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Belzedar last won the day on February 2 2017

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About Belzedar

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  1. To be clear, filling the nicrosilmind does not permanently make you a Thug. If you charged it for three days, then removed the spike, you could use allomantic pewter for three days, but that's it. If you used nicrosil compounding, you could get a lot more than three days, and perhaps a power boost as well, but it's still technically a finite supply. I'm pretty sure that's how nicrosil works. If you are given an ability via hemalurgy, I don't think there's anything you can do (that we know of) to alter the spike, or the power inside it. If the spike is removed from you and given to someone else, they will not receive anything from you. They will receive the same power that you received, albeit slightly weaker because the spikes degrade. And if your hypothetical twinborn self wishes to throw people to the moon, you must also find a way to worldhop. Scadrial, unfortunately, has no moon.
  2. I don't think my imagination ever made a firm decision. When I imagine her talking to Kelsier about it in TFE, it's in the right ear, but when I picture Marsh ripping it out in HoA, it's in the left. The latter scene is more important, so i picked left.
  3. I think we're getting into Shyamalan territory. True, anything we'd never expect will indeed make a shocking twist. (Maybe Alrianne will be the next villain!) But the best twists aren't necessarily the most shocking ones. They're the ones make perfect sense in hindsight, and make you kick yourself for not figuring it out. But I'm not saying this theory is completely implausible. I just don't think the "huge twist" factor is the strongest evidence. Brandon has gone out of his way to tell us that a lot of our assumptions about Cultivation might be wrong: despite appearances, she is neither helpless nor entirely benevolent. Her worldview is as warped as any Shard's, and her long-term goals are impossible to guess. She's the enemy of our enemy (Odium), but that does not necessarily make her our friend.
  4. If I recall, there are two relevant WoBs on this subject. One says that 9 is an important number on Braize, and the other says that the number of unmade (which is 9) is "fixed." But these two facts aren't necessarily responsible for one another. The number of unmade might only be "fixed" because Odium has lost the ability to create more. Maybe there were once ten, and he lost one, which became the Sibling. The WoBs are clear that there are nine, but they don't say there were always nine.
  5. Pun intended?
  6. I loved Bands. It combines the quick, tight plotting of the Era 2 books with the more epic feel and subject matter of Era 1. It opened up cosmere questions, revealed tons of hidden Scadrian worldbuilding, and it actually sold me on Steris and the romance. When I finished it, I thought it was Brandon's best book to date. In many ways, I still do. But in other ways, I enjoyed Oathbringer more. As I've said in other threads, Oathbringer suffers a little from being the third book in a massive ten-book series. It has some structural weaknesses, and it feels a bit unfocused because there are so many plotlines. But the sheer epicness of the Stormlight saga wins me over every time. The flaws of Oathbringer as a novel are nothing compare to the achievements of Oathbringer as a chapter of the Stormlight Archive. Tl;dr: Bands is a more skillful novel, but Oathbringer is more fun.
  7. I think White Sand's biggest flaw was that it was written at the beginning of Brandon's career. He's gotten so much better since Elantris. If this new graphic novel is a completely new writing project, without loyalty to old trunk novels, I predict it'll be a huge improvement.
  8. Very interesting. Especially this part: Neverending exploration. I love that. And I think it opens up a lot of good low-level conflicts. Since you're doing colonialism, you can get a lot of drama out of soldiers who sympathize with the people they conquer, and start to question the doctrine of infinite imperialism. There are some unfortunate cliches down that road, but it's still a story worth telling. You could also deal with the problems that come with an impossibly enormous empire. Even with steam power, a world that size is going to have problems. What happens when the empire is so vast that it takes years to travel from the homeland to the outer provinces? That will create a huge cultural gap between parts of the empire, and some horribly awkward inequalities. If it's impractical to send troops from the homeland to the frontier, then the empire's defense and expansion are handled exclusively by soldiers from the outer empire. They do all the fighting, but the nobles back in England/Prussia reap all the booty. That's a recipe for unrest. How does the empire deal with that? Assuming this is an ocean world with tons and tons of continents, the widespread colonialism will invite piracy on an incredible scale. Pirates are always interesting. If the government is really like 18th century Britain, then you've got a parliament of nobles holding as much power as the king, and a population that will soon be demanding real democracy. I'm not sure how that'll affect colonial soldiers, but I'm sure they'll have opinions about it. History of Rome isn't quite as good as Hardcore History (nothing is), but it has a particular focus on the difficulties of managing and expanding a huge multicultural empire. (The early episodes are preoccupied with Rome's founding mythology, but the long saga of empire-building gets underway pretty quickly.) Also, Frog Mongols?
  9. I think the problem is that common soldiers don't make high-level decisions. They fight the battles, but they're disconnected from the war. I think you need to find a way to get your soldier closer to the power centers. For instance, if the soldier grew up in the area where his unit is presently campaigning, the general might call him in to consult on strategy. If he proves himself useful in that conversation, he might become the general's aide, or part of his personal guard. Then he'd be privy to all the important conversations, and he'd be exposed to the politics that generals have to deal with. Eventually the general will have to report to the emperor in person, and then your soldier gets to visit the imperial court and get drawn into the intrigues. Another solution is to create a situation where the soldier has to take charge and start directing things himself. Maybe his unit gets cut off from reinforcements and their commander is killed, so someone from the ranks has to step up and become the leader. It really depends on the kind of story you want to tell. As for podcasts, check out Hardcore History and The History of Rome. They're both great history podcasts, and they both focus a lot of the story on military history. Only the most recent Hardcore episodes are available for free, but the older ones are pretty cheap on itunes. I highly recommend them Just out of curiosity, what kind of empire are you writing about? Is it inspired by any particular historical empire? (cultural contexts can be very helpful for building good character conflicts.)
  10. I like it. I haven't read Malazan yet, but I don't think the similarities to Stormlight are too egregious. Tons of settings use gems in their magic systems, so I wouldn't worry about that. I have several follow-up questions, which I hope you'll find helpful. 1. What exactly can you do with the magic? Narrow it down. Lay out specific functions and rules. This is where you really set your magic system apart from others. (You don't have to have all the answers right away, but I'd like to know more about these other planes and dimensions.) 2. What are the dragons like? Are they intelligent? How do they feel about being killed for their blood? If they are captured and raised on a dragon farm, does this affect the potency of their blood? If dragons are hunted to the brink of extinction, do the few remaining ones have extra magic in their blood? 3. Is there a way to use the dragon blood directly, without absorbing its power into gems? What obstacles prevent this, and what powers might be unlocked if those obstacles could be overcome?
  11. "Wax" and "wane" just mean shrink and grow (respectively), or strengthen and weaken. They don't have to refer to the moon. I think the real joke is that they're opposites, like an allomantic metal and its alloy, one pushing and one pulling.
  12. The bad guy could be a religious fanatic who wants to "cure" homosexuality with a focused emotional allomancy regime. Once it's proven that his methods don't work, he resorts to a more direct means of altering people: hemalurgy! Actually, this might be too dark and disturbing for Brandon's techno thriller. This is horror material. I just don't know if the gay club scene is Brandon's idea of fun. I think he's more likely to use a queer protagonist if the queerness ties directly into the plot. If the villain is a homophobe, a gay hero has a personal stake in the fight.
  13. @WhiteLeeopard, that's a good point. I'm assuming some of the old social order has survived the chaos in Alethkar, which is probably a dicey proposition. Clearly the desolation is going to change everything. With all the attention the books have given to the unjust inequalities in Alethi society, I'm sure all of that will be torn down, and a Radiant-centric leadership caste will arise in its place. And if that progresses quickly, a Kaladin-Jasnah marriage could certainly be proposed. But I don't think Kaladin would go for it. Why? Because the only purpose of such a marriage is to cement the new Radiant aristocracy. It would lay the foundation of a new system in which Kaladin's descendants would have privilege because they inherit his bright blue eyes. In other words, a new system identical to the old system. Once Kaladin's eye color changes permanently, and he realizes that all the injustices he grew up with are ultimately the result of ancient Radiant supremacy, he will want no part in this. He swore to protect, not to rule.
  14. Yes, but the rule that automatically elevates shardbearers was calibrated for traditional Alethi society. The nobles, who hold the power, abide by that rule because they know it's practically impossible for a darkeyes to acquire a shardblade. It's like saying, "sure, if a pig learns to fly, we should totally make that pig a senator." What happens when thousands of pigs start flying? Are you going to hand your entire government over to pigs, just because you said you would? Or are you going to change the rules? If any old bridgeman can become a radiant and pull a new shardblade out of thin air, the rules need to change. The greedy, moneygrubbing lighteyes of Alethkar will not stand by and let an arbitrary custom undermine the social order that gives them their power.
  15. I think the problem is that Jasnah has to think politically now. Kaladin may be important to the war effort, but he's still a commoner by birth. If Jasnah marries him, she's basically telling all of Alethkar that Radiants outrank highprinces. She's telling her entire nobility that status no longer comes from noble blood, but from nahel bonds, which even the lowliest servant can attract. To us, that looks like progress; to the conservative nobility, it will justify a coup. Ialai might respond by marrying one of the other Highprinces, making him lord of two princedoms. And if he starts advocating traditional noble authority, every powerful lighteyes left will support him as king.