The Traveler


Yesterday, at a signing at JordanCon, Brandon read out something that was very old, which he said we had been waiting for "for a long time". He thought it was about eight or nine years old. It is crazy, and very exciting. It's a piece called The Traveler which is quite cosmere-aware, which Brandon thought he could now reveal. We recommend you just read it with no further introduction, but if you want some analysis, scroll on down. Get hyped.

All of this is transcribed on Arcanum, and you can listen to the audio from the man himself at the links below. Here is Brandon's introduction to this piece:

Quote

Let me set up this piece for you. Let me see if I can--I'm gonna look at the file and see when I first started writing this piece... The master computer, that if you ran away with you would get all of my secrets. *crowd laughs* Nope, it says created when I created this new computer, so that doesn't help me.

But this is old. This is like eight years old. Maybe nine years old? And this is a story that I started writing... You can date it by--because you guys have been waiting for it. You can date it by when I told people I had written this thing in interviews. So it may be 2010, I dunno. You'll be able to find out I think by looking through the interview archive.

I wrote this thing that is very cosmere-aware. It's very kind of <inside>--sort of a little bit self indulgent. And I wrote it, I'm like, "I'm gonna post this on my website." And then I thought, "No, this gives away too much. I can't post this on my website, and so I'm not going to finish it. We're going to wait." But now most of the stuff that it gave away then has come out in things like Secret History and stuff like that, so now I can actually read it. So I called this "The Traveler."

And so, here it is. Note, again, this is a very early draft from a long time ago.

The Traveler

A focused southern breeze made the trees sound like they were chattering. Tiny crisp leaves spreading the news of the Traveler’s return. Pure white leaves, clustered along branches like skeletal limbs. Even the bark clinging to the trees was white. In some lands, white meant purity; in others, it meant death. Here, it didn’t mean a thing. It was simply, normal. 

The Traveler sat on the mossy white ground, back to the tree, legs crossed idly as he picked at a pomegranate, eating the seeds one by one then spitting out the pits. They fell on the stark moss-covered ground, leaving red juice like blood running across a sterile white floor. To say he wore rags would have be an insult to many a goodwife who kept her washing rags in much better shape than the Traveler's costume. Ragged brown and black canvas, tattered cloak, and scruffy beard, rubbed dark with a black material that might have been soot — or ash. 

The leaves suddenly fluttered excitedly behind him, and a strange puff of wind blew across the trunks. A moment later, a figure in simple gray robes walked into the clearing. Clean-shaven and silver-haired, he had the look of an aged scribe, not haughty, but tired. 

“So, you’re back,” the elderly visitor said. 

“Did I leave? I am the lingering odor you can never quite locate, my friend. Just when you think I've faded you open your cupboard and find, in an overpowering reveal, that I've merely been… ripening.”

“Hmph, that’s a new look for you.”

The Traveler looked down at his ragged clothing. “I’ve been learning to blend in. Hard to do that in one of my normal costumes.”

“I doubt you’ll ever be the type to blend in.”

“You’d be surprised!”

“Is that soot in your hair?”

“Maybe.”

The elderly man sighed, walking across the short clearing and settling himself down on a large protruding tree root. “You can’t keep doing this.” The Traveler continued to eat his seeds, though he had started to chew them up rather than spitting out the pits. “You will just make things worse.” 

“Ati and Leras are dead,” the Traveler said, picking a piece of seed out from between his teeth. The elderly visitor said nothing, and the Traveler eyed him, leaning in closely, studying the man's eyes. The pupils were rimmed with a silver far too metallic to be natural, at least for a human. 

“You sly old lizard!” the Traveler said, pointing. “You already knew! You were watching! And here you were chastising me.”

“I did NOT interfere,” the elderly man said. ”You meddle in things we promised to leave alone. Things that we—”

Traveler held up a finger, interrupting him, then slowly he pointed at the older man. ”I. Made. No. Promise.”

“You made your choice. Why now seek for things you so eagerly denied? My friend, it’s the dangerous desire, the lust for power best untouched, that created the situation in the first place.”

The Traveler did not reply. The two sat for a time, listening to the winds through the garrulous trees.

“Did you… find what you were seeking?” the elder man finally asked.  

The Traveler shrugged, picking at another seed and nibbling on it. 

“You will not find a way to restore what you have lost, old friend,” the aged man said softly. ”It is impossible.” 

“You don’t know that. The old rules no longer hold.” The Traveler turned the pomegranate over in his fingers. ”Besides, I’ve heard of a place… It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. This isn’t about the dead… or it’s not JUST about the dead, at least.” He dropped the fruit to the ground, wiping his fingers on his riding coat.

“So it’s a simple vendetta, then,” the aged man said, sighing. “How many years have you lived, and you still can’t learn the wisdom of just letting go?”

“A simple vendetta?” the Traveler said. He rose, stalking up to the older man, holding out a finger and touching the man's chest. “You saw what Ati nearly did.” The Traveler leaned down, face even with that of his older companion. “I would not think it MY vendetta that should worry you, old friend.”


Isn't that crazy? It's obviously set right after Mistborn Era 1, right after Hero of Ages, with Hoid (the Traveler) talking to Frost. Not only that but it really sounds like they are on Yolen as well. Remember in The Way of Kings, the part two epigraphs were a mysterious letter of cosmere significance? That was sent to Hoid, from Frost. Then, in Words of Radiance, Frost sent a reply.

This is crazy. What do you think?

Also note, there's lots more JordanCon to transcribe in the JordanCon event in Arcanum. Come help out by signing up for an account, going to the Sources page, and hitting Edit. Come into our Discord in the #arcanum channel and we can help you out, or go here for a guide on how to do that.

 

Edited by Chaos

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JoelyWoely

Posted

Wow wow wow so much wow what. A little tidbit I saw was that Frost's eyes were supposedly rimmed with a metal far too metallic for a human. I assume this is dragonsteel but I don't know how that fits into the picture.

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This is awesome! I'm glad this (sort of) gives some confirmation to things we've been suspecting. Though it raises just as many questions as it answers! Brandon you sly man you!

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5 minutes ago, Coldshadows said:

Hoid is/was Adonalsium?

Ask this in the Cosmere Queries for a good answer, but no.

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55 minutes ago, JoelyWoely said:

Wow wow wow so much wow what. A little tidbit I saw was that Frost's eyes were supposedly rimmed with a metal far too metallic for a human. I assume this is dragonsteel but I don't know how that fits into the picture.

Or its cause he is a dragon

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king of nowhere

Posted

so, frost said that hoid is not the type who blends? he must be out of touch. or maybe he knows hoid and his quirk enough to spot him, even though anyone else would not recognize him.

Not sure if the place is yolen. White may look like that stranage plant infection mentioned in (was it the liar of partinel?) but white meant death in that case. white meaning nothing... unless the skullmoss was changed to no longer be poisonous?

That hoid has lost someone nad has a personal vendetta is new, relevant information. That he's still seeing frost in person is less relevant, but still new-

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The thing that surprises me is how bold Hoid is in dealing with someone with a shard!

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Jofwu

Posted

Quote

You made your choice. Why now seek for things you so eagerly denied? My friend, it’s the dangerous desire, the lust for power best untouched, that created the situation in the first place.

Most explicit hint yet as to what prompted the Shattering?

Also some really strong (but mysterious) hints as to what Hoid is up to.

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I don't think Frost has a Shard. 

Quote

Traveler held up a finger, interrupting him, then slowly he pointed at the older man. ”I. Made. No. Promise.”

So does this mean that the big agreement thing all the Shards made, Hoid didn't agree to any of it? I really wish we knew all the terms of that thing. We know some, but...

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Leyrann

Posted

Wouldn't the white imply that they're in the Cognitive Realm?

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9 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

Wouldn't the white imply that they're in the Cognitive Realm?

Mraize has a white branch which is confirmed to be Yolen, so I expect this to be the same. 

As a note Frost is indeed a dragon so that metal is likely Dragonsteel. There is no evidence he holds a Shard and lots of evidence to the contrary.

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Mistspren

Posted

Ooh, that seems to imply that’s Hoid lost somebody or something, and Ati was partially the cause of that, yet Hoid insists that he has greater reasons, beyond his vendetta. It also seems to say that the rules agreed upon, possibly by the vessels, not only do not apply to Hoid, but may have been broken by Ati and others, and at risk of breaking worse. This could be the agreement for the shards to stay away from each other and....

Ok, I got carried away there. That’s really interesting, in any case. Thanks for the transcription Chaos.

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Leyrann

Posted

11 minutes ago, Mistspren said:

Ooh, that seems to imply that’s Hoid lost somebody or something, and Ati was partially the cause of that, yet Hoid insists that he has greater reasons, beyond his vendetta. It also seems to say that the rules agreed upon, possibly by the vessels, not only do not apply to Hoid, but may have been broken by Ati and others, and at risk of breaking worse. This could be the agreement for the shards to stay away from each other and....

Ok, I got carried away there. That’s really interesting, in any case. Thanks for the transcription Chaos.

What Ati nearly did, he said. I tihnk that the only possible "vendetta" is against Rayse, though I do also think Frost could be mistaken here.

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51 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

What Ati nearly did, he said. I tihnk that the only possible "vendetta" is against Rayse, though I do also think Frost could be mistaken here.

I agree with this. It sounds more like him justifying why Rayse is so incredibly dangerous. We know from the letters Hoid mentions Ati was once a kind and generous man, whereas Rayse is a crafty and loathsome individual. I think this is more of the same, saying, 'Ati was a great guy and he nearly did something terrible. Rayse is clearly a problem we need to be dealing with!'

I also wonder if the thing or person that Hoid lost, such that he now has this vendetta, relates to his conversation in TWOK with Kaladin. He mentions two of his names - Topaz, named after a beautiful gem that became worthless by his wearing it, and Hoid, stolen from someone he should have loved.  

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The Liar of Partinel is not canon, but in it the MC, Midius - who I'm fairly certain is Hoid - has a mentor named Hoid. I believe that is who Wit is talking about in TWOK. 

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While this doesn't add much to the Cosmere, my goodness does it feel good to read something in the Cosmere that I hadn't before.

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I understand that DragonSteel will involve Hoid telling his life's story. I really hope this involves him and Frost sitting down and telling this all to Kryiss. Frost as the grumpy old man (err... dragon), and straight man to Hoid's more comedic side. 

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I’m not sure how to express how awesome this is.   However, it just makese me Brandon to write DragonSteel even more than I wanted it before.  On the other hand I really like the books he’s right now writing, so I guess it can wait.

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I am still trying to figure out exactly what he meant by,  “You saw what Ati nearly did.” 

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27 minutes ago, ZenBossanova said:

I am still trying to figure out exactly what he meant by,  “You saw what Ati nearly did.” 

Destroying an entire world?

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Mistspren

Posted

Splintering a shard, maybe? Ati almost succeeded with Leras, and that would most definitely be a breach Rayse/possibly Bavadin had committed, making them worthy of Hoid’s ire.

Also, I agree that the Topaz and Original Hoid could be candidates for loss/ death, but knowing Brandon, this whole story is probably filled with red herrings, in order to throw us off.

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I transcribed this tidbit (accidentally spelling Traveler like an English in the process), and it was a lot of fun. I felt like I was writing this story with Brandon!

The unimportant thing I noticed was that Hoid is constantly pointing or holding up a finger. My mental image of Hoid is now a man without one finger permanently extended.

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JoelyWoely

Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, King Cole said:

Or its cause he is a dragon

I know that, but why would it be in his eyes? Why not anywhere else? I know the answer is probably just because it's cool but I'm just wondering.

Edited by JoelyWoely
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