing?

    Question

    Yes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That you didn’t see a Pool from?

    Question

    Oh wait… [Laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, he knows, so… We’ll move on.

    Question

    Why??!! [general protest, laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, fine. Umm, at the end of Words of Radiance.

    Argent

    There has to be one there because Jasnah has to leave somehow, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but Honor’s Perpendicularity moves.

    Question

    Woah...so...Highstorm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    [hems and haws]

    Question

    So, I don’t know if this is a RAFO sort of question, but you call them Perpendicularities, will we see this sort of thing created?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Perpendicularities can be created. You’d need a ton of Investiture. But, basically what Jasnah does is create a little mini Perpendicularity and slips herself into the Cognitive Realm.

    Question

    So it’s just a question of skill, not a question of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It’s hard to pull off...but some of the powers are built to do it.

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  • 43

    Question

    So, just a question here about a particular Perpendicularity, First of the Sun. You’ve mentioned that it’s dangerous? Is that because there are predators that can sense your thoughts and sense your presence in the Cognitive Realm as you’re traveling across the Perpendicularity before the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s a Read-And-Find-Out.

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  • 44

    Question

    Does Silverlight have a permanent Perpendicularity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Silverlight has...weird. So I’m gonna give a RAFO to that.

    Question

    Cause, it’s got a physical constellation map. So they’ve gotta go to the Physical somehow right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, no, no. That can be in the Cognitive Realm.

    Argent

    The constellation map can be a picture from the Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, yeah, I mean, it can be a picture in the Cognitive. That is a picture that exists in Silverlight.

    Argent

    Right, sure, but they need to be somewhere to view those things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, I didn’t say that that’s from the perspective Silverlight, but the picture is hanging there.

    Question

    Is there actually anything on the Physical end of Silverlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s the RAFO. There can’t be a Perpen--well, there could be a Perpendicularity, but then you’d have to go someplace in the Physical, and it gets all... it’s really weird.

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  • 45

    Question

    When someone is Spiked, and dies, does that affect the time they spend in the Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, because if you’re extra Invested, which Spiking technically does, if you have a Spike stapling a bit of someone else’s soul to yours--

    Question

    The other way. Someone Spikes into you--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ohhhhh, oh okay, no, that might make you go faster.

    Question

    Is that why Harmony doesn’t know who’s Spiking people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm. Yeah. I had not considered that. But yeah, sure. Suuureee. You added to the canon. I mean, the actual answer was, when you’re Spiking somebody, you’re ripping of the soul, so kind of, there’s not enough left to talk. I mean, you’re ripping off the soul, so it’s a bad thing. A really bad thing. So you go ‘who killed you’ and it’s just somebody who… But yes, they would go faster too.

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  • 46

    Question

    How old is the picture that’s hanging in Silverlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The picture in Silverlight is…. Okay, so on Cosmere times, it’s very recent. Buuut, the Cosmere scale is very large. Khriss’s essays are older than it, but not by much. She had that...It is in existence when she wrote the essays, but the essays are much older than Sixth of the Dusk. Okay? Sixth of the Dusk had not happened yet when she was writing these essays. We’re gonna need some dating periods, but we’ll get eventually get that.

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  • 47

    Argent

    I have a follow-up on the map? Most of the constellations seem fairly straightforward. The one containing Roshar has a Shardbearer or Herald…

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a couple that don’t make [sense]. Sel gets a lamp, yes.

    Question

    Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ask Isaac about that, he came up with the symbolism. And I like all the symbolism. But I would go to him about the symbolism of that. Ask him to write an essay for my website about it, because he has really cool-- Cause again, cause I said to him, ‘I want a star map’ and I wasn’t gonna put constellations on it, right? Just, the one in the back cover that doesn’t have constellations, that’s what I asked for and he came back and said ‘I did a constellation map with these things, what do you think?’ and I said ‘that’s cool!...Can you explain these to me?’ so I’m just gonna let Isaac go with that, he chose it, he chose the perspective and the point of view, so it’s his map, and he’s canon on that.

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  • 48

    Question

    So we know some people can survive going through Perpendicularities, but we also know, like, when Rock talked about the lake that people swam in, that Hoid came out of, he [Rock] said that some people who swam in it died. So, who can and can’t survive a Perpendicularity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, you should not take much of what Rock says. When he says they swim in it and they die, they just went through the Perpendicularity. They just don’t come back; what would you think if someone swims and doesn’t come back; they have drowned.

    Question

    So pretty much anyone can?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not traumatic to go through most Perpendicularities.

    Question

    So it depends on where, who and when?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh huh.

    Question

    Okay, that’s good to know.

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  • 49

    Question

    Would it be possible to create a potential Vessel that has a Connection to all 16 Shards? Through a combination of birth planet, genetics, Hemalurgy...

    Brandon Sanderson

    [Hems and Haws] You… So, terminology--the Vessel holds the Shard. Lots of people have connection to Shards without holding them. So, I’m just gonna RAFO that. You guys got YEARS AND YEARS left, before we’re even gonna discuss. But if I tell you now...like...what are you gonna ask?

    Question

    So I got a bit of a Shard-related question. So, the entity that Harmony is, all the other Shards that we’ve had named so far, are any of them combinations, or are they all--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, good question. The only one I would count as a combination is the Dor, right? But it isn’t even a full Shard. So everything else--single holder only when we talk about it okay? That’s an excellent question. Or they’ve been Splintered completely.

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  • 50

    Question

    So, in Secret History, Kelsier is in the pool and looks at Ruin. Are you intentionally making a Lovecraftian reference with the looking into the abyss and the abyss looks back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, sometimes I have to specifically phrase things. I write it and I’m like ‘Oh yeah, that’s neat!.’ And I’m like ‘Ohhh, I probably shouldn’t quote Nietzsche.’ So I have do have to reword these things sometimes.

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  • 51

    Question

    Is Ati Ruin’s original Shardholder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ohh, good question. I’m gonna go ahead and RAFO that.

    Question

    I have a big theory that someday we are gonna see something more about him.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see something more about him for sure! Because Dragonsteel includes--But that’s not what you meant, and I know what you meant.

    Question

    Thank’s for that Reddit comment earlier today about ‘Yeah, if you read Dragonsteel it’s super obvious!’

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, if someone is asking a question about Cephandrius, I assume that they know about Dragonsteel, because, how else would they hear the name Cephandrius?

    Question

    Secret History.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ohhhh, I did, that’s right!

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  • 52

    Question

    Have we seen cameos of Heralds on other Shardworlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Heralds are tied to the system by the magic that permeates them. They could not leave. It’s part of the magic. Some would call them Cognitive Shadows, right? Whether they are or not. ‘Cognitive Shadow’ is a very ambiguous term in the Cosmere. It means, basically your soul-- Investiture replaced your soul, and permeated your soul, and your soul continues to exist, but you are usually Invested with something, that’s tied, and you’re basically like pure Investiture then. You’re tied to the thing you’re Connected to. Most of the things that you’re gonna see like that, traveling is going to be very difficult, unless you know how to do it. You have seen people do it.

    Question

    Who?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher.

    Question

    Sure, sure.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You have seen people do it.

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  • 53

    Question

    So you’ve said, moving a spren off world from Roshar is difficult. What about physically, say the Ones Above visit them, and they fly away?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So one of the things you’ll have to be asking questions and theorizing on is what happens if you try to carry a spren around the planet. What happens to their Cognitive sense, right? So you’re on Roshar, right? So on the Physical Realm what would happen--because on Shadesmar, you have a flattened version. So there are questions for you to be theorizing implicit in that. And one of them is, what happens, you cross a threshold circling the globe, your spren, what happens to them? Right? This relates to the question you’re asking.

    Question

    Wait wait, you have a three dimensional plain coexisting with a two dimensional plain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, two dimensional is the wrong term, but basically.

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  • 54

    Question

    Are there a specific reason why opposite Shards tend to end up in the same system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep.

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  • 55

    Question

    Is there a Shadesmar for each planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Anything that people think about, right? And, you really have to be inhabited to get a good Shadesmar… But, yenno, you can find the gas giants in Shadesmar, but they don’t manifest as an entire plain. Um, that’s gonna change! But we’re years away from that. Shadesmar is cool and weird but--

    Question

    Ohh, there’s only one Shadesmar with different areas--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, what we call it, Shadesmar is a term that has started to stick in the Cosmere for the Cognitive Realm. But there are manifestations for all planets.

    Question

    So, they all exist, all of Shadesmars are part of the same cloth, so to speak.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you could walk from one to the other, barring some weird distortions that I’m not gonna tell you about.

    Question

    But spren can’t because they’re bound.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. Unless, well, there are certain ways you could do it.

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  • 56

    Question

    So why do opposite Shards…

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Footnote

    Seems to be a follow up question to why opposite shards appear to end up in the same star systems

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  • 57

    Question

    So, why did Hoid in Secret History have to ride on another person to get to the Well, when that person could float on--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sooo, what he’s floating on is a Cognitive Shadow, it’s a spirit, it’s not an actual person.

    Question

    Do we know them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You don’t know them, don’t worry about them. But see, he’s using that as a boat because it’s easy to sink through the mist. And if you notice, he has to coat his oar with Investiture in order to move him. So yeah, he’s floating on a person’s soul. It was so much easier with the Pits, but that’s because there were boats and things.

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  • 58

    Question

    So ever since the Sleepless I’ve been wondering about what sentience is in the Cosmere. How would a Sleepless manifest on the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s a good question, that’ll RAFO. But they are a single consciousness, but they would argue that all your cells are independent of you. So they are cells that can move around. They’re really fun, they started in a non-cosmere book when I was 22. Obviously a bit inspired by Fire Upon the Deep, one of my favourite science fiction books. And I read that book and I’m like, ‘group consciousnesses are cool!’ what if you had a species that was made up of--not like an Ender’s Game one, but like each swarm was an individual and they could breed and evolve their own things to do different stuff. So each of these little Hordelings is what I call them, but that might change since we’ve got cremling now. So each of these little bits is bred for a specific purpose, feed the swarm and stuff like that. So they’ve got a all kinds of stuff going on.

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  • 59

    Question

    When you were talking about spren being bound to the Cognitive Realm of their planet. Are Seons similarly bound?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Question

    Could you also pull them off [knowing how]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but you’d have to get through the Cognitive Realm. Sel’s… Yes, that is possible.

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  • 60

    Question

    Is the third Bondsmith in any way related to the Sleepless?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am RAFOing third Bondsmith. You will find out a lot more about these in coming books. That one’s seeded for the story to answer...but it’s not next book, right? This is stuff for…

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  • 61

    Question

    So in Secret History, Kelsier goes out onto the ocean and he finds plants in the Cognitive Realm. Do they have a physical aspect, or are they just Cognitive...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they’re Cognitive only. They don’t follow a standard ecology that we would understand, but well, it’ll make sense, hopefully, when eventually the science of that is understood in the cosmere. And there are, and I’ve said this before, on Roshar Shadesmar there are spren cities, and a spren ecology and stuff so…

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  • 62

    Question

    Speed bubbles-

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehh these are the hardest ones...

    Question

    We’ve seen them work and move with trains, we’ve seen them not work with carriages: is there a size requirement, or is it how they view themselves…?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s a good question. So I build in this thing, right? I’m like “Oooh, speed bubbles! Speed bubbles are cool!” but the Delorean problem, right? You’re like “I’m going to go back in time: to the middle of SPACE”, because the planet is in the same position, right? This is stuff that science fiction writers have been having fun with since the silver age of science fiction. So I’m like “alright, I need to deal with the Delorean problem.” And so I’m like alright, we’re going to have to say that frame of reference is a big part of it: so perception and frame of reference is a big part of it; and also _size_ of the thing that you’re on. So it would be possible to use kind of cosmere cognitive training to get that speed bubble moving with you- and partially someone asked me a question about this on tour, I believe, so it would be in one of the reports—not this exact same thing, but “could they learn to move their speed bubble with them?”: and yes you can.

    Question

    So it is how the allomancer views it, not how the thing views itself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s a _part_ of it. Partially how you view yourself, . It’s really also mass. Big things- The speed bubbles required all kinds of physics-gymnastics—I’m sorry physicists—but once you start playing with time the stuff you gotta’ do… just crazy stuff you gotta’ do.

    Question

    We actually sat down and worked out what the metric would have to do to have a speed bubble- it was gnarly

    Brandon Sanderson

    We did run the math on these things, and stuff like that. And Peter- he’s like “redshift” and stuff like this we talked about, and all kinds of fun stuff about speed bubbles that I then had to-

    Question

    Khriss asked about that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. So- this one [presumably speed bubbles] and manipulating weight- those are the math ones where I’m just like-

    Question

    If you can get get massive _enough_ to move your speed bubbles- [Laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    So these are the ones where- they create the fun things to talk about, but they are where this is fantasy and not science fiction. A lot of these questions I could answer and you’d be like “alright, if there were this alternate power source we could buy this” but in this case we’re like exception-list of asterisks to make it work. But they’re too fun to not do, right? And I knew I was doing gravity on Stormlight, so I’m like I gotta do weight separately.

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  • 63

    Question

    I read that you had said if you had written Khriss’s essay on Nalthis, it would have been more or less that she was talking about the magic, and then mentioning that there were scholars on this planet that were like, spitting distance from, like…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah.

    Question

    So, Vasher, and maybe some of the other ones have been off world--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shashara has been, yeah.

    Question

    Okay, are they known to the people on Silverlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah.

    Question

    Like, does Khriss know Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, know Vasher is a different question than know of Vasher. Yeah, but they are widely regarded as early cosmere scholars.

    Question

    Aw, Cool!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they are pioneers of this sort of stuff.

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  • 64

    Argent

    I want to take us back to some Shards before we skip me for the fourth time. So there were a few of the Shards that Rayse Splintered, included Ambition, Dominion, and Devotion.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    And those were all way back in history. So, we know that the Shard’s personality overrides the Vessel’s personality over time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Strongly influence, and depending on the Vessel, override.

    Argent

    So, did Rayse choose those Shards because--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He went after Ambition first, but didn’t find Ambition until after going after Devotion and Dominion. But Ambition was number one on his hit list.

    Argent

    Was it because of the Shard or because of the Vessel, or the person.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this case it was the Shard primarily. He was afraid that this was a Shard that would rival him. But, he then got trapped in the Rosharan system.

    Argent

    Which is segue to Shards Investing in Shardworlds. So is it kind of a...passive...the more a Shard stays on a world, the Investiture kind of seeps…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it does. Once you’ve got a Perpendicularity, you are starting...That’s trouble for going other places. But you’ve gotta remember, going other places means multiple things to someone actually holding a Shard. They can exist in the Spiritual Realm, where all things are one. And they can even kind of comprehend it.

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  • 65

    Argent

    Can a Shard choose to just instantly invest in a place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can just start making some stuff, yeah.

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  • 66

    Question

    [Question about Chasmfiends, but I think we know stuff about already.] Thunderclasts have chasmfiend… they’re part of the in-world inspiration for thunderclasts [...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    [Chasmfiends are] an introduction of gemhearts and things like this, and the ability of certain creatures to hold investiture permanently, as Szeth says, rather than it seeping away like it does to humans.

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  • 67

    Question

    Did Ambition fight back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Question

    And...Was Cultivation close enough to when Odium got [Splintered] Honor, to know how to fight back? Brandon: Heheheheh. I would say yes.

    Question

    And Cultivation, is she--

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is still there. Alive and kicking.

    Question

    And she can probably know how to not turn her back to the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, maybe. She has learned from the experiences of others.

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  • 68

    Question

    Sak, Dusk’s non-native Aviar. That kind of ability is very, very similar to Allomantic electrum, and and his other Aviar is very, very similar to Allomantic copper. Is there a...connection between those two, deeper? Or…

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will RAFO that. It is an intentional reference, but I’m not going to say whether it’s a direct connection to Scadrial magic systems or more that fundamental rules of magic can reproduce one another. We have seen multiple instances of Lightweaving, so...It’s one of those two. That at least narrows it down for you.

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  • 69

    Question

    So Allomantic Savants. When that happens, is that purely physiological, or is there something else happening in terms of…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhhh, it’s physiological in a Cosmere sense, but that can involve your Cognitive and Spiritual aspects.

    Question

    Yeah, the question there is, are there other similar processes to savantism with other--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah you’ve seen it. So, Soulcasters. Where their spirit is being slowly being merged and infused with Investiture that is having physical ramifications. It’s the same thing.

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  • 70

    Question

    If you Soulstamp somebody to give them a Connection to Arelon, and they became an Elantrian, could they become an Elantrian, and if the Soulstamp were removed, would they remain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, you’re asking a better one than people have asked. I will go ahead and RAFO this with the caveat of why this might not work, is because, you might think you’re something, right? Like, this is not completely invisible, and so, whether the powers are going to follow those lines of Connection or not I will leave up to discussion, but it is a possibility worth theorizing upon.

    Question

    So a Soulstamp doesn’t necessarily change the core of your Spiritual--

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does, but it’s overriding it. It’s like Hemalurgy. What you are is still there underneath when it’s ripped away.

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  • 71

    Question

    What if you Soulstamped a city?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Soulstamped...the city. So if you’re a really good Forger...It is possible to do things like that, but it requires a lot of work and time. Just one thing to keep in mind with Soulstamps is that, anything that does this...rewriting your Spirit Web, like, requires Investiture. A lot of Investiture. For instance, what Shai can do is really cool, but what an Elantrian can do is gonna look a lot more dramatic, right? Shooting a column of fire, you would say ‘which takes more power, making the wall have flowers on it or shooting a column of fire?’ Making the wall have flowers takes a lot more Investiture. It’s a lot easier to pull off some dramatic effects with others, but the actual changing of the soul...So just keep in mind the extent, right? This is why you don’t see Shai Forging so the whole building disappears. Which is not outside of reason for a couple of Elantrians with the right program to put into place. But they could blow it up, essentially, that’s what they would do. Do keep in mind, people like to ask, you’ve probably seen people ask, ‘could I rewrite myself to be a Knight Radiant?’ Well… there are certain things that you just can’t fake without enough energy that it becomes impractical. Usually what I use as an example to that is: Yes, we can turn hydrogen into gold, if we wanted to. Right? It might take more energy than the earth creates in an entire year, but we can do that. I get a lot of questions like this ‘is it possible, is it possible?’ You should probably be like, ‘is it possible, with reasonable amounts of energy provided by one Invested person.

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  • 72

    Question

    If you Stamp yourself, so you have an overridden Spirit Web, and then you get Spiked… [laughter] What would happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We’ve actually worked this one out, so. [laughter]

    Question

    Well, you’d die, or very close to it, but would the Stamp revert?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So what’s probably going to happen here is that you’re going to rip off the Investiture you’ve put on your soul, and your own soul will have less damage. Now, the Spike is only gonna get the-- the Spike, you’re like ‘what will it do?’ It will do what you’ve been overwritten with, but remember, becoming an Allomancer requires so much energy, and things like--Ehh, it is theoretically possible in the Cosmere to rewrite yourself ‘you’re an allomancer’, someone Spikes you to get this. The Investiture doesn’t care that it was fake on you, you have managed to get that Investiture to work. Uhh, this is really tough. And really, like, you need Connection, and Investiture, but yes it rips off, and you have made a Spike that makes you an Allomancer, even though the person was a forger. But this is the kind of stuff that is like the thought experiments for physicists in the Cosmere as opposed to, yenno.

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  • 73

    Question

    Is the ball of Preservation energy that Kelsier used...is that Stamping, Hemalurgy, or a third kind of the same thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a different thing. You haven’t really seen that before.

    Question

    Because it has similar effects…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you haven’t seen that before. It was designed to do what it did.

    Question

    Is it...Connection, like a Connection orb?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We’ll get into this, this is involving Silverlight stuff, so let’s RAFO it for now.

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  • 74

    Question

    So there’s a line in Secret History that mentions like, a mythical string that shows the way home in the maze of Ishathon. Is that an intentional reference to…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeacher. You shouls yes, so here’s one thing I do in the Cosmere, because my senior course was in folklore, I had a really good folklore ted all thank Dr. Thursby for this. One of the things I learned in folklore - I don’t know if you guys have studied this, but it’s really interesting - societies come up with the same myths. Right? They do! You’ll find the biggest one is the Cinderella myth. There’s a version of this in every culture, and it’s shocking how they come up with the same beats. So whether it’s like the string that leads you out or the breadcrumbs, different people will use different things, but these stories exist. Mythical mazes, you’ll find stories about [them]. So this is here to say that on Roshar for example, there are similar myths to ones we know.

    Footnote

    several typos in the transcription

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  • 75

    Argent

    Staying on Scadrial, have we seen the Resonances of either Wax or Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, well, Wax is really good a sculpting bullets and things away from him.

    Argent

    The bubble.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah and things like this. This is playing with the fact that he is-- let’s just say that the abilities make this happen, and I’ll let you theorize on why, but it’s just an enhancement to what he can do.

    Argent

    I might be wrong, but I thought you said it was because he was becoming a Steel Savant.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, definitely, but this is what that’s coming from.

    Argent

    But being a Savant has to do with being really good with one power, and Resonance--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Being a savant has to do with using Investiture a lot, and it’s starting to permeate your soul.

    Argent

    So he’s more of a Savant with both of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He’s used them a lot, and they are changing his soul, and so the powers are morphing and changing, just in slight, little ways, you’re not gonna see a whole bunch. Well, you can imagine these powers are sort of becoming one to him.

    Argent

    Yeah, I can see that. And Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wayne’s is not as obvious, I’ll go ahead and RAFO that right now.

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  • 76

    Question

    Are there requirements to join the Seventeenth Shard, and would they accept, for lack of a better term, a non-enhanced member?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and yes. Well, um, Baon is not Invested.

    Question

    Well, what would they not like? We know they don’t like Hoid, and what he’s doing, but…

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do like what Khriss is doing, alright? This is an acceptable thing to them.

    Question

    What about when people start integrating themselves in [a] culture, is that gonna make problems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would prefer that people didn’t do that.

    Question

    So not Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher is very far from being the Seventeenth Shard! VERRRY far. [laughter]

    Argent

    Is it fair to say that they are a community of scholars?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are a community-- well they are not all scholars, so I wouldn’t say that. I would say they are interested parties who do not want any planets to get destroyed.

    Question

    So they’re the Apocalypse Guard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They aren’t really able to prevent these sorts of things. They’re like...Oh what are they called in DC...But those guys are powerful though, so it’s not like that, but you can imagine it’s something like that, right? We’re watching, studying, we’re investigating and we’re trying to prevent... They’re like Starfleet right? They’ve got some Starfleet stuff right? We’re gonna go research and study these people, but we shouldn’t be involved. It’s less about Prime Directive, and more about what it’s something to do that it exacerbates the conflict between the Shards. The Shards split up for a reason, is what they think, and they should continue to be split up, and we should not dabble in bringing them back together.

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