This is a list of relevant quotes on the Cosmere that it would help any newbie to read. In another thread a Cosmere 201 was requested. Here it is. No theories. Just quotes.
Most quotes were found from searching this. If you have any quotes you believe should be added just say.
A lot of interesting stuff came from his reddit ask me anything, our questioning of him, and signings where brave 17thsharders got quotes from brandon. Some of the quotes from our QA of Brandon aren't in theorybase so it's very worthwhile to read the whole thing. We also got some quotes from him on twitter which are in theoryland.
And of course the books are useful sources too, particularly the ebooks. Even if you have the physical books you can navigate the ebooks better to search for things.
Each of the 'Shardworlds' I've written in (Mistborn, Elantris, Warbreaker, Way of Kings) exists with the same cosmology. All things exist on three realms—the spiritual, the cognitive, and the physical. What's going on here is an interaction between the three realms. I don't want to bore you with my made up philosophy, but I do have a cohesive metaphysical reasoning for how my worlds and magic works. And there is a single plane of existence—called Shadesmar, the Cognative Realm—which connects them all.
Harmony, Mistborn 3
I have come to see that each power has three aspects: a physical one, which can be seen in the creations made by Ruin and Preservation; a spiritual one in the unseen energy that permeates all of the world; and a cognitive one in the minds which controlled that energy.
“All things exist in three Realms, Gaotona. Physical, Cognitive, Spiritual. The Physical is what we feel, what is before us. The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself. The Spiritual Realm contains an object’s soul—its essence—as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it.”
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.)
Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)
I just got an answer to the question about why Nightblood can read minds but Shards can't. Brandon said that it depends on the Shard's focus--Ruin can't read minds, but Preservation can when you're connected to Preservation in a special way. So, some Shards can read minds while some can't.
Looking into the future was not something Ruin was good at doing. That ability is confined to certain shards, and not others.
Listen on Soundcloud.com 49minutes
When one of the Shards, like Odium, moves from world to world in cosmere, does their presence, such as the metals they leave behind or their magic really go with them?
Brandon: Odium never really settled on a planet [before?]. He now, he settled on Roshar and his magic has permeated things. Leaving would be very difficult for him, and would either involve leaving behind some of his power, or ripping that out, which would be a difficult process. So yes, it is very tough to leave.
Afraid not. Aon Mea references the expanded region within which the "Elantris Effect" will create Elantrians. The X is fertile valley with a high density of life, a place with a lot of cognitive activity. (Cognitive as defined by Realmatic Theory includes the 'thoughts' of all things that exist, not just human beings. The more complex the life form, the stronger its presence on the Cognitive Realm.)
“Besides, what good will a cook be in the Spiritual Realm?” “Heralds need food,” she said absently, scratching out a line on her writing board, then scribbling another line of numbers beneath it. “Do they?” Ashir asked. “I’ve never been convinced. Oh, I’ve read the speculations, but it just doesn’t seem rational to me. The body must be fed in the Physical Realm, but the spirit exists in a completely different state.” “A state of ideals,” she replied. “So, you could create ideal foods, perhaps.”
The devotaries taught that when men died, the most valiant among them—the ones who fulfilled their Callings best—would rise to help reclaim heaven. Each man would do as he had done in life. Spearmen to fight, farmers to work spiritual farms, lighteyes to lead. The ardents were careful to point out that excellence in any Calling would bring power. A farmer would be able to wave his hand and create great fields of spiritual crops. A spearman would be a great warrior, able to cause thunder with his shield and lightning with his spear.
If you are standing inside of a time bubble, and throw a spear out of the bubble, what happens to that spear as it traverses the border of the bubble? Are different parts of the spear ever in different "time zones," going fundamentally different speeds?
On that line of reasoning, what would happen to a train and its occupants if Marisi stood next to railroad tracks holding up a Cadmium bubble while that train sped by?
In general, a large object going through a time bubble is not going to notice. An object is either in or out, and it depends in part on how the object views itself. People inside the train would be inside of its influence, and wouldn't notice the bubble. The spear would go from one to the other, but would never be in both.
On bendalloy bubbles.
Any living thing touching the bubble it is affected by the bubble.
K. Are the changing beauty standards of Returned and the "plausibility" of Forgeries determined by the same kind of "cognitive ideals or concepts which have taken on literal personification over time" that some types of Spren represent?
B. Yes. These things all work according to the same fundamental framework.
N. In Warbreaker Lightsong mentions that the Returned's forms are dependent on contemporary beauty standards. In the Emperor's Soul Shai implies that if others did not find the Emperor's Soul plausible it would not take as well. Is my reading of their statements correct, is their magic dependent on how others view you as well as how you view yourself?
B. Yes. This is a factor.
Addendum. It is interesting to read this quote in light of Shai's quote "The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself".
WOK, relating to scholars measuring spren.
It seemed locked somehow. It almost looked like a little person as it danced over the fire. She reached up and erased her notation. It immediately began pulsing and changing erratically like the other one. “Wow,” Ashir repeated. “It’s as if it knows, somehow, that it has been measured. As if merely defining its form traps it somehow.
Reddit, Are there poopspren. Spotted by Senor Feesh.
Well, it depends on how you're defining spren. In the books, they don't make a distinction, but there are several varieties. At the basic level, everything has an identity--a soul, you might say, but more than that. This is based on how it is viewed, and how long it has been viewed that way. Feces would have this, but wouldn't have a very strong cognitive identity because of its transitional nature.
Other types of spren, the type that characters see and interact with, are cognitive ideals or concepts which have taken on literal personification over time. These are usually related to forces or emotions, and don't relate to this particular topic.
And that's far more than I ever expected to say on this...
http://www.reddit.co..._author/c8kcur7 what would happen if Miles was cut in half and healed?
Good question. In all of the cosmere's Shard-based magics, the greater portion of a bisected body regrows the lesser portion. If it were done EXACTLY halfway, the soul wold jump to one or the other randomly and that would regrow.
Amusingly, this first came up in 1999, six years before I got published. (I see someone else already mentioned the situation where I had to consider it.)
I asked him if it was possible to enter or exit Shadesmar in interplanetary space.
He laughed nervously for several seconds with a look that suggested "Uh-oh!" and replied (as best as I can remember):
I would say no. The Cognitive Realm does exist there, but Shadesmar is a special case.
There are many ways to enter Shadesmar. You'll see more of this in the future. One thing to keep in mind about Shadesmar is that space where things are thinking is expanded, while space where there is nothing to think is contracted. In other words, in an empty void, you get almost no Shadesmar. This makes distances as we think of them very different there.
Windrunner is it hard to travel in Shadesmar in Roshar vs Sel
No, Roshar does not have the same problem. There are some differences going on. (One reason being that the spren are far more extensive on Roshar, and provide something of a "release valve." The Seons and the Skaze on Sel are not numerous enough to fulfill a similar function. Though, of course, that's only one part of the puzzle. Raw power is dangerous.
It's one reason everyone should be thankful Kelsier was around on Scadrial.
Compare with. http://www.theorylan...in.php?i=727#50
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....
I don't think it's necessary at all. The writer's own fascinations--whatever they are--can add to the writing experience. But yes, some philosophical ideas worked into my fiction. Plato's theory of the forms has always fascinated, and so the idea of a physical/cognitive/spiritual realm is certainly a product of this. Human perception of ideals has a lot to do with the cognitive realm, and a true ideal has a lot to do with the spiritual realm.
As for more examples, they're spread through my fiction. Spinoza is in there a lot, and Jung has a lot to do with the idea of spiritual connectivity (and how the Parshendi can all sing the same songs.)
Ok. The gemhearts/stormgems/whatever that are grown inside the beasts in Way of Kings ... is that the same as the way Atium is grown inside geodes in the Pits of Hathsin?
It's similar. The pits are an area where there's like a leak from the spiritual realm into the physical. That's what happens there.
Green Hoodie Mistborn
Is there any relation between the smoke that is emitted when a Shardblade cuts somebody and the smoke that Nightblood emits in Warbreaker?
Yes, there is. You've been...are you a 17th Sharder?
My cousin ran into Brandon in a bookstore once (crazy!) and asked him which of these two was more powerful. His response was that Nightblood is "several orders of magnitude more magical than a shardblade."
Preservation, as a Shard, is about preserving life, people, and the like. Not about self. No more than Ruin is about destroying self, or Cultivation is about growing herself.
Ars Arcanum, Alloy of Law.
Allomancy is the most common of the three. It is end-positive, according to my terminology, meaning
that the practitioner draws in power from an external source. The body then filters it into various forms.
(The actual outlet of the power is not chosen by the practitioner, but instead is hardwritten into their
Spiritweb.) The key to drawing this power comes in the form of various types of metals, with specific
compositions being required. Though the metal is consumed in the process, the power itself doesn’t
actually come from the metal. The metal is a catalyst, you might say, that begins an Investiture and keeps
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.
People ask about getting the power from metals and things, but that’s not actually how it works. The power’s not coming from metal. I talked a little about this before, but you are drawing power from some source, and the metal is actually just a gateway. It’s actually the molecular structure of the metal… what’s going on there, the pattern, the resonance of that metal works in the same way as an Aon does in Elantris. It filters the power. So it is just a sign of “this is what power this energy is going to be shaped into and give you.” When you understand that, compounding [in Alloy of Law] makes much more sense.
Compounding is where you are able to kind of draw in more power than you should with feruchemy. What’s going on there is you’re actually charging a piece of metal, and then you are burning that metal as a feruchemical charge. What is happening is that the feruchemical charge overwrites the allomantic charge, and so you actually fuel feruchemy with allomancy, is what you are doing. Then if you just get out another piece of metal and store it in, since you’re not drawing the power from yourself, you’re cheating the system, you’re short-circuiting the system a little bit. So you can actually use the power that usually fuels allomancy, to fuel feruchemy, which you can then store in a metalmind, and basically build up these huge reservoirs of it. So what’s going on there is… imagine there’s like, an imprint, a wavelength, so to speak. A beat for an allomantic thing, that when you burn a metal, it says “ok, this is what power we give.” When it’s got that charge, it changes that beat and says, “now we get this power.” And you access a set of feruchemical power. That’s why compounding is so powerful.
So, I went back to the original, and decided that color was enough to differentiate them. Just as steel and iron are very similar in the mistborn world, Emerald and Heliodor can be very similar--but produce different effects. The idea here is that the physical items (like the metals or the crystals) provide a key by which magical interaction occurs.
So, in a long winded answer, a gemstone with an impure color would be considered like a bad alloy in the Mistborn magic--it either wouldn't work at all, or would work very poorly. The chemical and color signature needs to be of a specific variety to provide the proper key to accessing the power of transformation.
Elantis, Raoden reading books on magic
The Dor was as Galladon had described
it: a powerful reservoir just beyond the normal senses. Its only desire was to
escape. The books explained that the Dor existed in a place that was full of
pressure, and so the energy pushed its way through any viable exit, moving
from an area of high concentration to one of low.
However, because of the Dor's nature, it could enter the physical world only
through gates of the proper size and shape. Elantrians could create rifts with
their drawings, providing a means for the Dor to escape. and those drawings
would determine what form the energy took when it appeared. However, if even
one line was of the wrong proportion, the Dor would be unable to enter-like a
square trying to force its way through a round hole.
Some theorists described
the process using unfamiliar words like "frequency" and "pulse length." Raoden
was only beginning to understand how much scientific genius was held in the
library's musty pages.
SPLINTER. Are the Aons at the heart of Seons SPLINTERS of Aona?
Sweetness 2. Just after the Shattering (but before they started created humans or something), did all Shards have roughly the same amount of raw power?
Brandon Sanderson Yes. Good question.
FireArcadia [*]Does the Spiritual power used in any given magic system come from the supporting Shard itself, or through it from the remains of Adonalsium and the Power of Creation?
From the Shard in most cases. But it's also often built into the world innately, and so the Shard (if someone is holding it) doesn't always have control over who can or cannot use the magic.
From which stage of development does human embryo on Scadrial gain Hemalurgic potential?
This has to do with the nature of the magics in the cosmere. They interfere with one another. Something that contains a lot of power--we call it investiture--resists the efforts of magic to influence it. A strong spirit can interfere as well.
http://www.17thshard...0426#entry40426 (paraphrased by Nalesean)
1.) The ability to push/pull an invested object is predicated to the amount/power of the investiture
2.) Further, invested objects also gain resistance to pulling/pushing based on proximity to soul possibly via the soul. An example given is that a hemalurgic spike touches the blood of the person, and from there is now part of both the Spiritual Realm and the Physical Realm. This provides what Brandon termed a kind of "soul interference," based on its proximity to the soul...
..3.) The amount of investiture is relatively low on Scadrial, whereas worlds like Cel and Roshar are pushing around "high power" according to Brandon...
Brandon said that theoretically you can push/pull Shardblades and Shardplates but you would need to wield an incredible amount of power. One example he gave that could so such as a thing is that if you were a Mistborn wielding the full power of the Well of Ascension, you could push/pull Shardblades/plate
Windrunner [*]Can all Investitures be classified as end-positive, neutral, or negative?
Yes, though in the overwhelming majority of cases, it's end-positive or at least neutral. Hemalurgy really is an oddity in the cosmere
Mastermoridin to Brandon
2. Why does Preservation fueling Allomancy not weaken Preservation compared to Ruin?
Because the power, once used, returns to him--much as water, after passing over a turbine, continues on in its system.
Q:Would the various magic systems work on different worlds? For example, would a Mistborn be able to use his/her abilities in the world Way of Kings is located on?
A:It depends on the magic system. They are all related to a kind of "Spiritual DNA" that one gets from their heritage on a specific planet. However, there are ways around that. (Hemalurgy, for example, 'staples' a piece of someone else's soul to your own, and creates a work around to give you access to magic you shouldn't have.) Some of the magics are more regionally tied than others. (In Elantris, you have to access the Dor, which is very regionally influenced.)
The end answer is this: With in-depth knowledge of how the magics work, and their connection, one could probably get them all to work on other planets. It may take effort for some of them.
Viper, AMOL signing
Me: So do soulstamps get weaker further from MaiPon? If you left Sel via Shadesmar and went to another planet, would the soulstamp stop working?
BS: That's correct.
1) The difficulty here is, again, one of Identity. People born on Scadrial have an Identity tied to it and its magic. Odium would have to do certain things to make them able to use a magic he fuels. He has done these things on Roshar, so it's not impossible for him to manage it on Scadrial.
1) Hoid, so far, has only moved forward in time. He has not 'lived' all of those years, but has used some time dilation techniques. That said, he is far older (both in relative and real time) than a normal person can live.
2) One of the 'basics' of the magic in all of the worlds is that the energy of Shards can fuel all kinds of interactions, not just interactions based on their personality/role. I did this because otherwise, the Magics would all be extremely limited.
The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do. So, in Preservation's case, the magic is a gift--allowing a person to preserve their own strength, and rely upon the strength granted by the magic. While Hemalurgy has a huge cost, ending in net entropy.
Mike Cockrum (23 January 2013)
How many shards has Hoid received powers from, whether taken, stolen, given, etc.?
Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)
Well, he has a bead of Lerasium.
She had been bested, betrayed by the Imperial Fool when she’d assumed she could trust him. He had taken her copy of the Moon Scepter and swapped it for the original
New Hampshire Signing Viper, Theoryland.
Me: Hoid has a nugget of Lerasium and the Moon Scepter. Does he have a Breath.
BS: It seems quite likely that he would.
W. Why does Hoid want the Moon Scepter? Or was it just a convenient excuse to get Shai imprisoned?
B. He wanted it for more than just getting Shai in prison.
Edited by Nepene, 04 June 2013 - 02:25 PM.