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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Since the dawn of Scadrial, why was Feruchemy isolated in a single distinct population in the world, namely the Terrismen? Allomancy, while rare within the population of Scadrial, at least was not isolated to one population, it was spread evenly, it seems. What is special about the Terrismen that only they get the power of Feruchemy? Does it have something to do with the previous Ascensions before Rashek, with the guardian keeping the power for a time?
It's all in the spiritual DNA, which is passed on like normal DNA. However, they are a separate people. They've kept themselves isolated, similar to the jews in our world. When I asked he said there have been some Feruchemical-mistings in the past, but they are very rare.
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...
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....)
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.
Both are accurate, but the first is what I meant, as most people here don't have access to Aether.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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).
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.
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."
"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.
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!
An item of note his in this chapter bump. I mention 'Terris' for the first time here, which I was glad that I was able to do. Remember that name, because you'll soon get a lot more about that country.
I do worry that the bumps will make the book feel a little too much like a standard fantasy. Mention of prophesies and the like has become such a cliché in fantasy that I avoid them whenever I can. The story in MISTBORN doesn't really deal much with that aspect of the history, but the story that is happening in the bumps has quite a bit to do with it.
You gave me really good wiggle room on that one. Obviously the other person with Galladon and Demoux.
Right, the one from a future book.
His characteristics are… What is he like? Some people have read his book so they know what he's like…
Which book is he from?
He's from White Sand.
Okay, that's one I have but have not gotten to.
It's only mediocre so don't worry about it. Let's see what other worldhoppers I want to give you clues about… There’s a Terriswoman running around, if you keep your eyes open.
I have to read it, everything.
Who else do I want to talk about… Words of Radiance has a couple good ones, that will be pretty obvious.
Most of them are plant-based. I think I've mentioned one of the plants.
They have silk though, right?
Yes. It's called sea-silk, they grow it in the water. It comes from the coasts.
So they don't have anything like our silk, then?
If you looked at it, you would call it silk, but it is being produced in a very different way.
Our silk comes from insect cocoons, and they have a lot of that there, but they don't use it for fiber at all?
Insect cocoons on Roshar are either, they melt in water from the highstorm cycle, or they have stone in them, so they don't work really well for textiles. There are certain rockbuds you can shred the inside of the shell to get a textile, there's sea silk that grows out in the ocean, and there are other plants of a similar nature.
I was also wondering about the Steel Alphabet in the Mistborn books, each letter aesthetically looks like it's built from a cuff, a spike, and a bead, and was that intentional to reflect the magic systems?
Vasher misses Nightblood and feels responsible for him.
How many worldhoppers have we seen?
Oh, I haven't kept track, you've seen quite a few. There's one from Mistborn, did you catch him? I don't think people have really picked out the Terriswoman yet, who makes her way into them, but they're mostly not supposed to be noticeable yet, until you get to know them as characters and you look back and be like "oh that was that person."
Is it the Terriswoman I think it is?
I don't know which Terriswoman you think it is.
Speaking of the Terriswoman, is she the nurse in Warbreaker?
< Pauses; gleefully says > RAAAAAAFO!
Hi FireOx! The three sets of symbols show the progression of the Allomantic text through the ages. The earliest script is from Hero of Ages. It was changed and modified into the Terris script symbols we see in Well of Ascension. After more time, the Terris script morphed into what is now known as the Allomantic Alphabet or the Steel Alphabet, which are the symbols used in Mistborn: The Final Empire. We've extrapolated the Steel Alphabet into a script thatâ€™s more-standardized and refined for the chapter headings in Alloy of Law, which takes place 300 years after Hero of Ages.
Thanks for the question!
As Feruchemistry is the magic system combined from Ruin and Preservation's powers, and they created humankind on Scadrial, how is it that it only occurs in persons with Terrispeople in their ancestry?
In Well of Ascension, it mentions that the language of Terris had a gender neutral pronoun. If you actually constructed the language, what was that pronoun? Or did you just leave it as its English translation of "it"?
I didn't spend a long time on the languages in Scadrial, since most people were speaking the same tongue. I just used "it" in my own writings. Roshar has a lot more detail on the languages, because culture-clash is a bigger part of the theme of the series.
Yes, it was probably stupid of the crew to leave Elend alone with Tindwyl. I pushed this situation a little bit farther than, perhaps, is plausible. However, you have to remember how the Terris people are regarded by those in Luthadel. Terrismen are, in general, such kind and loyal servants that it's hard for Elend and the others to feel distrust for one.
I was very pleased with this scene when I wrote it. I'd known from the beginning that I wanted to bring another strong female character into this book, as well as give Elend a mentor for kingship. Tindwyl fills both of those roles remarkably well. She also gives us another look at Terris culture—it's always difficult in a book like this to distinguish the cultures from the people. If you have only one Terrisman in a book, then he doesn't just represent himself—he represents all of his people. And so, unless you show another side of that culture, the person and where they come from become the same thing.