Columns and Features


    Hey all, and welcome back to the theory column. Last time's Cosmere 102 was such a long post, that I'm trying to keep this one a little more succinct for you all. Today I am going to highlight a theory post by our very own FeatherWriter (whose excellent podcasts you should definitely check out, if you haven't already). This theory is Roshar's Afterlife and the Tranquiline Halls. This theory contains spoilers for most cosmere books including Mistborn, Warbreaker, and Shadows for Silence, but particularly for The Stormlight Archive and Mistborn: Secret History. I am going to begin by outlining Feather's arguments for the theory, and then I will add my own comments and analysis. 

    The main premise of this theory is that unlike most places in the cosmere, the souls of people who die on Roshar are unable to move on to the Beyond like they do on most other planets. Instead of passing on to whatever the cosmere's afterlife looks like, they are instead interrupted somehow by either Odium or one of his agents, such as the Unmade.

    FeatherWriter (Alyx)

    Batten down the hatches, Cosmere fandom, because July is swiftly approaching. And with it comes the Cosmere fanwork event of the season: Cosmere Fandom Is Still The Worst Fandom, or more colloquially, CFSWF.

    Now, for those of you unaware of what exactly CFSWF is, it's an annual, month-long event in which the fanwork creators of the fandom join together and attempt to write, draw, edit, or otherwise create the most horrifying, tragic fanworks the internet has ever seen. Grab your tissues, because if no one's crying by the end, we haven't done it right.


    Hey all, and welcome back to our featured theories column. Today, I do not want to highlight any specific theory from the forums, but rather create a new and revised beginner's guide to the cosmere. For those of you that frequent 17th Shard, what I say here will not be news to you, but hopefully this will be helpful to those of you that are still trying to get a grasp on the scope of the cosmere. This will contain spoilers for many of Brandon's cosmere novels, (Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, and Stormlight are the main ones) so read on with caution.

    FeatherWriter (Alyx)

    Hello all, welcome back to Around the Cosmere. Here, I'm going to take you back to the crazy world of the tumblr fandom, and do a different kind of feature this time. I'm going to highlight some of our wonderful fanartists over on the other side of the pond. These are not, by far, the only artists over on that side, but these are a few of my favorites and those who have consistently churned out a lot of art for us over the years. Come and see their amazing work!


    Hey there, and welcome to this edition of Around the Cosmere. In this post, we’ll go over highlights of this month’s new WoBs and shine on a spotlight on an interesting theory. [

    If you haven’t read Mistborn: Secret History or Bands of Mourning, you should steer clear of the rest of this post! Spoilers for these books and the Cosmere in general abound.


    Hello everyone! Voidus here again for this month's Around the Cosmere segment on the RPs and social groups! This month, there's been two new RPs that have started up, the progress of Oregon and the Social Guilds, and we'll have our first hightlighted character and character from the Oregon RP: Nighthound, and his battle against Lightwards and Doctor Funtimes. It really is a ridiculously fun story. So let's get into it!

    FeatherWriter (Alyx)

    Welcome back to Around the Cosmere! Now that we've talked about most of the site itself, it's time to look at another section of the fandom, that of Tumblr and all those that rally behind the tag of CFSBF. It's a pretty amazing place, and there really is some amazing work there. So without, further ado, here's Feather to talk about Tumblr!

    Ookla the Invisible
    t and post an introduction thread. I'd also be willing to answer questions via PM if that's your contact method of choice.
    Anyways, Mistborn: The Inquisition is a Forum-Style Role Playing Game with a heavy writing and storytelling focus, set on Brandon Sanderson's Scadrial approximately one hundred years before the events of the first Mistborn Novel. The skaa of the Final Empire are rebelling, led by the enigmatic Ignas, a former obligator who has grown disillusioned with his God and Empire. As the skaa rebellion starts to gain momentum, thieving crews continue to struggle to survive while the nobility plot and scheme within their marvelous keeps and during their spectacular balls. For the most part, the nobility have done their best to ignore the signs of rebellion, filling their time with intricate plots, busy social schedules, or budding romances, but a rebel attack during the Casuana Ball has raised tensions in the city to an all time high. Much of the action in this RP, unlike in the books, focuses on the lives of the nobility. There are Terris, skaa, and obligator characters as well, but the nobility take up the majority of the action, and we often encourage new players to start with a noble if they are worried about getting involved at the beginning. You can read the prologue for more information about how MBI's story begins, or start checking out the Universal Continuity Thread to start getting to know the characters.
    Featured Thread
    The most active thread at the moment is Stars and High Society, set during the Perrault Ball held in the middle of week 2 of the overall story. The Perraults are a lesser noble house who are holding a mid-week ball, scheduled between the larger weekend balls held by the Great Houses. In the aftermath of the disasterous Casuana Ball, this is the first time the high nobility have been gathered in a large group since that night, and the last major event before next weekend's ball at Keep Elariel. Caden Hasting and Eliza Fathvell have already made a stir, showing up in attire from Eliza's native Southern Islands and bringing their new romance to the attention of the public. Ferrah Brehaut has been charged by Colette Hasting to keep their exclusive clique in line while their leader is absent, and has tried to do so by playing a game which forces each member of the group to dance with a man of another woman's choosing. The romantically-inclined Adala Venture does her best to orient herself at her first ball since arriving in Luthadel, while her brother Aldric focuses on making connections and finding allies. Mistborn Lysette Hasting and Jasun Vallace try their best enjoy their first ball together while keeping their romance a secret. Jasun prepares for a distasteful mission that he must complete before being allowed to marry Lysette. Former friends Daerra Elariel, Aveline Sureau, and Camille Deveaux share a meal together; each one trying to find leverage to use against the others while hiding secrets of their own. These plots and more abound at the Perrault Ball, and there is still time to join in the fun.
    Featured Noble House: House Hasting
    You may haven noticed from my description of the ball that a lot seems to be going on with House Hasting, so I thought they would make a good feature for this week's Around the Cosmere. House Hasting specializes in the weapons trade, and is currently ranked fifth among the ten Great Houses. They are allies with the formerly powerful Sureau Coalition, currently consisting of House Sureau, House Hasting, and House Tekiel. As House Sureau's oldest ally, House Hasting remains the most committed to the alliance despite the signs that the ancient House Sureau is no longer as powerful as it once was. House Hasting's greatest rival is House Casuana, another weapons house that is currently ranked eighth and alligned with the powerful House Deveaux.
    The leader of House Hasting, Lord Sheldon Hasting, is currently experiencing some health issues, and has yet to choose an heir. The two candidates are his legitimate daughter, Colette Hasting, a talented rioter and master manipulator, and his bastard nephew Caden Hasting, a charismatic leader and proficient politician. The life-long conflict between these two rivals has come to a head in recent months as Sheldon's health continues to deteriorate. Intending to make a move against Colette, Caden tried to convert the newest member of her clique, Eliza Fathvell, to his side, not realizing that his relationship with Eliza would become much more than a mere political alliance. Colette is trying her best to keep Eliza and the rest of her clique under her complete control, while developing her own plans to ensure Caden does not threaten her birthright.
    Lysette Hasting, the house Mistborn, has recently become secretly engaged to the house-less Mistborn, Jasun Vallace. Colette, Lysette's closest friend and confidante within the House, has promised to allow the marriage despite Jasun' low rank in exchange for Jasun's services as Mistborn. Though Jasun has despised house politics since the fall of his own family, he loves Lysette enough to agree to Colette's demands.
    Featured Character: Marceline Dumont
    Marceline Dumont, played by the ever-talented MozytheHealer, is a member of Collette Hasting's small but exclusive clique. Marceline grew up in Austrex City, the capital of the Southern Dominance, and was sent to Luthadel by her family recently in order to find a husband. When the Casuana Ball was attacked, Marceline panicked and sided with Caden when he stepped in to lead the group out to safety. Her insubordination has not been forgetten by the ruthless Collette, or her loyal lieutenant, Ferrah Brehaut. Since the Casuana Ball, Ferrah has taken every opportunity to remind Marceline of her place within the group. As Ferrah and the other girls scheme to bring Eliza Fathvell back into the fold and to punish her for having the audacity to socialize with Caden Hasting, Marceline cannot help but to secretly sympathize with Eliza. She privately rebels against Ferrah's rules and insults, all while nursing a small crush on Eliza's attractive cousin, Felix Fathvell. While Dumont is relatively low ranked compared to the Great Houses, her association with Collette and Ferrah gives her considerable social capital in Luthadel, and she struggles between her escape their bullying and her wish to find love in the Final Empire's grandest city.
    Stay tuned next month for Mistborn: The Inquisition's next Around the Cosmere update for more information about the skaa rebellion and thieving crews! Now back to Little Wilson to talk about the strategy RP games.
    Strategy RP Games
    Thanks Comatose!
    There aren’t many strategy RP games going on right now, but the two biggest ones are Heirs to the Final Empire and the Supremacy of Arelon.
    Heirs to the Final Empire
    This game is a generational game run by Wyrmhero and taking place on Scadrial. It started directly after the Lord Ruler’s Ascension, and each player controls one Noble House. The game is meant to run until just prior to the start of Mistborn: The Final Empire.
    There are 11 generations in the game, and each generation lasts about a month in length. It has 4 turns, which are one week long, and each player can take 3 actions in those turns. So you have 12 actions per generation to make trade agreements, try for heirs, get marriage contracts, and build goods or services to further support your house, and whatever else you want to do.
    Wyrm’s even mixed in global events to make things more interesting for the players. For example, there was a skaa rebellion that lasted almost a full two generations, where a House’s reputation with the skaa fluctuated, and if the skaa got too displeased with your House, they started revolting and burning properties to the ground. Nasty skaa. The gall of them. Fortunately, the rebels were destroyed with rather extreme prejudice (along with a few Noble Houses that supported the rebels) and now things are progressing much more smoothly.
    If you’ve ever wanted to try to run a Noble House on Scadrial, new players can join at the start of each generation. Turn 3 of Generation 7 just started, and if you’d like to join for Generation 8, all you have to do is post in this thread or PM Wyrm to say what your House name is. He’ll work out all the details with you. It’s a fun game, and I highly encourage checking it out.
    The Supremacy of Arelon
    This game started a little over a week ago, and while they’re not accepting new players beyond the people who initially signed up, you can always follow along with the game in the thread and root for different players. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a similar game started when this one ends, assuming everyone had fun and wanted to try another one.
    This game is a combination of Risk and Civilization, that takes place centuries before Elantris is built. Each player controls a small kingdom in Arelon, and they can forge a public alliance with one other player in the game, make trade and military access agreements, expand their military and fight other kingdoms, and more. Ultimately, the winner(s) will have control of at least 50% of Arelon.
    13 players signed up for this game, but since there are 28 kingdoms, all kingdoms not occupied by a player started as NPC-controlled. The game is currently in Year 3 (which ends this Wednesday night, 8pm MDT), and 7 kingdoms have fallen to players. Six of those were NPC’s, so only one player has actually been removed from the game. All in all, it’s progressing rather well, and I’m curious to see who ultimately wins.
    And that’s all for this installment of Around the Cosmere! Sorry for the length, but this should only be the case for this first time around, with all the introductions and explanations of the different RPs. Next month’s update will be much simpler. See you then!

    Welcome back to Around the Cosmere! This week Little Wilson and Comatose are going to talk about some of the interesting strategy games and other RPs that occur on 17th Shard. From Mafia, to an immersive Mistborn RP, to complicated long term strategy games that make Risk look short, there's a little of something for everything. Without further ado, Wilson!

    Ookla the Invisible

    Hey all, I'm Windrunner, and welcome to your regular theory update for this month! Once, a long time ago, I had a featured theory column, but I kind of lost steam, and it died a slow death. Now, it’s being revitalized and updated with more info. I have three primary goals with this column. I want to keep you all updated on all the new quotes and info from Brandon we’ve gained, talk about expansions and areas that need work on the Coppermind, and tshine the spotlight on cool, accurate, or interesting new theories.

    Ookla the Invisible

    Hello, and welcome to the new edition of Around the Cosmere! This used to be an old newspost that we had weekly, where we would talk about important things that were happening around the site, but do to the changes that have occurred in 17th Shard, we're reformatting it to fit the needs of the site.

    Over the past few years, 17th Shard has grown increasingly large. We recently passed having our 12,000th member. We have over 330,000 posts, and that means that our site is really big. If each post had about a hundred words (about as many are in these two paragraphs), it would be enough for 100 copies of The Way of Kings. That’s pretty impressive.


    Welcome back to Around the Cosmere, where we occasionally talk round of the news. It's been a while, but we're back on Hoid's Shadesmar Doomship Zeppelin (totally a real thing), and he's just messy, so we were delayed. That's totally what happened.

    First things first, Brandon has answered questions about The Way of Kings on


    Welcome back to Around the Cosmere, where we blab about miscellaneous Brandon news and happenings around in the community. It’s been a while, so there's plenty to discuss.

    Most importantly, Brandon is doing on AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit tomorrow, the 15th. It'll be on r/fantasy, but don't worry, we’ll update this post the second the AMA appears.


    What? It's been less than a year since the last Around the Cosmere and we already have another one? Less than a month even! Truly an achievement. Welcome back, folks. This week is a short news week, but there are still a few cool things that you should know about.

    First up, you know you're excited about the next Brandon book, The Rithmatist, which comes out May 14th. So soon! But maybe you'd like the book even sooner, and it's hard to knock that. So Tor has you covered with its giveaway where they are giving away ten copies of the The Rithmatist along with goodie bags of Rithmatic chalk. Nice!


    Welcome to Around the Cosmere! We've been... around. For uh, a long time. Around the cosmere. You know, doing cool stuff on Hoid’s Shadesmar Zeppelin*. But we're back for your somewhat regular assortment of Brandon news!

    There's so much that has happened since the last Around the Cosmere. There is a ton of news on Words of Radiance--namely, you know, a title for that book. We also just created a Words of Radiance discussion board so you can talk about all of that good stuff, while people who don’t want spoilers can steer far away.

    Speaking of spoilers...

    difficult to pin down then the rest of the Metallic Arts. The most obvious answer is that similar to how Hemalurgy steals the powers of Allomancy and Feruchemy, it also steals their respective Cognitive parts, burning, storing, and tapping. But there’s a clear reason that this cannot be the answer. As we see when TenSoon is using his Blessings, the human attributes are always active, no Cognitive switch needs to be thrown to get them to function. So I’ve concluded the answer is something far more subtle.
    It’s my opinion that the Cognitive portion of Hemalurgy is where the spikes are placed in the recipient. The location of the spike determines how the receiver is twisted, and whether or not the spike has any affect on them at all. It takes Cognitive thought, to place the spikes in the right location, so I think that is why it doesn’t require a Cognitive “switch” on and off. The spikes are always in the same place, so the attribute is always functioning.I don’t think that where a spike is placed to steal the power is nearly as important, because no matter how you get an attribute, it is still identical to the same attribute being stolen from a different point on the Spiritweb.
    The Spiritual source of energy for Hemalurgy is the piece of someone’s Spiritweb that’s stuck to the spike. This is typically of Preservation but some of Ruin may be there if a Feruchemical attribute is being stolen.
    I think the Physical portion of AonDor is fairly self evident. The Aons themselves are the most likely candidate, being physical shapes that are reflections of the shape of the land in the Physical realm, that must be Physically drawn. Everything points to this.
    Some people may think that being an Elantrian counts as the Physical requirement for AonDor. I’ll admit this was even my original belief. But being an Elantrian means you can access AonDor, which makes it no different then needing to be an Allomancer to access Allomancy, and the Physical attribute of Allomancy is metal, not being an Allomancer. So I think the Aons are the better solution.
    If the Aons are not the Cognitive part of AonDor, then it leaves precious few candidates for the Cognitive portion. The best that I’ve got is that it takes a cognitive effort to begin drawing the Aons. It’s interesting to note that Aon Omi requires another mental component. The Elantrian who draws it must feel a sincere affection for those around him, or the Aon will be ineffective. Why this separate Cognitive requirement is necessary, I have no idea.
    The source of spiritual energy in AonDor is easily answered, it is the Dor of course. What the Dor is, is another question entirely. Some people think it’s that same infinite “Power of Creation”. Other people think it’s simply a Shard. The problem with this theory is that Dakhor, presumably of Dominion rather than AonDor’s Devotion, still draws from the Dor, and these two Shards are separate powers.
    I realize that we know very little about Dakhor, and every magic system from here onward for that matter. I will still give it my best shot on picking out the right portions of the systems, but from here on out I have a much higher likelihood of being wrong, and much less evidence. As we figure this stuff out, I’ll come back through here and fix the errors I will indubitable make fromt this point onward.
    The Alloy of Law Ars Arcanum says that all the Investitures of Sel are based on form. So I’d say that it’s a fairly safe bet that the Dakhor bone growths are what determines the powers they can use. This again runs into the same problem between the ability to use a magic and the Physical portion, so I may be off-base, or it could be due to a lack of information.
    The Cognitive part of Dakhor is the most difficult question I’ve had to think about for this article. The real problem with Dakhor is it gets very little screen time and no characters who we see use Dakhor while we’re in their point of view. Also, unlike ChayShan (which gets even less mention) we don’t have someone explaining anything to us. Along with the fact that, as a religious ritual, this magic system could be full of mysticism. This makes it difficult to separate what is necessary to use the magic system from all the unnecessary rituals the Dakhor could be performing
    The most obvious answer for Dakhor’s Cognitive portion is the chanting that Hrathen remembers from his younger days at the monastery. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make much sense to me. The chanting is never shown in the present, even when the Dakhor are teleporting. If this was truly the Cognitive part of the magic, then there would have been mentions of chanting as the monks ran around with their super strength slaughtering everyone. To use an Allomancy metaphor, I think the chanting is much more akin to snapping then it is to burning a metal. Once you’ve been chanted over and your bones are twisted, then you never have to do any chanting again.
    This left me in a difficult place. What could it be? I decided to look at the other two Investitures we’ve seen on Sel so far. In both AonDor and ChayShan, the actions that draw the magic can be performed without actually drawing the Dor. Aons can be drawn without accessing the Dor and Shuden shows that ChayShan can be performed without it as well. When the magic is being accessed though, the sign in both magics is glowing. So it stands to reason that when a Dakhor monk is drawing the Dor, his bone twists will glow too. So I looked at the only two scenes where the Dakhor bones are specifically described as glowing. They are during the teleportation scene and when Hrathen strangles Dilaf. Both scenes show no sign of chanting but no sign of any other Cognitive part either. So the only conclusion that I can draw is that there must be some sort of mental command going on here, where the Dakhor monk chooses to draw upon the Dor. I feel reasonably confident about this prediction because it has been seen in the cosmere before, in both AonDor’s requirement that you must intend to use it and in Awakening’s Command visualization.
    Raoden senses that Dakhor draws on the Dor when Dilaf uses it, so I’ll trust his judgement.
    Sticking with the form-based Investitures, I’d say that the Physical fighting forms of the ChayShan determine what abilities are used, if ChayShan even has separate abilities. If it does not, the forms must be necessary to maintain the unnatural grace and strength the users of this system show.
    Shuden mentions often the focus and calm that is required in order to properly perform ChayShan, it is possible that this is the Cognitive portion of this magic. It also might require some sort of mental intention to draw the Dor like AonDor and possibly Dakhor. However, there hasn’t been any indication of that yet.
    I think the Dor remains the most likely candidate for the Spiritual source of energy and Raoden agrees with me.
    The Physical portion of the Forgery seems to be the Soulseals, the form of which, from what we understand, determines how the item they are placed on changes.
    We’ve also heard that you need a certain amount of determination and knowledge of the item’s past in order to craft a good Forgery of it, so I’d say it’s a pretty good prediction that those are the Cognitive part.
    I’m sticking with the Dor again.
    Here we go, Surgebinding is really cloudy right now. Gems seem to be the Physical portion in fabrials, and even for Jasnah and Shallan’s Soulcastings. But for Kaladin they seem to be nothing more than glorified Stormlight purses.
    The Body Focuses in the Ars Arcanum of The Way of Kings may offer some answers. Kaladin has to inhale Stormlight after all. But this time Jasnah and Shallan are the exception, they don’t seem to be tied to any others when they Soulcast.
    Again no easy answers. Kaladin has to intentionally look at something to Lash it. But Jasnah and Shallan don’t seem to do anything like this, as a matter of fact, Shallan Soulcasts by accident. You could perhaps throw the truth requirement in there, but it seems more in line with forming a bond with the spren, rather than using the power. After all, it would get pretty clunky having to have to call up the spren and give them a whole new truth every time you want to Soulcast something, especially if you’re in the middle of a battle.
    The Spiritual aspect of Surgebinding is the one easy answer. The Stormlight seems to provide the spiritual fuel for the magic to work. Now what Shard or Shards provide the spiritual energy for Stormlight is a whole different question.
    Well, I'm going to steer clear of Lightweaving, as we have so little information about it that trying to theorize would be ridiculous. I know that in the years to come many of these concepts will become outdated as we learn more. I'll keep this article updated and let people know if and when anything changes. Thanks for reading, and I promise that future installments won't have quite so much of a gap between them.

    Welcome to Featured Theories, where we talk about all the newest beliefs, best theories, cool ideas and just about anything speculation related. We’re going to be starting off with some pretty basic stuff, and some confirmed facts, so we can make sure everyone is on the same page knowledge-wise and also so we can point new members at this column so they can be brought up to speed fairly quickly. Today, I’m talking about all things to do with Worldhoppers.