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Interviews: Hero of Ages Q&A - TWG

Summary:

Entries

90

Date

Oct, 2008

Type

Verbatim

TourCon

Hero of Ages Book Tour

Links

Time Waster's Guide

  • 1

    Brandon Sanderson (14 October 2008)

    Folks,

    Use this thread to discuss The Hero of Ages with as many spoilers as you care to mention. Don't read on unless you have read the book!

    Feel free to post questions for me here, and I'll do my best to find time to answer them.

    —Brandon

    FOOTNOTE—ZAS

    So these are all compiled from the TWG archive, but I just found them by going through Brandon's (EUOL's) last posts.

  • 2

    Kirrin (15 October 2008)

    Just wanted to say, great work on the book. It kept me completely occupied from around 11 am to 8 pm and I have got to say that it had the most well thought out ending ever put into a book.

    Also, do you have any plans for more Mistborn books? Or is this the end?

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    Okay, I was expecting these. Let's get to them first.

    More Mistborn Books

    My plans right now are to do a second trilogy of Mistborn books set several hundred years after the events of the first series. That means that technology would have progressed, and there's a good chance I'll decide to do the books as kind of an urban fantasy. (But set in a completely different world from our own, so not quite like other urban fantasies.) Guns, skyscrapers, cars—and Allomancy.

    Now, I'm not 100% decided on that. I know that adding modern technology ruins the fantasy flavor of a book for many people, so I'll have to think about it. But I think the imagery would be compelling, and I would love to deal with a 'modern' world where the events of this trilogy form the foundation for the religions, history, and society of the book. It would be a really challenge, since I'd have to decide how technology and society developed following this book.

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  • 3

    Kirrin (15 October 2008)

    And what happened to Marsh? The book doesn't mention him after he fights with Elend.

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    Marsh is alive. I changed this from when I talked to [Peter]. I realized some things about his use of Allomancy that would allow him to survive. Actually, he is immortal. He can pull off the same Allomancy/Feruchemy trick that the Lord Ruler did. (And he knows it too, since he was there when Sazed explained how it was done in Book One.) He's actually the only living person who actually knows this trick for certain. (Though there's a chance that Spook, Ham and Breeze heard about it from Vin and the others.) So yes, if there were another series, Marsh would make an appearance.

    DOUGLAS

    I thought that trick required atium and involved burning the atium. With all the atium gone and Sazed not making any more, it would therefore not be possible even for a full mistborn/feruchemist. Am I wrong, is Sazed providing atium specifically for Marsh to allow a friend and valuable servant to survive, or what?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Marsh has the bag of Atium that KanPaar sent to be sold, as well as several nuggets in his stomach. So, I guess 'immortal' is the wrong phrase. He's got the only remaining atium in the world and can keep himself around for a long, long while—but he WILL eventually run out. Unless Sazed does something.

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  • 4

    Kirrin (15 October 2008)

    Also, you should tell us what the last two metals are.

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    The last two metals are Chromium and Nicrosil. We'll reveal what they do on the Allomancy poster. Suffice it to say that in the next trilogy, the main protagonist would be a Nicrosil Misting. And, to make a Robert Jordan-type comment, what those two metals do should become obvious to the serious student of Allomancy... (It has to do with the nature of the metal groupings.)

    HAPPYMAN

    If I read the poster correctly, and have the correlations down, these metals are the external enhancement metals.

    The simplest idea is that they do to another person what Aluminum and Duralumin do to the Allomancer burning them. If this is true, then Chromium would destroy another Allomancer's metals (useful skill, that, especially in a group of Mistings fighting a Mistborn) while Nicrosil would cause the target's metals that are currently burning to be burned in a brief, intense flash. This could be used either to enhance a group of Mistings or to seriously mess up an enemy Allomancer.

    PETER AHLSTROM

    The other metals do not have exact one-to-one power correlations like that, so it seems more likely to me that they would work differently. It could be like an area effect weakening or enhancing spell. You would want an enhancer in your party, and you wouldn't want to go up against a weakener.

    Nicrosil is a rather more complicated alloy than the others. It's an interesting one to pick, rather than something simpler like nichrome (though I guess that's actually a brand name).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nicely done.

    Ookla is right, the others don't have 1/1 correlations. But I liked this concept far too much not to use it.

    In a future book series, Mistborn will also have become things of legend. The bloodlines will have become diluted to the point that there are no Mistborn, only Mistings—however, the latter are far more common. In this environment, a Nicrosil Misting could be invaluable both as an enhancer to your own team or a weapon to use against unsuspecting other Mistings.

    DOUGLAS (17 OCTOBER)

    I take it either Spook did not have children or Sazed made him a reduced-strength Mistborn rather than giving him the full potency of the 9 originals and Elend?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Spook is a reduced power Mistborn.

    CHAOS (16 OCTOBER)

    Very interesting about the Nicrosil.

    So, if there is no more atium, then that would mean in any future trilogy, there would only be 14 metals, right? Somehow, that doesn't seem right, but maybe that is because it irks me that one quartet to be left incomplete with the absence of atium.

    Would it be possible for Sazed to create a replacement metal, by chance, or will the temporal quartet remain inherently empty? It doesn't seem like it's too far of a stretch for Sazed to make more metals: after all, the metal Elend ate was a fragment of Preservation, and now Sazed holds Preservation.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's a RAFO, I'm afraid. Suffice it to say that what the characters think they understand about the metals, they don't QUITE get right. If you study the interaction between the temporal metals, you might notice an inconsistency in the way they work...

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Uh-huh. That was already noticed by theorizers in the forums here. Gold works like Malatium and Electrum works like Atium. Yet they're on opposite corners of the metal square.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ah. I wondered if that had been noticed.

    Footnote

    This future book series is the second Mistborn Trilogy, not Alloy of Law. It seems that at the time of Alloy of Law, the people don't have a knowledge of nicrosil and chromium.

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  • 5

    Agate (15 October 2008)

    I can guess two possible options for the Kandra.

    1. God Sazed endowed the gift of presence on the now mistwraiths.

    2. Some of the Kandra survived in the cave with the Terrisman and people of the city, along with the small mistwraiths, these are re-born with the spikes they pulled out during the resolution.

    I can imagine too that some Kandra on assignment may have hidden in the shelters with the rest of humanity.

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    The Kandra.

    Yes, they live. The people were smart enough, eventually, to replace their spikes. (And there were a couple who were on assignment who made it to storage caches.)

    However, there will likely never be any more of them, since Hemalurgy is required to make them. They are now some of the few people who can communicate directly with Sazed, who—like Ruin—can whisper to people most easily when they are connected to him via spikes. With some speculation, you can probably guess what kind of roles the Kandra will end up playing in future books.

    KAIMIPONO

    On a broader level, is hemalurgy officially dead, then? Or is it still extant in some Ruin-free (but still messy) form? (If it's gone, is there any imbalance since Preservation's magic power is kept and Ruin's isn't?)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Is Hemalurgy dead? No, not at all. It, like the other two powers, was not created by Ruin or Preservation, but by the natural state of the world and its interaction with the gods who created it. It still requires the same method of creation, but very few people are aware of how it works.

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  • 6

    Kaimipono (15 October 2008)

    Also, are koloss just naturally bad-tempered, even without Ruin's influence? Cause the koloss are still taking swipes at Sazed immediately after the merger. (And, does Sazed zap all the koloss? Did they all get toasted by the sun? But what about Human and his friends underground? Are there still koloss around? Just wonderin'.)

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    Koloss were bad tempered before Ruin's influence, though he certainly made them worse. They were designed by the Lord Ruler to be aggressive, so aggressive that they would destroy themselves if they got loose and away from him. (This was intentional. Note that he didn't give the spark of humanity in them enough credit, and they managed to overcome this and 'evolve' in a way to keep their species going, even after he died.)

    There ARE still koloss around, though many of them were vaporized. Human is alive. Sazed took pity on them, however, and they have been transformed. They are now a race that breeds true, like the Kandra, and have different thought processes from what they once had. You'll see more of them in the sequel series.

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  • 7

    Chaos (15 October 2008)

    I really want to know what the last two metals are. I always thought the bead Elend ate was one of them, but perhaps they are just things of Preservation, not meant to be understood.

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    The metal chunk that Elend ate is intended to be something of a mystery. Much like atium, actually. Suffice it to say that atium isn't, and never was, what people thought it was.

    I intended Allomancy to be much like a real science. People investigate and put things into boxes, trying to describe and understand the world around them. That doesn't mean they always get things right, however.

    Let me say this, as I don't want to spoil too much. If that metal Elend ate were fused into specific alloys with certain metals, it could have instead created Mistings of each of the different Allomantic powers. Atium's abilities are not entirely explored yet either.

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  • 8

    Chaos (15 October 2008)

    Do all three Metallic Arts still exist after the events of the book? Are Allomancy and Hemalurgy slightly degenerated now that Ruin and Preservation are dead, or does Allomancy still draw upon Preservation's power (just held with Sazed now)?

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy all work as they once did. However, now they are more directly affected by the presence or absence of the mists, which will slowly return to the world but not be of the extent they once were. (The mists are now an extent of Sazed's power, and where they roam, he is better able to influence things. There will also be two kinds of mists.) Note that in the future, Feruchemy powers will start to fracture and split, creating Feruchemical "Mistings."

    Yes, this means that in the future series, it will be possible for a person to have one Allomantic power and one Feruchemical power. It will create for some very interesting mixing of powers.

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  • 9

    Chaos (15 October 2008)

    How were the Terris Prophecies created in the first place? Every other magic related thing is quite logically explained in terms of Ruin and Preservation, except that one.

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    The Terris prophecies were created by Preservation before he attempted his imprisonment. He knew that he wouldn't be able to do much for the world after he did what he did, and he foresaw a LOT of what was to come.

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  • 10

    Chaos (15 October 2008)

    When did Preservation decide to imprison Ruin in the Well? No need to be specific, I should think. A simple "Near Alendi's time" or "Way before Alendi's time" would suffice, or whichever time of reference you want to use.

    Also, this one is not a question, but nice Hoid reference in there. I especially like it how the Ars Arcanum refers to Slowswift as "bears a striking resemblance to a well-known storyteller." I'm on to you...

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    Way before Alendi's time. Hence the need for the prophecies. But Ruin managed to corrupt them.

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  • 11

    Vaelith (15 October 2008)

    I would like to echo a question that someone beat me to. The way you ended it seemed to leave the door wide open for other books with characters such as Spook and Breeze playing much larger roles. My question is, was the ending planned as just an open-ended ending to make people wonder about what might happen, or was that with the intent of writing more books in mind?

    Brandon Sanderson (15 October 2008)

    I like it when my characters live on in people's minds. I have no plans right now to write any more books about Spook or Breeze, though what they do in the next period of time will create the history for the next series. However, there's a chance I'll change my mind on this. However, this ending was not set up for another book specifically. I just wanted to tell the best ending I could, and this is how it turned out.

    PETER AHLSTROM

    (cross-post)

    Brandon does want to write more Mistborn books, but not with the same characters. There would be two more trilogies. The second trilogy would be set a few hundred years later, in a modern day–type setting, when the events of the first trilogy have passed into legend. The third trilogy would be set a few more hundred years later, in a future, outer space–type setting.

    It's such an audacious idea I wish he would write it right now because I want to read it, especially the third trilogy. But Brandon has announced his next project (pending Tor approval) will be Way of Kings, a 10-volume epic fantasy. He'll sprinkle in a book from another project here and there, so the next Mistborn trilogy might start before Way of Kings is ended, but it will be years yet before there is any more Mistborn.

    KAIMIPONO

    But Ookla, he already wrote that one!

    PETER AHLSTROM

    I know. :)

    The real story is that Brandon was writing (or revising?) Way of Kings when Tor offered to buy Elantris. Brandon signed a two-book contract for Elantris and Way of Kings. Then Brandon realized he wasn't in the point in his career yet where he could write Way of Kings the way he wanted to, so while he was supposed to be revising Way of Kings he secretly wrote the first Mistborn book instead, which he then sold to Tor as a trilogy, replacing Way of Kings in the original contract.

    But for some reason Amazon already had a listing for Way of Kings, with a release date. Thence the fake reviews.

    I've read an early draft of the first book, and it aims to be very epic. (No, Elvis is not involved.) I do wonder, though, whether when it actually comes out, the fake reviews will get attached to its Amazon listing. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is all true. Note that the book would not be named The Way of Kings. Most likely, I'm going to make that the series name. So I guess the book "The Way of Kings" must be some kind of parallel novel or prequel or something... ;)

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Oathshards is out, eh?

    You're such a tease, Brandon. All these details about the next series will make everyone hungry for it, and then we'll all have to wait.

    Of course, any other book you put out in the meantime will still be awesome, so we should be content, right?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't think Oathshards is as strong a name as "The Way of Kings." Plus, that's really what the series is about.

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  • 12

    zchance (15 October 2008)

    I'm surprised no one else has asked but does this new world have atium? If atium was the body of Ruin then it would seem when Sazed took up Ruin's power he would have reabsorbed all of the atium. New atium then would be bits of Sazed's new powers and weaken him with each newly formed bead. It would seem then that if atium exists it would be much rarer, and mean that Sazed would not be able to control this process.

    I guess I am trying to understand why he would want to allow any atium to make its way into the hands of people or rather out of his control?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    It's theoretically possible for atium to appear in the future, but right now Sazed has no plans to release any of it to the people. It is, effectively, now something of myth and legend.

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  • 13

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    Will we get a map of what the new world? Or do we have to wait for the next trilogy, whenever that may be?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    You'll have to wait, I'm afraid. The future series is still far off. I can't dedicate resources to getting a map drawn up until I begin work on the series officially.

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  • 14

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    When the Mists come back, will they continue Snapping people?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    No. The mists will revert back to their more neutral state.

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  • 15

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    Was Reen named that specifically because its so close sounding to Ruin, or is that a coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Coincidence.

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  • 16

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    Did the Lord Ruler have any Hemalurgic spikes in him? It would seem he'd need to for Ruin to influence him, but it wasn't mentioned. Or did his bracers work as spikes?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    His arm bracers, which pierced his skin, were his spikes.

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  • 17

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    Was TenSoon more susceptible to Ruin's powers than the other Kandra because he took OreSeur's Blessings?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Yes, he was. However, the Blessing of Presence actually enhanced his mind to make him more resistant, so they balanced out.

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  • 18

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    Did Sazed leave information about how his new religion should be run for Spook and the others to find? His note to Spook implies that there is an afterlife...

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Sazed didn't immediately leave this, as he was too focused on other things. The next period of time will be difficult for Sazed, as he essentially sees himself as an avatar of deity—the force of Preservation—and not God with an upper case letter. He's still not sure what Truth is 100%. And there is an afterlife, but it's probably not what you're thinking. In other words, Sazed has not touched Heaven or Hell, and actually doesn't yet know what the final beyond contains. He has, however, run into some people who have been sticking around something of a middle place. It's related to the larger cosmology, and I'm afraid that I'll need to RAFO anything further.

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  • 19

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    With all the talk about action and reaction and whatnot, will some force form to counter Sazed's new Ruin/Preservation mix? It seems to me like the whole nature of the world can't stand to have one person unopposed.

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Ruin and Preservation were not the only Shards of Adonalsium, though they are the only ones on Scadrial at the moment. Sazed's ability to be both at once is actually something I drew from Eastern mythology, where it is believed that the ability to contain two opposing forces at the same time represents ultimate harmony. The Buddha, for instance, was said to have performed the miracle of producing both fair and ice from his hands at the same time.

    CHAOS

    Is "Scadrial" the proper name to refer to the Mistborn world?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scadrial is indeed the name of the planet.

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  • 20

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    Does the Well of Ascension still exist in the new world? Or is it no longer necessary? I assumed that Preservation collected there like Ruin collects in the Pits of Hathsin, so if Atium keeps forming then the well should keep filling...

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    The Well (and the small wells in the Pits) is no more. For now at least.

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  • 21

    Dalenthas (15 October 2008)

    Was Kelsier under Ruin's influence as well? It seems to me that destroying the Pits of Hathsin (and thus preventing Ruin's power from leaking) is something that Ruin would want to happen...

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    There is a short story forthcoming which will deal with Kelsier, the days after he Snapped, his training, and what influence (if any) Ruin had on him. Most likely, this will appear in the Mistborn RPG coming out next year. So I'm afraid that's a RAFO.

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  • 22

    Sylos (15 October 2008)

    I was happy when Elend finally burned duralumin with atium. I was holding my breath hoping that someone would eventually do it. However we didn't really get any info as to what Elend experienced. Does a duralumin-enhanced atium burn allow a person to see significantly farther into the future? If so, being that Elend's army was dying all around him did he get to see into the afterlife? Also if you could tell us what he saw that would be awesome. Did something he saw make him not want to avoid Marshes strike?

    On a similar note if someone burned electrum with duralumin would they get to see significantly into their own future?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    There is much here that I can't say, but I'll give as much as I can. Elend saw Preservation's ultimate plan, and Elend's own part in it. What he saw made him realize he didn't want to kill Marsh, and that his own death would actually help save the world. Like a master chess player, he suddenly saw and understand every possible move his enemy could make. He saw that Ruin was check-mated, because there was one thing that Ruin was not willing to do. Something that both Elend and Vin could do, if needed. And it's what they did.

    So, in answer to your question, Elend stayed his hand. This is one of the reasons why I changed my mind and decided that Marsh had to live through the end of the book. Elend spared him; I needed to too.

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  • 23

    Kaimipono (15 October 2008)

    What was Zane's hemalurgical power? (Or was he just spiked for control?)

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Extra power with Pushing on metals. It lent him extremely great precision.

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  • 24

    AhoyMatey (15 October 2008)

    Brandon, I just wanted to confirm that you did have a couple of cameos as Slowswift? Or was that mean to be someone else?

    CHAOS

    I'm pretty sure Slowswift is Hoid. The Ars Arcanum says he "bears a striking resemblance to a storyteller", which I take to mean Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Slowswift is an homage to Grandpa Tolkien. A study of his personality will reveal why that name was chosen for him.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hoid appears in that same chapter, but Vin doesn't meet him. Something he does spooks her. She's just too darn observant for her own good.

    Footnote

    This is actually the first time Brandon mentioned Hoid.

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  • 25

    lostknight (16 October 2008)

    I am curious if any changes were made to the story after you got A Memory of Light or after the Name of the Wind was published? The style hasn't changed, but the story seemed to flow much better this time around.

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Actually, no. This one was finished off back before I knew anything of A Memory of Light or before I'd read Name of the Wind. Hopefully, the smoothing is a result of me trying to work out kinks in my storytelling ability. I'm learning to distance out my climax chapters, for instance. (I think I've I'd have written this book years ago, I'd have tried to overlay Spook's climactic sequence with the ending ones, for instance, which would have been a mistake.)

    Also, of the three books, I worked the hardest on this one. Choosing that ending—even though I'd planned it for some time—was very difficult. I knew that it would anger some readers. I also knew that it was the right ending for the series.

    I'm glad it worked for you.

    FLINN

    I have to admit, I am one of those angered. I will be so glad when this cliché of killing off the heroes will finally pass. I escape to fantasy for the happy ending. If I wanted to be depressed I'd grab a 3-dollar bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and drink it all and contemplate my mundane life. I can't spend much time reflecting on the book because of the mental picture of Vin and Elend dead in a field keeps popping up instead. They didn't even get a chance to reproduce.

    Now outside of the horrible ending (which wasn't surprising in the least because it is so common to kill the heroes) I enjoyed them. I absolutely cannot wait to read your books written 10 years from now. You can definitely pick up the improvement in transitions and character development in each book I've read from you. I'm quite often reminded of David Eddings although I'm sure plenty would disagree. And while Eddings isn't one of my favorite writers to be at his level (to me) so early in your career leads me to believe great things will be coming.

    I would like to ask you one thing to consider when writing endings. Fantasy is an escape, please don't ruin it with such depressing endings. When you have had the opportunity to look upon your dead wife in her coffin, reading about others dying isn't fun at all. It is absolutely terrible. Happily ever after.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (17 OCTOBER)

    I understand your anger. I wrote the ending that felt most appropriate to me for this book and series. I didn't find it depressing at all, personally. But people have reacted this way about every ending I've written.

    I won't always do it, I promise. But I have to trust my instincts and write the stories the way they feel right to me. I didn't 'kill off' Vin and Elend in my mind. I simply let them take risks and make the sacrifices they needed to. It wasn't done to avoid cliché or to be part of a cliché, or to be shocking or surprising, or to be interesting or poetic—it was done because that was the story as I saw it.

    I will keep this in mind, though. I know it's not what a lot of people want to read. Know that I didn't do it to try to shock you or prove anything. And because of that, if a more traditionally happy ending is something that a story requires, I'll do that—even if it means the people on the other side of the fence from you will point fingers at me for being clichéd in that regard as well.

    If it helps, realize that one of the reasons I added the lines in Sazed's note was to let the characters live on for those who wanted them to live on. I ALMOST didn't have Spook even discover the bodies, leaving it more ambiguous.

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  • 26

    Tyran Amiros (16 October 2008)

    How/why did you decide to go with Sazed as the epigraph author? I'll admit I was absolutely positive it was going to be Rashek, if only because of the parallelism (ancient story in epigraphs/modern story in text).

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    I chose Sazed because I felt that Rashek would have just been too obvious. I wanted this book to look toward the future, particularly with the ending. The epigraphs have been a fun and unique part of these books, and I wanted to make sure the ones in the third book were as good as the ones in the first two books. Also, there's a theme—there's always a secret in the epigraphs. In the first one, it's that Rashek was really the Lord Ruler. In the second book, it was the textual changes hinting that Ruin was manipulating the prophecies. In the third book, I wanted to have an equally surprising reveal to the epigraphs, and knew that it had to be something different from the other two. Hence Sazed. (Plus, I really wanted to dig into answering some world questions that I felt couldn't be answered by anyone other than Sazed.)

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  • 27

    Tyran Amiros (16 October 2008)

    What happened to Kwaan? I was half expecting to see him amongst the kandra First Generation.

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Kwaan went into hiding, and he was eventually discovered and executed by Rashek. He wasn't among the First Generation, though he would have been if he hadn't turned against Rashek. Rashek kept the plate, however, just as he kept Alendi's logbook. Partially because even then, Rashek was going a little mad, but partially because of the reminders about his old life they contained.

    VEGASDEV (17 OCTOBER)

    I'm assuming you meant Alendi hunted him down because he turned against Alendi. Or did Kwaan also turn against Rashek?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, I meant that he turned against Rashek. Remember, the members of the First Generation were offered immortality in exchange for their Hemalurgy. They had to make this choice for all of the world's Feruchemists. Because his uncle had been the one who gave Rashek the chance to become the Lord Ruler in the first place, Rashek blessed him and included him in the decision. (Speaking directly into his mind along with the others during Rashek's moment of ascension.)

    Kwaan was the only one who turned down this offer, calling it a betrayal of who they were as a people. Rashek could have just made him one anyway, but in a moment of anger, he tried to destroy Kwaan—which he couldn't do, not with Preservation's power. As the other Feruchemists changed, Kwaan remained the same. Rashek eventually hunted him down and killed him.

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    Tyran Amiros (16 October 2008)

    How technologically advanced was the society before the Final Empire? You reference gunpowder, and certainly the current day seems to have technologies like canning and clocks, so how much did Rashek destroy?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    They had steam technology, and were just about to hit the railroad era. Something near early 1800s in our world.

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  • 29

    Tyran Amiros (16 October 2008)

    Do any structures/cities still exist after Sazed's ascension? Or do the survivors need to start from scratch?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)

    Start from scratch! Good thing there are building materials in some of the storage caches....

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  • 30

    VegasDev (16 October 2008)

    Alendi's "Piercings of the Hero"?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    This is part of the manipulation Ruin did during the classical era on Scadrial, before the coming of the Lord Ruler. Piercings, and Hemalurgy, were part of the world before the coming of Allomancy in its modern form. Then, they were seen as a means of communicating with deity—which, indeed, they were. Ruin manipulated this to make sure any Hero of Ages who came would be under his influence. The reference is included mostly to indicate that yes, Alendi was under Ruin's influence. He ignored Rashek, though. (At least, right up to the moment when everything went 'wrong' for Ruin, when Rashek killed his chosen Hero of Ages.)

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  • 31

    VegasDev (16 October 2008)

    The other lake in Alendi's bumps?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    A manifestation of Ruin's gathered consciousness, much like the dark mists in book two. The lake was still around in Vin's era, but had been moved under ground. (Note that the Well is a very similar manifestation. You've also seen one other manifestation like this....)

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Such as...this?

    The "lake" was barely ten feet deep—more like a pool. Its water was a crystalline blue, and Raoden could see no inlets or outlets.
    If that's what you're hinting at...I never thought of the connection before! I just kept thinking of Aether of Night, and never thought of this pool at all.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Both are accurate, but the first is what I meant, as most people here don't have access to Aether.

    CHAOS

    I'm also thinking that the Dor in Elantris is another Shard of Adonalsium. Certainly in the Elantris world, where the Dor came from is rather ambiguous, which I expected it would be. Of course, if other Shards of Adonalsium do exist, the Dor could have come from that source.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will RAFO from here on the other Shards of Adonalsium, as it would be better for me not to give spoilers. Please feel free to speculate. Readers have met four shards other than Ruin and Preservation.

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Have we met these four by name, or just by influence? I can't think of a name that would go with the one that the Elantris lake is a manifestation of.

    Hoid could be one? I know nothing his purpose other than that he shows up in lots of different books, sometimes begging and sometimes telling stories. Since most of these series happen on different planets (though two of them may happen on the same planet as each other), I'm assuming he has mad planet-hopping skills.

    ...Nightblood...

    BRANDON SANDERSON (20 OCTOBER)

    Ookla, I'm going to be tight lipped on this, as I don't want to give things away for future books. But I'll tell you this:

    You've interacted with two directly.
    One is a tough call. You've never met the Shard itself, but you've seen its power.
    The other one you have not met directly, but have seen its influence.

    CHAOS (18 OCTOBER)

    I thought Nightblood was explained sufficiently for my tastes in Warbreaker, so I doubt that it is a Shard, but I've been plenty wrong before. Also, I don't know if Hoid could even be a Shard. Certainly he has mean planet-hopping skills, but I don't know what purpose a celestial storyteller would have in this universe. He doesn't really have the same kind of power as Ruin or Preservation did, so normally I would rule him out right off the bat. But it is possible that these Shards come in many shapes, not just in the near-deific quantity Ruin or Preservation had. I think it's a bit of a stretch to say Hoid is a Shard... but, then again, I don't have any ideas for what those four other Shards are.

    Maybe Hoid is just a traveler trying to find remnants of Adonalsium and stories about them. He doesn't need to be a shard, I suppose.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (20 OCTOBER)

    This is slightly a tangent, but here is a relevant chunk from the Warbreaker Annotations. As this won't be posted for months, I'll put it here as a sneak preview.

    Chapter Thirty-Two

    This whole scene came about because I wanted an interesting way to delve into the history. Siri needed to hear it, and I felt that many readers would want to know it. However, that threatened to put me into the realm of the dreaded info dump.

    And so I brought in the big guns. This cameo is so obvious (or, at least, someday it will be) that I almost didn’t use the name Hoid for the character, as I felt it would be too obvious. The first draft had him using one of his other favorite pseudonyms. However, in the end, I decided that too many people would be confused (or, at least, even more confused) if I didn’t use the same name. So here it is. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about. . .well, let’s just say that there’s a lot more to this random appearance than you might think.

    CHAOS (17 OCTOBER)

    Brandon, I believe in one of Sazed's epigraphs, he actually called it "Adonasium" rather than what you are referring to here, which is "Adonalsium". I'm thinking that's just a typo, right?

    I don't suppose you could tell us which book series of yours will tell us more about Adonalsium, would you? You know, just so us theorizers on the forum know when to properly theorize about these things...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, I guess this means that the proofreaders did not add the "L" when I marked the error on the manuscript.(sigh). Yes, the correct spelling is Adonalsium. I will try to get this fixed for the paperback, but I've been trying to get that blasted steel/iron error in the back of book one fixed for two years now. . .

    If it helps, Sazed would probably under-pronounce the "L" as that letter, like in Tindwyl's name, is said very softly in Terris.

    As for your other question, you will have to wait and see. Now, you could search my old books for clues, but I would caution against this. While there are hints in these, they are not yet canon. Just as I changed how things were presented in the Mistborn books during editing, I would have fixed a lot in these books during revision. Beyond that, reading them would give big spoilers for books yet to be released. White Sand, Dragonsteel, and Way of Kings in particular are going to be published some day for almost certain. (Though in very different forms). Aether of Night should be safe, as should Final Empire prime and Mistborn prime, though of those three, only Aether is worth reading, and then only barely. (It is still pretty bad).

    Footnote

    Peter's quote is from Elantris. It's the pool that Raoden finds in the mountains above Elantris.

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  • 32

    VegasDev (16 October 2008)

    Spook gets repaired, does Cett get his legs?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    To give humankind the best shot at survival, Sazed repaired all genetic defects and physical ailments in the people who were in the storage caches. So yes, Cett can walk. He was so shocked by this that he spent the entire epilogue walking around in the cavern, marveling.

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  • 33

    VegasDev (16 October 2008)

    Was there ever anything to Reen's obsidian?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Reen's obsidian was a memento from his father, the parent he didn't share with Vin. I carried a small piece of obsidian like this for many years. It has no story function other than being important to Vin as a keepsake.

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  • 34

    Qarlin (16 October 2008)

    Who were Ruin and Preservation? I mean, when they died, they had bodies, like Vin. And you went as far as to describe their hair color (Red and Black, respectively). Preservation even had a prominent nose. Why describe their dead bodies, if they weren't at one time mortals themselves? They created humans, but were at one time human themselves?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    RAFO. (Sorry.)

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  • 35

    Qarlin (16 October 2008)

    I'm sad Ten Soon never got to talk to Vin again, since it was apparent they both missed each other.

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Remember that TenSoon, with spikes, can communicate more easily with those on the other side....

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  • 36

    Qarlin (16 October 2008)

    Lemme guess, the "Mistborn" following Vin was actually Ruin, since Elend never actually saw him, and he disappeared every time Vin got close?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Yes.

    QARLIN

    Why did Ruin give off Allomantic Pulses? Because Preservation did and they're two sides of the same coin? Allomancy is of Preservation, so I figured that's why he did...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Manifestation of the awesome power he held, mixed with Vin's increased ability to sense these things. Allomantic pulses are like a ripple of sound in the fabric of creation itself—the power of creation being used, creating a drum beat to those attuned to it. Ruin created a similar beat when his consciousness was near.

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  • 37

    Qarlin (16 October 2008)

    A modern world update for a future Mistborn trilogy probably wouldn't involve as much metal, unless Mistings were rare, which apparently will not be the case. I'm thinking more like plastics, ceramics, fiberglass, and silicon. I mean for cars and guns and all that.

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Yes and no. For the rich, this would be an option. But much like using metal weapons in the Mistborn world, it isn't always an option for everyone. You will see both.

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  • 38

    darxbane (16 October 2008)

    In an annotation from book one, it is mentioned that The Lord Ruler needed all three magic systems in order to do what he did. I always assumed that it meant his Hemalurgy enhanced his Allomancy. Did Marsh get a double power, or is the Feruchemy-Allomancy combo enough? (a sidebar to this question is whether or not stacking abilities is possible through Hemalurgy).

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    He used Hemalurgy to pull off his most dramatic effects. Marsh didn't need them, but it makes things much easier.

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  • 39

    darxbane (16 October 2008)

    Did Vin's mother actually have a spike, or was she so crazy that one wasn't necessary for Ruin to influence her?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    She was crazy enough on her own.

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  • 40

    darxbane (16 October 2008)

    When the Kandra get their spikes back, do they remember who they were, or have they been "rebooted"?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    They remember, though some things are vague or foggy in their minds. Depends on the individual.

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  • 41

    happyman (16 October 2008)

    In one of the bumps, Sazed mentions a discussion between Vin and Ruin in which Vin asks Ruin why she was chosen to release him from the Well. Did this discussion occur in the in-between afterlife where Vin, Elend, Kelsier, etc., were, or did it occur off-screen while Vin and Ruin were busy stopping each other from affecting the world?

    DALENTHAS

    I was fairly sure she asked it while she was a prisoner of Yomen, but I could be wrong.

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Yes, as has been pointed out, that's in the text—unless I cut it during editing for pacing issues. If I did, the conversation still happened, but it just didn't get shown on screen.

    Footnote

    It did get cut during the book.

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  • 42

    Dalenthas (16 October 2008)

    Were the epigraphs meant to be in order? If so, reading them all straight through it seems Sazed keeps going off on tangents, seems more stream of consciousness than we're used to seeing from Sazed...

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    They are in order, but there are large gaps of text left out. So you're not getting the whole thing, just the 'good parts' versions. That's why it feels jumpy.

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  • 43

    Kaimipono (16 October 2008)

    What was Vin supposed to do at the end of Well of Ascension? How exactly did not-using the power, end up releasing Ruin? I still don't get how that all worked. Can you explain it?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    What was she supposed to do? Well, this is difficult to answer, since the prophecies have been changed and shifted so much. Originally, the prophesies intended for a person to go take the power every thousand years and become a protector of mankind for a period of time. Someone to keep an eye on Ruin in Preservation's absence and watch over the world as he would have done. Imagine an avatar who arrives every thousand years and lives for their lifetime blessing the people with the power of Preservation, renewing Ruin's prison, and generally being a force for protection. (Note that Ruin wouldn't have gotten out if the prison wasn't renewed, he'd simply have been able to touch the world a little bit more.) Obviously, it changed a LOT during the years that Ruin was playing with things.

    What should she have done? Well, Ruin's release was inevitable. Even if she hadn't let him go, the world would have 'wound down' eventually. The ashfalls would have grown worse over the centuries, and the next buildup of the Well might not have come in time for them to do anything. Or, perhaps, mankind would have found a way to adapt. But Ruin was going to get himself out eventually, so the choice Vin made was all right. There weren't really any good choices at this point. She could have decided to take the power and become a 'good' Lord Ruler, trying to keep the world from falling apart. Of course, she would have had to make herself immortal with Hemalurgy to make that work right. And since she was already tainted, chances are good she wouldn't have ended up any better than the Lord Ruler himself.

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  • 44

    Kaimipono (16 October 2008)

    If Sazed is the Hero of Ages, then who is the Announcer?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    The Announcer was a fabrication of Ruin intended to reinforce the person HE wanted to be the Hero.

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  • 45

    Kaimipono (16 October 2008)

    Allomancy is fueled by Preservation's body? How exactly does that work? And how does that interact with Atium—it's fueled by both gods' bodies?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    The powers of Ruin and Preservation are Shards of Adonalsium, pieces of the power of creation itself. Allomancy, Hemalurgy, Feruchemy are manifestations of this power in mortal form, the ability to touch the powers of creation and use them. These metallic powers are how people's physical forms interpret the use of the Shard, though it's not the only possible way they could be interpreted or used. It's what the genetics and Realmatic interactions of Scadrial allow for, and has to do with the Spiritual, the Cognitive, and the Physical Realms.

    Condensed 'essence' of these godly powers can act as super-fuel for Allomancy, Feruchemy, or really any of the powers. The form of that super fuel is important. In liquid form it's most potent, in gas form it's able to fuel Allomancy as if working as a metal. In physical form it is rigid and does one specific thing. In the case of atium, it allows sight into the future. In the case of concentrated Preservation, it gives one a permanent connection to the mists and the powers of creation. (I.e., it makes them an Allomancer.)

    So when a person is burning metals, they aren't using Preservation's body as a fuel so to speak—though they are tapping into the powers of creation just slightly. When Vin burns the mists, however, she'd doing just that—using the essence of Preservation, the Shard of Adonalsium itself—to fuel Allomancy. Doing this, however, rips 'troughs' through her body. It's like forcing far too much pressure through a very small, fragile hose. That much power eventually vaporizes the corporeal host, which is acting as the block and forcing the power into a single type of conduit (Allomancy) and frees it to be more expansive.

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  • 46

    Kaimipono (16 October 2008)

    Why exactly do some spike removals kill (dual eye, or central spike) but most don't?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    For the same reason that a bullet through one part of the body will kill you, but getting shot somewhere else won't. The physical form of a person who has undergone a Hemalurgic transformation is no longer what we think of it. The direct connection to Preservation starts keeping them alive. (Imagine stapling someone's soul to another person's soul, their life essence, then stapling that to the power of creation itself, giving you a conduit directly to power, letting you leech it and steal it.) That power keeps you alive, despite the wounds. Some of the time, the other staples are enough to keep you alive, even if one is pulled out. Others are too important.

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  • 47

    Kaimipono (16 October 2008)

    Did Zane get spiked intentionally? Did someone else (Straff?) know about hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Zane spiked himself. It was...a very twisted and messy process. Note that Ruin tries to get Spook to do something similar. It's much easier for him to work with someone to get them to spike themselves than it is to arrange the exact circumstances where someone gets spiked.

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  • 48

    Kaimipono (16 October 2008)

    Very minor question—was Reen a Misting or Mistborn, and if so, did he end up as a spike in an inquisitor somewhere?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Reen had no Allomantic powers, I'm afraid. His father was skaa. (He was Vin's half-brother, if you recall.) And yes, he is dead.

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  • 49

    Xandeis (17 October 2008)

    Is there anyone out there other than me that would pay to see this in theaters??

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Well, I'd sure pay to see it in theaters! ;)

    To be more serious, I think this series—particularly the first book—is quite cinematic. I'd love to sell movie rights on it, assuming I can find the right people to work with. So if you have any contacts, let me know.

    Footnote

    Brandon was actually first contacted by Paloppa Pictures to do the Mistborn Films during his Hero of Ages Tour.

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  • 50

    firstRainbowRose (17 October 2008)

    I just wanted to add in my two cents and say it was absolutely brilliant... and I think I'm starting to be able to breath again (crying that much hurts)...I also really loved that there's an "cameo" for Kelsier at the end... that made me really happy to see.

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Glad you liked the book, Rainbow!

    You may want to note that the moment Preservation dropped out and let the last of his consciousness die, someone was waiting in the Cognitive Realm to seize the power and hold on for a short period until Vin could take it up more fully. You'll find him using it to whisper in moments of great stress in the book, to one person in specific in two places. (I'll bet someone on here has already found them.)

    He never could just let things well enough alone....

    Footnote

    The person Brandon mentions is Spook. After the spike is removed, Kelsier prompts him to send the letter to Vin, and then prompts him to send people underground.

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  • 51

    GreedyAlgorithm (17 October 2008)

    Brandon, I'd like to see a timeline of when you fleshed out the parts of the cosmology we know about. I'd imagine Allomancy came before you fit it into the bigger picture, right? What was your method, come up with a cool image of hammering spikes through a living being, figure out how to integrate that into a larger picture, and then think about the implications of your new cosmology? Or what?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Boy, this is a hard one to ask because it's been such a LONG process. There were bits of all of this popping around in my head almost twenty years ago, so it's going to be hard to define where what fit into place when.

    Allomancy and Feruchemy were originally planned separately. I linked them together into this book when I realized that the 'focus' items that could store attributes could be metal, and therefore work wonderfully with the Mistborn book I was planning.

    Hemalurgy came from the image of Inquisitors first, then developed as a need to integrate it in with the other two in a way that evoked the power of "Ruin" rather than the power of Preservation. I figured that Ruin would steal, and it was a great way to add a third magic without having to overload people with a whole new set of powers. The process of writing this series, since I did all three books together, was an interesting one, and I made a lot of connections as I went. Some of the latest things on the timeline were figuring out how to fit atium and the Preservation nuggets into the already built framework. But I don't know if I can give you an exact list. Partially because there would just be too many spoilers in it.

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  • 52

    Czanos (17 October 2008)

    Preservation can fuel Allomancy, (Minus Atium.) but can Ruin fuel Hemalurgy? (Or Atium?) And could Sazed fuel all three Metallic Arts?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Both gods could, if they wanted, fuel all of the metallic arts. Preservation is stronger at fueling Allomancy, Ruin stronger at fueling Allomancy or Feruchemy when it has been given via a spike. Both are balanced when it comes to Feruchemy. But this rarely comes up in the books, as it required expending power in a way that the gods were hesitant to do.

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  • 53

    Czanos (17 October 2008)

    Are Atium and the External Temporal Pulling metal really the same?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    You are on to something.

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  • 54

    Czanos (17 October 2008)

    Are there any Allomantic metals we have not seen yet, besides Chromium and Nicrosil?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    RAFO. (Sorry.) Let's just say that when Sazed said there are two metals you haven't found, he MIGHT not have been referring to a metal and its alloy, but two base metals. Who knows. Gods can be frustratingly ambiguous in times like that.

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  • 55

    Czanos (17 October 2008)

    Does every metal have a Feruchemical and Hemalurgic property? If not, are there metals which have Feruchemical or Hemalurgic properties which do not have Allomantic ones?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Every metal has a Feruchemical, an Allomantic, and a Hemalurgic property. The godly metals each also do something else. There are several interesting Feruchemical powers yet to be discovered and revealed in the next series. Feruchemy is less widely understood because there were so few practitioners in the modern era, and a lot of the time they were too afraid of capture to really study and use their powers.

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  • 56

    Czanos (17 October 2008)

    When Vin is feeling out The Lord Ruler's final message plate, she finds a circle with a dot at the center. What does that mean?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    No big reveal here. That was to mean the center of the empire, which allowed one to place the map (which was very abstract) in reference to the empire.

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  • 57

    darxbane (17 October 2008)

    The note to Spook states that Sazed hasn't yet figured out how to put souls back into bodies. Is he going to learn that skill eventually (I'm expecting a RAFO here, but I figured I'd ask anyway)?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    RAFO. (Sorry, but this is plot sensitive for a future series.)

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  • 58

    darxbane (17 October 2008)

    Does Sazed get to see Tindwyl again now that he is a deity?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Sazed has yet to learn how to touch the distant other side, where all souls go. He is able to see into the Spiritual and Cognitive Realms, and any spirits or souls who remain there, rather than passing on. Generally, you have to be tied to the Physical Realm in specific ways to not pass on. As for where Tindwyl is, I will have to leave this up to you to imagine for now.

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  • 59

    darxbane (17 October 2008)

    Did we already find out what metal is combined with Atium to make Malatium?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    I might have said somewhere in the series. I can't remember. It's gold.

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  • 60

    VegasDev (17 October 2008)

    How many moons circle Scadrial, i.e. when the planet was moved were the moons moved as well?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Scadrial has no moons. I think I let slip the phrase "he's mooning over her" somewhere in the third book, but that is just a translation quirk to English. These people have no concept of a moon. There is a very bright star patch, however, covering much of the sky—much brighter than on Earth.

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  • 61

    VegasDev (17 October 2008)

    Was there anything on the other side of the planet or did the entire population live on one side?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    There is life on the other pole. I will RAFO any other questions about it, though.

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    VegasDev (17 October 2008)

    Pushing/Pulling use magnetics? Would a compass work on Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    A compass would work, but remember that the Final Empire is set at the north pole of Scadrial, but not necessarily at the magnetic north pole. These things are complicated, but just assume that it works the same way it would here on Earth.

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  • 63

    VegasDev (17 October 2008)

    Did Gemmel survive into the series or did he perish before Mistborn One?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    This will be answered in the short story in the Mistborn RPG, if all goes as planned.

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  • 64

    VegasDev (17 October 2008)

    Would Hemalurgy work on animals?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

    Yes, it would.

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  • 65

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    Folks,

    This essay I just posted:

    http://www.brandonsanderson.com/article/55/EUOLogy-My-History-as-a-Writer

    Started as a blog post for this thread, talking about the old books I wrote to give context to my previous post. It outgrew the length of a proper forum post, so I put it on the site instead. But this might help you understand some of my history as a writer, not to mention explain the origin of all these old books Ookla that references all the time.

    LIGHTNING EATER

    I remembered a thread from ages ago in which Brandon posted a list of the books he'd written, I looked it up when I realised it wasn't in the article, and I figured you guys might be interested too, so here it is.

    1) White Sand Prime (My first Fantasy Novel)
    2) Star's End (Short, alien-relations sf novel.)
    3) Lord Mastrell (Sequel to White Sand Prime)
    4) Knight Life (Fantasy comedy.)
    5) The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora (Far future sf involving immortal warriors)
    6) Elantris (You have to buy this one!)
    7) Dragonsteel (My most standard epic fantasy
    8) White Sand (Complete rewrite of the first attempt)
    9) Mythwalker (Unfinished at about 600 pages. Another more standard epic fantasy.)
    10) Aether of Night (Stand-Alone fantasy. A little like Elantris.)
    11) Mistborn Prime (Eventually stole this world.)
    12) Final Empire Prime (Cannibalized for book 14 as well.)
    13) The Way of Kings (Fantasy War epic. Coming in 2008 or 2009)
    14) Mistborn: The Final Empire (Coming June 2006)
    15) Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (Early 2007)
    16) Alcatraz Initiated (YA Fantasy. Being shopped to publishers)
    17) Mistborn: Hero of Ages (Unfinished. Coming late 2007)
    18) Dark One (Unfinished. YA fantasy)
    19) Untitled Aether Project (Two sample chapters only.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thanks for posting that. Note that I can never quite remember which was first, Aether or Mistborn Prime. I always feel that Aether should be first, since it wasn't as bad as the two primes, but thinking back I think that the essay is more accurate and I wrote it between them.

    This would be the new list:

    1) White Sand Prime (My first Fantasy Novel)
    2) Star's End (Short, alien-relations sf novel.)
    3) Lord Mastrell (Sequel to White Sand Prime)
    4) Knight Life (Fantasy comedy.)
    5) The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora (Far future sf involving immortal warriors)
    6) Elantris (First Published)
    7) Dragonsteel (My most standard epic, other than the not-very-good Final Empire prime.)
    8 ) White Sand (Complete rewrite of the first attempt, turned out much better.)
    9) Mythwalker (Unfinished at about 600 pages. Another more standard epic fantasy.)
    10) Aether of Night (Stand-Alone fantasy. A little like Elantris.)
    11) Mistborn Prime (Shorter fantasy, didn't turn out so well.)
    12) Final Empire Prime (Shorter fantasy, didn't turn out so well.)
    13) The Way of Kings Prime (Fantasy War epic.)
    14) Mistborn: The Final Empire (Came out 2006)
    15) Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (Came out 2007)
    16) Alcatraz Verus the Evil Librarians (Came out 2007)
    17) Mistborn: Hero of Ages (Came out 2008)
    18) Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Came out 2008)
    19) Warbreaker (Comes out June 2009)
    20) Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia (November 2009ish)
    21) A Memory of Light (November 2009ish. Working on it now. Might be split into two.)
    22) The Way of Kings Book One (2010ish. Not started yet.)
    23) Alcatraz Four (2010. Not started yet)

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Will elements of your untitled Aether project be worked into the Dragonsteel series?

    The Silence Divine (Working title. Stand alone Epic Fantasy. Unwritten.)
    Steelheart (YA Science Fiction. Unwritten)
    I Hate Dragons (Middle Grade fantasy. Maybe an Alcatraz follow up. Unwritten.)
    Zek Harbringer, Destroyer of Worlds (Middle Grade Sf. Maybe an Alcatraz follow up. Unwritten.)
    These titles are news to me. You described two potential YA or middle-grade books to me and Karen when you came out to Book Expo, plus Dark One, but now I can't remember the plots except they were cool (and that one of them involved superheroes). Are they among this list? Also, is that really Harbringer or is it supposed to be Harbinger?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Bah! That's what I get for typing so quickly. Yes, Harbinger. It should be "Zeek" too. Short for Ezekiel.

    Steelheart would be the superhero one, though that's a working title, since I'm not sure if it's trademarked or not. Haven't had much time for thinking about any of these books lately.

    PETER AHLSTROM (OCTOBER 20)

    Brandon, here you said Alcatraz 4 is called Alcatraz vs. The Dark Talent; is that still the working title? Also, you mentioned Dragonsteel: The Lightweaver of Rens, but now you say The Liar of Partinel is a standalone. Change of plans? (I know you can't get back to Dragonsteel for a while.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Alcatraz titles are in flux because I need to know if Scholastic wants the fifth one or not. (They only bought four.) Dark Talent will be one of them for certain.

    The Liar of Partinel was part of a two-part story told hundreds of years before the Dragonsteel epic. However, since I've dropped plans to go with Liar anytime soon—A Memory of Light has priority, followed by Way of Kings—I don't know what I'll end up doing with the second book, or if I'll ever even write it. I was planning on not calling either of these "Dragonsteel" in print, actually, and just letting people connect the two series on their own. It wouldn't be hard to do, but I didn't want the first actual book in the main storyline to be launched by Tor as "Book Three" since there would be such a large gap of time.

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  • 66

    Chaos (17 October 2008)

    Would the Three Metallic Arts operate in other worlds, or are they direct results of Ruin and Preservation and thus only operate in Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    To use Feruchemy or Allomancy in almost every case, one must have the right spiritual and genetic codes, imprinted upon people during the creation of Scadrial by Ati and Leras. To use Hemalurgy, one must first have someone with these right spiritual and genetic codes, then take the power from them. Other people on other worlds are not going to simply discover the Three Metallic Arts by accident.

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  • 67

    firstRainbowRose (17 October 2008)

    I have a rather simple question. What was Spook's real name? He gives a easternese slang term that becomes his name, then he goes by his Kelsier-given nick. So, what was his birth name? (Yes, I wonder about random things like that.)

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    Jedal. After his father.

    Which is the reason why Spook didn't like using it.

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  • 68

    Qarlin (17 October 2008)

    So are all these epic novels in the same universe? Elantris, Mistborn, Dragonsteel, all that?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    I'm afraid that question is best left to the rest of you, for now, to discuss.

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  • 69

    sporkify (18 October 2008)

    How did Inquisitors find Atium mistings?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    They spike the drinks at one of the nobility's balls with trace amounts of Atium, then cause a bit disturbance. (Often, the Inquisitors themselves arriving will do it) and burn bronze and watch for brief pulses. The body will burn metals instinctively if it can, which has been shown quite often in the series. This is also how they get a lot of their secret information about who is a Misting and who isn't. It's not a perfect method, since you have to watch for Copperclouds messing things up, but it is effective once in a while.

    Any time an obligator who is not a Misting joins the Ministry, he is unknowingly given a larger chunk of atium and then forced into a series of rituals that will drain him physically and get the body to react and burn the metal. This was how Yomen was discovered.

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  • 70

    sporkify (18 October 2008)

    Before, Inquisitors had supernatural healing. How did they get the Feruchemists for the spike? Were the keepers not so hidden after all?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    The keepers have been hunted for years. Much like skaa Allomancers, they were often captured and taken by the Inquisitors. It didn't happen nearly as often, of course. Two things to remember, however: Not all Inquisitors had the same spikes, and spikes CAN be reused with much less effectiveness. The longer they are outside of a body, the more their power degrades.

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  • 71

    sporkify (18 October 2008)

    And this is more towards the whole physics stuff, but is Feruchemy really balanced? If it gives diminishing returns, wouldn't this end up as a net loss of power?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    It doesn't diminish. Or, well, it does—but only if you compound it. You get 1 for 1 back, but compounding the power requires an expenditure of the power itself. For instance, if you are weak for one hour, you can gain the lost strength for one hour. But that's not really that much strength. After all, you probably weren't as weak as zero people during that time. So if you want to be as strong as two men, you couldn't do it for a full hour. You'd have to spend some energy to compound, then spend the compounded energy itself.

    In more mathematical terms, let's say you spend one hour at 50% strength. You could then spend one hour at 150% strength, or perhaps 25 min at 200% strength, or maybe 10min at 250% strength. Each increment is harder, and therefore 'strains' you more and burns your energy more quickly. And since most Feruchemists don't store at 50% strength, but instead at something like 80% strength (it feels like much more when they do it, but you can't really push the body to that much forced weakness without risking death) you can burn through a few day's strength in a very short time if you aren't careful.

    Footnote

    When Brandon says "compounding" here, he is speaking in a purely Feruchemical sense.

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  • 72

    sporkify (18 October 2008)

    How much control do Allomancers have over pushing and pulling metals?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    Depends on the Allomancer. Zane and Kelsier were both unusually skilled in this area, and represent the higher end of what is possible.

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  • 73

    Xandeis (18 October 2008)

    Who is HOID? I have read Elantris and all three Mistborns but don't remember the name, am I missing something?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    Hoid is a mystery which I cannot speak on other than what has been written in the text of the novels. However, I'm sure that others have explained it by now.

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  • 74

    Xandeis (18 October 2008)

    Dragonsteel, is that by Brandon or L.? Yep, I am soooo confused.

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    I just did a post on my website explaining this.

    Footnote

    Dragonsteel is a book that Brandon wrote while at BYU and is currently in the BYU library, and only in the BYU library .

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  • 75

    Xandeis (18 October 2008)

    These Shards everyone is talking about...what are they?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    RAFO. ;)

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  • 76

    Xandeis (18 October 2008)

    What is RAFO?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    "Read and Find Out." It was one of Robert Jordan's favorite phrases, and I have inherited it. (Symbolically, actually, through his bookmark, which was given to me by his wife. It's a little string one with weights on the end which spell out RAFO.) When I say it, I don't mean it rudely at all—it is intended to mean "I'd rather not say, as this will spoil future books." It doesn't indicate how I'll answer the question, or even if I will answer it. It simply means that if I were to do so now (even to say "I'm not going to include this") I feel it would spoil the enjoyment of future books.

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  • 77

    Comatose (18 October 2008)

    If Gold is used to make Malatium, couldn't malatium also be gold's compliment?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    The Allomantic table poster will have more info on this.

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  • 78

    Comatose (18 October 2008)

    I also wondered if you could explain that circle in the cave some more, I didn't quite get it.

    I was sure Vin was the hero right up until the end, even though originally before I read the book, I was sure it would be Elend or Sazed. But then the epilogue author started naming people off, so I knew it wasn't them. But it only mentions Vin as 'she,' when talking about how she got her spike. I was sure one of the epigraphs was going to be: "And that girl is me."

    The Sazed thing totally made sense in hindsight, I can't believe I didn't figure it out. And we were right about the "on the arms," bit being the part Brandon was referring to, good find Vintage!

    I'm a little sad that the lake doesn't come into it more. But the Mist spirit and the Deepness were BOTH Preservation. That was cool.

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    I think I did a post on the circle. The short of it is, that is drawing too much attention. Just because Vin didn't quite understand it doesn't mean it's important. (Though, of course, there are other things she doesn't understand that ARE important.) Also, the lake might be involved more at a later date. See the other posts.

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  • 79

    Comatose (18 October 2008)

    So here's my last question. If there ARE people on the other side of the world, did Vin kill them all by placing the sun on their side, or do they have they're own Ruin/Preservation battle going on over there as well? Do they also have allomancy feruchemy and hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    No, they're not dead. Yes, Rashek was aware of them. In fact, he placed them there as a reserve. I knew he wanted a 'control' group of people in case his changes to genetics ended with the race being in serious trouble. All I'll say is that he found a way other than changing them genetically to help them survive in the world he created. And since they were created by Ruin and Preservation, they have the seeds of the Three Metallic Arts in them—though without anyone among them having burned Lerasium, Allomancers would have been very rare in their population and full Mistborn unheard of.

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  • 80

    firstRainbowRose (18 October 2008)

    Is Sazed effected by the metal blindness, or can he see thing written in metal?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    He is blinded by metal.

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  • 81

    lexluthorxiv (19 October 2008)

    So I have a couple of questions....

    I loved the book, it was all great UNTIL Vin and especially ELEND died. I can see why you did it, but I was crying so hard when Vin confirmed Elend was dead. I actually had an urge to burn the books right then and there and pretend it had never happened. Either way, I continued reading and then found some sliver of hope when Sazed said he hadn't figured out how to restore the souls YET, he said he would get better at it.

    1)Does that mean that he might someday, maybe, hopefully (pretty please) bring them back to life? I suspect that you might not answer, but can I at least hope? Cause if anyone deserved to live a full NORMAL life it was Vin and Elend. Besides, it would ROCK if Elend and Kelsier ever got to meet each other......

    Aw man.....I'm still crying over Elend....Is it wrong I get so attatched to characters? Its just that Elend and Vin got so little time together. It's so sad. Which reminds me: You mentioned, when someone asked about Sazed meeting Twindyl again, that he hadn't because he hadn't reached that space where souls were and the ones that were trapped in the in between were the ones that had a connection with either the physical or the concious world. Those weren't the exact words but it was something like that that IMPLIED that Vin, Elend and Kelsier were somehow still connected with the earth because unlike Twindyl the hadn't progressed past that in between place.

    2) Am I right and maybe going somewhere, or am I talking total nonsense and simply trying to cope with the loss of Elend?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    One of the reasons for that line at the end is to give you, the reader, the power and authority to bring to the characters the ending you wish. I may do more in this series, but until then, please take the future of the characters wherever you want in your own mind. (Also, you mention that they had such little time together—which is true, but also remember that there was a year between books one and two, then another year between books two and three. They spent most of this time together.)

    The door is open for a return of Elend and Vin. Will I write it? It isn't likely to be soon, if I ever even do. Does that mean it won't happen? No. Not at all. If I write more Mistborn books, they will be hundreds of years in the future. During that time, Sazed could have learned to get souls into bodies, given Vin and Elend a life together somewhere away from the others, where they wouldn't have to struggle quite so much like they did through their lives, then ushered their souls on to the beyond. Or they could hang around with him, working with him as he takes his next steps to shepherd humankind on Scadrial. Or neither of the above. Imagine it how you wish, for I'm not going to set this one in stone for quite some time, if ever.

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  • 82

    Death Magnetic (19 October 2008)

    I'd first like to say that this series was fantastic. I was exceptionally pleased with how you tied everything together in this final book of the trilogy.

    (1) This series has the best world-building, magic system, and over-arching plot of any epic fantasy I have ever read. I think George R.R. Martin is still the master of creating memorable characters, developing them, and having them interact with each other. Other authors, like Hobb and Rothfuss, are better at evincing emotion. You are an amazing writer yourself.

    That being said, I have a couple suggestions for you.

    (2) The first contradicts itself, so take it for what it is. I would suggest that you write how you feel the story should be written. Getting inspiration from someone is one thing, but changing your work because some people want a happy ending or dark ending takes away from the purity of writing. The part you added in at the end where Sazed let Spook know Vin and Elend were happy in the afterlife really stuck me like a thorn. I think it was apparent how happy they were together in life and how necessary their sacrifices were. That would have been enough for me.

    (3) My other suggestion is more of a plea really. Please don't extend this series just to capitalize on it. If you really feel there is more story to be told, then tell it. I, for one, thought the ending would have been perfect if allomancy, hemalurgy, and feruchemy would have faded from existence as their corresponding gods did. It would have been rather romantic to have people start over with a new "normal" world.

    Congratulations again on completing a masterful work!

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    1. You humble me. I don't think I've NEARLY the skill for characters that Mr. Martin does, and that's not just an attempt at modesty. I hope to be there some day, however.

    2. This is a tricky one. I didn't change the worldbuilding or the cosmology of the story in order to fit what people wanted, but I feel strongly about using writing groups and test readers to see if my intention in a book has been achieved. I show things to alpha readers to see what is confusing or bothersome to them, then decide if that's really something I want to be confusing or bothersome.

    In my mind, the presence of a powerful being such as Sazed, mixed with some direct reaching from beyond the grave by a certain crew leader, indicated that there WAS an afterlife. However, test readers didn't get it, so I tweaked the story to make it more obvious. Perhaps I should have left it as is, but I liked both ways, and decided upon the one I liked the most in the context of reader responses.

    I do plan to always tell the stories from my heart, and not change them because of how I think the reactions will be. But I do think it's important to know what those reactions are ahead of time and decide if they are what I want or not.

    3. We are on the same page on this one. You can read other posts on the thread to see what kind of thoughts I might have for more Mistborn books, but I don't know if/when I will write them. It depends on the story and how excited I am to tell it.

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  • 83

    Andrew the Great (19 October 2008)

    Why can Vin fuel Elend's atium-burning, even though Atium is Ruin's Body and Vin is using Preservation? Or did I misread that and he was just burning atium and had run out of everything else?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    Yes, as has been pointed out:

    A powerful peace swelled in Elend. His Allomancy flared bright, though he knew the metals inside of him should have burned away. Only atium remained, and the strange power did not—could not—give him this metal. But it didn’t matter. For a moment, he was embraced by something greater. He looked up, toward the sun. (From the text.)

    As a note here, the powers granted by all of the metals—even the two divine ones—are not themselves of either Shard. They are simply tools. And so, it's possible that one COULD have found a way to reproduce an ability like atium's while using Preservation's power, but it wouldn't be as natural or as easy as using Preservation to fuel Allomancy.

    The means of getting powers—Ruin stealing, Preservation gifting—are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.

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  • 84

    Chaos (19 October 2008)

    So, Brandon, it's Sunday now. Did Hero of Ages sell enough to become a bestseller?

    *crosses fingers*

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    We'll know on Wednesday, but the distribution problems have us worried. A lot of stores didn't get the books on the shelves until Friday or Saturday, which only gave one or two days in that market to get on the list. We'll see. It's going to be close. It will depend on how many stores got the books on time, how well other authors did, and whether or not I sold copies at the RIGHT stores. (The ones which report to the New York Times list.)

    I will post on Wednesday when I know, though it might not be until late in the day, as I've got a lot going on during tour on Wednesday.

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  • 85

    jwmeep (19 October 2008)

    It seemed that Kelsier was fluent in Spook's street dialect, and even conversed with Spook in the dialect at one point. So I'm assuming Kelsier knew what Lestibournes really meant, and being who Kelsier was, giving him a new name probably was more about building the boy up, rather than just the length. That said, why Spook? If he was trying to boost Spook's self confidence, why use a name like that?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    It's an inside joke between them. "Spook" means "Sneaky" or "Clever" in the street slang. It was a compliment.

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  • 86

    jwmeep (19 October 2008)

    Given that Kelsier seems be keeping an eye out for everything from the beyond, how does Kelsier feel about how every turned out? Has his opinion on Elend changed? How did he react upon learning Lord Ruler's true nature? I'm guessing this may be a RAFO situation, but I might as well ask.

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    Yes, let's RAFO for the most part. (Let's just say that he is overall pleased.)

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  • 87

    jwmeep (19 October 2008)

    A question about Goradel. His end was very tragic, and was one of the things that had me in tears. The thing that really twisted the knife into me, is that he died that horrible death thinking that he had failed. When everything he tried to survive failed, his final act was to try to prevent the message into falling into Ruin's hands, but even that was futile. With those who seem to be active in the great beyond, did Goradel ever find out about what his actions helped to bring about? Was he ever thanked for his actions?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    Well... I don't want to speak too much about the great beyond in the books, as in my opinion that level of cosmology is influenced by your own beliefs in the hereafter and in deity. Beyond that, I would rather not speak of what happens to the souls beyond the three Realms, as even Sazed doesn't know that.

    Perhaps this will help, however. Like most of the leaders of soldiers in this series (Demoux, Wells, and Conrad included,) Goradel is based on and looks like one of my friends. In this case, it's Richard Gordon. He's read the book and cheered for his namesake's sacrifice and eventual victory. So the REAL Goradel knows. ;)

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  • 88

    Pygmalion (19 October 2008)

    ......wooooooooooooooah......

    I still can't stop thinking that in my head. It's all that's really coming to mind at the moment.

    I made the stupid mistake of finishing the book this afternoon in a public place. Therefore I looked like a complete moron as I burst into tears when Elend died. I think it was a good ending. I'm still not totally decided on that. I'm just in shock.

    It's just so amazing how the books progressed, developing into this huge cosmic epic that I never expected from just reading The Final Empire a year ago. I guess in some sense what I'm feeling is a slight sense of... awe, maybe? I want to know how he comes up with stuff. I mean seriously, talk about not just writing another fantasy series.

    But I'm also shocked that no one else seemed to have figured out that Sazed was the Hero of Ages. I thought it might be him when I started the book, but it could as easily have been Vin or Elend. But at about a third of the way through, page 215 to be exact, there was this line from Sazed thinking in his head:

    "I am, unforunately, in charge."

    Sound familiar?

    "I am, unfortunately, the Hero of Ages."

    No one else would have used the same wording as Sazed did when he was thinking to himself. I have to assume that was intentional on Brandon's part. It was very subtle... I'm actually surprised I noticed.

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    I'm gratified that you noticed. The Terris dialect IS very subtle. That speech pattern is one hint, the other is the use of "I think" to soften phrases at the ending. Beyond that, Sazed speaks with compound, complex sentences using frequent hedging to indicate that he's often uncertain. (That's another Terris speech pattern, not wanting to offend with language.)

    The epigraphs in this book particularly (though I did it for Kwaan too) are intended to "sound" Terris, and like Sazed in particular. I didn't think anyone would catch it. You made my day!

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  • 89

    Natalie Perkins (19 October 2008)

    I'm one of those readers that gets swept in the stories and fails to come up with any theories whatsover.

    However I did notice one... 2 years ago.

    Hoid

    I can't believe this is being talked about. I remember making a thread about it shortly after I joined the forums (I can't even find it anymore) About how I thought it was odd to see Hoid in Mistborn as an informant, Elantris as a beggar, Warbreaker as a storyteller, and I had a strong feeling it was in the first chapter as Liar as well but was too lazy to investigate.

    It was before these forums got so crazy crowded and I'm pretty sure my questions on whether the use of the name was intentional were brushed off. Weird right? Ever since then I considered my speculations unimportant (much like my speculation's on Reen's obsidian, the nobility really being Terris, and Vin being a feruchemist, by the way, don't ask about the second two, I'm crazy)

    Anyway, just wanted to add this. I sure wish I could find my original Hoid post but I'm pretty sure it was so old, it's been deleted.

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    I remember when you pointed Hoid out, notxaxlie. I was curious to see if others would start talking about it then, but it just kind of faded. You were certainly one of the first to spot that point.

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    JCHancey (19 October 2008)

    Will Vin and Elend fade like Mistborn? or will they live on as the "father and mother" of the new world?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 October 2008)

    I just answered this one, kind of, just above. I'm afraid it's rather vague. But they won't 'fade' away.

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