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Everything posted by Argent

  1. I want to address this because I think it misses a very important angle - a cultural (or racial, or sexual, you name it) background we don't currently have within our team is a skill. Even if we weren't looking for anything else (and we do), this alone would be valuable. It not only helps us understand and moderate our community better, it helps tremendously in growing it as well, attracting people who might've never joined otherwise, or ones who would've joined and just lurked, uncomfortable to fully open up. You say that diversity shouldn't matter, only skill should, and I hear what you are saying - but this is also a view that, in my opinion, missed important nuances in the reality of the situation. I don't want to dig too much into this here and now, but you establish a scenario here that's not necessarily true. You say that if the only skilled people are of one group, we should take from that group - but this premise is not necessarily true, not all "skilled" people are from one group, it's entirely possible (very likely, even) that a big reason we don't have a more diverse Staff is because we've never put in the effort to find those quiet people and invite them in. Just some food for thought
  2. (moved to Cosmere Discussion, Arcanum is a forum for discussing the website)
  3. The Arcanum tag system is useful, but not quite 100% polished, so there are some quirks. Let's use this thread to report them. Specifically we are looking for: Duplicate tags. Sometimes, when adding tags to an entry, you might notice that there are multiple tags that express the same concept, but are phrased or spelled slightly differently - for example, both #truthwatchers and #order of truthwatchers exist right now. This is not ideal, and it doesn't happen often, but it does happen, and we'd like to fix things like that by choosing one of these, and updating all the entries using the other one (and then deleting the obsolete tag). Tags without entries. There is no automatic system that cleans up orphaned tags (i.e. tags with no entries under them), so we have to delete those manually. This happens sometimes when we accidentally misspell a tag (which creates a tag with a bad name) or when we learn the name of a new book and have to replace the old placeholder tag with a new one (e.g. right now we need to replace #stormlight 4 with #rhythm of war). Tags with bad names. Sometimes typos and other spelling artifacts sneak into our tags (e.g. #sadeas 10 is a tag that exists now, presumably because somebody wanted to apply the #sadeas tag, and there were 10 entries with that tag, and the count got attached to the tag somehow).
  4. Feels like we haven't had one of these posts in some time, doesn't it? In reality it's only been ~3 weeks but it feels nice to get back to something resembling a normal schedule. Nothing lasts, unfortunately, as we have something like 8 commissions in the works right now (many of which are simple, but still), but that's a problem for future mysterious-author-of-these-posts, not present mysterious-author-of-these-posts (this sentence makes a lot more sense on Patreon, where you can't check who is writing the posts, just go with it here). That should be enough padding, let's look at some art! For the month of May our patrons wanted to see the Lightwoven story of The Girl Who Looked Up, but as it is told to us in the Oathbringer chapter 82: The Girl Who Stood Up - when Hoid finds Shallan hiding in a Kholinar house, and helps her finish the story beyond the earlier version we got, the one where the moral is that the wall was there to keep the girl's people in. In the Hoid-assisted version, the girl ventures out, steals some of God's Light, and brings it back to her people so they don't have to live in darkness... and in the process brings the storms as well. For this piece we decided to work with barlydoodles on Tumblr. They have some truly excellent (fan)art, including this silly comic about Shallan wanting to do a Bridge Four sexy calendar and Kaladin absolutely perishing. You can see the exquisite work yourselves, but what is not immediately obvious is that they threw in the additional, standalone portrait of the girl for free, and without being asked to do - just for fun! Barly (?) was great to work with, and you should expect more from them in the future when we land on the right prompt.
  5. An interesting theory, good job! I think other have speculated along similar lines, e.g. @LewsTherinTelescope asked a relevant question that got mostly RAFO'd: There is quite a bit to read in this thread (and it might not be the original birthplace of this idea), but one of the things I like from it is the linguistic examination of Ba-Ado-Mishram's Ba, similar to "bah," a Thaylen word that seems to convey the relationship between a master and an apprentice (e.g. Rysn Ftori bah-Vstim) but that could've easily started off as one suggesting parenthood. It is notable here that the Thaylen language may have been derived from the Dawnchant, so it's plausible that the ancient word for "child of" could've morphed into "apprentice of" or something like that Ado, half of adoda, the Alethi word for "light" and also the way you'd "read" the adoda glyph (you would "write" the characters for A, D, and O, and let the symmetric nature of the glyphs "autocomplete" the rest so it's symmetric) Mishram. The similarity to Mishim here is clear, but you go even further. If you treat Mishram's name the way you would some other names composed of Alethi words (e.g. Kholin is khokh + linil), you can break it into Mishim + Ramar. That's not super useful to us, but other names break differently - Sebarial's glyphpair, for example, comes from sebes + laial, and if you apply this logic to Mishram you get Mishim + Maram... which is awfully close to Mishim + Merem, and merem is the Alethi word of honor. All together, I think there are more connections that we can discard easily. I particularly like the idea that the two Hoid stories were inspired by the same historical events. Some of the details don't quite work for me, but I think the general shape of it is very sound and I am happy to support the theory
  6. We are not looking for anything specific. We don't usually have projects waiting in queue until we "hire" someone with the right skills to make them happen - most of what we've created has been someone on the team going "I am going to make this thing with whatever tools I have" and then doing just that.
  7. More or less. There is an element of "if I post here, am I advancing the conversation, or am I keeping it the same?"
  8. I think the idea is fascinating, but I am struggling to see how the symbols can be human bodies, regardless of how heavily they are stylized. Do you think you can explain that a bit more?
  9. Surprise! As you might know, we met our $1,000 Patreon goal a few months ago, allowing us to do bigger art commissions each quarter, and the first one of those (for Q2) dropped in April - and it was full of Rhythm of War spoilers. Well, so, the thing is, as big and awesome as that piece was, it didn't quite get us up to the double budget we had committed to... so we decided to just commission an extra piece! Local favorite Nozomi Matsuoka was already working on the "main" April illustration, so we gave her the bonus one too (we promise we'll work with other artists too!). The poll's runner-up didn't quite fit our constraints, but the third place - the vision Renarin and Glys capture and replay for Dalinar in Rhythm of War - was perfect. So we went ahead with it, and now it's done, and you get to see it. We've been reliably above this goal, and dancing around the next one, for some time now, so there's more where that came from!
  10. Hello, hello, and welcome to this a bit of a... retrospective kind of post. A few months ago we passed an important milestone - one year of monthly art commissions - and we wanted to take a moment and talk about all this, but also showcase everything we've commissioned (in the first year; we've got a few more since then). So take a seat, make yourselves comfortable, maybe pour a drink, and enjoy a brief lookback at some pretty things we manifested into the world by channeling the support of our patrons (of which if you are one, thank you!). Be wary of spoilers! Also, note that many of the links here lead to either our Patreon page (where you might need to be a patron to see them), or the Coppermind. Just a heads up. If you prefer to read this with alt text, this post is mirrored on our Patreon, and it includes image descriptions. February 2021 (poll post | art post) We first hit our art goal back in January of 2021, which means that our very first art poll dropped in February that year. Hot off the Rhythm of War release just a few months earlier, Lasting Integrity crushed the other contenders with a whopping 41% of all votes. We decided to work with Connor Chamberlain, whose work graces many a wiki page, and he did an amazing job capturing the mindbending structure of the honorspren city. March 2021 (poll post | art post) Rhythm of War stayed strong in the month of March, with the nearly fatal encounter between Kaladin and Moash during the Hearthstone extraction winning with a full third of all votes. Artist rspixart had been doing the rounds recently, with some excellent Rlain and Renarin pieces, and we decided to hire them for this one. The depiction deviates from the canon a little bit, but Kaladin should really know better than to pick fights in dark basements that lack proper dramatic lighting. April 2021 (poll post | art post) Surprisingly, it was an Elantris piece that won the month of April - the climactic scene of the book where Raoden, soon after fixing the city of Elantris and all the Elantrians, saves his friends from the Dakhor monks. Now, if you are familiar with the Cosmere art scene, you'll likely be familiar with Shuravf, an artist as prolific as she is talented. So we had been itching to get a piece by her, but all of our winners so far had been from Rhythm of War, and she hadn't read the book... but Elantris, Elantris was fair game! May 2021 (poll post | art post) Okay, there's a bit of a story here. The runner-up from the past two months, the Nine, finally won a round, and we approached Katie Payne to take a stab at it. And stab she did. Our plan was to really cut corners with the character design and encase the Fused almost entirely in their stone pillars - because an illustration with nine unique characters is quite pricey even if we are not working with an artist of Katie's caliber. Instead of doing that, however, she wanted to give them all unique designs, which made this commission an order of magnitude more complex (and cool). As the weeks and months slipped by (because we don't really give deadlines for these), it became clear that we are not commissioning this (because we could never afford it), we are just providing a little bit of art direction for a piece that had become Katie's personal project for just about a year. If you have an Instagram account you can see her progress in this set of stories (including a very important poll about whether to give one of the Nine a goatee). So, sorry this one took a bit longer, but also not sorry, because it's been 300% worth it June 2021 (poll post | art post 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6) Going into June, we already knew that May's piece was going to take a little while, so we wanted to do something simpler, faster. Instead of one piece, we decided to do a series of smaller commissions, focus on some iconic objects from within the Cosmere, and give ourselves an excuse to work with some artists who don't often have time for our standard, more complex commissions. The list ended up including Nozomi Matsuoka, paintweaver, Shuravf (again; we really like her work, okay?), Botanica Xu, Connor Chamberlain (again), and Eli Gardor. July 2021 (poll post | art post) It was around July that we realized we liked the idea of giving each month some theme, even if it's a loose one. It's not necessarily something we've formalized as a rule, but it helps us come up with ideas. So for this month, we wanted to do an environment piece - and New Seran was the winner. Artist Lyraina had done some absolutely unbelievable Mistborn pieces (just look at them!), and we knew we wanted this kind of talent. If our schedules align, New Seran is no the last you'll see from her! August 2021 (poll post | art post) We were extremely happy with Eli Gardor's work on Vindication's design from the set of June commissions, so we knew we had to bring her back for something more visually interesting... and the ending of Shadows of Self, with Steris consoling Wax after Lessie's (second) death, was just what we needed. Fun fact, this was one of our closest polls, Wax and Steris winning over Teft and Phendorana with just a single vote. September 2021 (poll post | art post 1 - 2) We didn't have a strong theme for September, nothing like the quality bonding moments of August, but most of our options could get shoehorned into a kind of "these characters are meeting for the first time, or maybe see/reveal their true selves for the first time" theme, so that's kind of what we went with. Nikli, after coming up second in our very first poll, finally won, and we brought Shuravf back because she had some interesting ideas. But surprise! We had some leftover money, so we had her do a Phendorana portrait as well. Everyone's a winner! October 2021 (poll post | art post) October is traditionally the spooky month of the year, what with Halloween and all that, so we thought it'd be fun to do some spooky options. Ishar's little tent of horrors won pretty easily, and fortunately the month lined up nicely with Nozomi Matsouka's commissions opening up. She is usually only available for work a few times each year, so we jumped on the opportunity, and she absolutely killed this piece. She pulled it straight from our minds, from our cognitive realm, if you will, and manifested it into the physical. November 2021 (poll post | art post) Coming out of Spooktober, we had the opportunity to work Caio Santos - another one of those artists who are available for work on a handful of times each year - and being familiar with their portfolio, we wanted something epic. So that's what we did. We lined up some big climactic moments, and our patrons picked the Warbreaker scene where Susebron saves Siri from Bluefingers and his Lifeless. Of course, our secret plan was to bring more sexy Returned art into the world, and Santos definitely understood the assignment. December 2021 (poll post | art post) December gave us another opportunity to work with an artist we had been itching to hire - Heather, better known as betweenskyandsea on our Discord, or Heatherly on Instagram. She had been working on some environment studies lately, and we wanted to give her an opportunity to explore some ideas while also getting paid. So we picked some locales, and our patrons picked the Pantheon archipelago (an option we were secretly hoping would win anyway). Needless to say, Heather killed it, and we can't wait to find another excuse to work with her! January 2022 (poll post | art post) Which all brings us into 2022, and the last of our (first) 12 monthly commissions. We had known that the end of 2021 would bring us a lot of new Cytoverse stories, so we started chatting with Jill Andersen, a brilliant artist with a lot of fantastic Skyward (and Starsight) illustrations; we had to have her do a piece for us, and with all these Cytoverse books, we wanted to dedicate a month to just that (because, let's be honest with each other, Cosmere options will usually beat non-Cosmere ones). One poll later, and we had our winner - FM and Rig, the cutest and newest ship to sail? fly? the Cytoverse. Plus some slugs, for good measure. The End And that's it. Twenty excellent (in our humble opinion) illustrations, over 12 months, none of which would've seen the light of day without the continued support of our patrons. If you are one of the people who has helped us make all of this a reality, thank you, and there's a lot more where all of that came from. If you are not, thank you too, for making it this far into this slightly rambly post; maybe consider joining in? Of course, none of these would've seen the light of day without the incredibly talented artists we hired throughout the year. Every single one of them was great to work with, and every single one of them exceeded our expectations. They all deserve your love, so find them (online!) and give it to them. At the time of writing of this post, we are mere dollars away from our $1,250 goal, which will double our monthly art budget, allowing us to commission even more art from even more artists, so we are all very much looking forward to that. But until then, we are still churning things out every month, and have no plans to stop, so here's to another year of wonderful art for all of us!
  11. It's finally done, friends. Some of you may have forgotten about this (heck, some of you probably weren't here a year ago when people were voting for this piece), and some of you may have seen it already, but Katie Payne (do make sure to give her Instagram much love) is finally done with this illustration. And, full disclosure, we can't rightfully call it a commission anymore because from the very early sketches it's been clear that this was going to be far larger and more complex than what we had imagined (or planned for). Fortunately, instead of cutting back on the scope, Katie decided she was going to instead work on this as a personal piece, in her free time. We are still paying her, obviously, but given how this is probably an order of magnitude more than what we can afford, it's really just a tip. Those of you with Instagram accounts can follow her journey working on this throughout the past year by visiting this collection of stories. And there isn't much more to be said, folks, the piece speaks for itself. The lighting is gorgeous, the ten unique designs for all the Fused are full of neat little design choices, and even if they weren't, the organic feel of the stone pillars complements the Nine's poses, ranging from elegant to menacing, beautifully. Make sure you give Katie your love, as she worked super hard on this illustration, and make sure you like and subs-- wait, no, wrong platform. Be good to each other, byee!
  12. I've been seeing these in my Instagram searches, sounds whacky, going to check it out when I actually have time
  13. It's been but mere two weeks since our last commission came in, and we've already got another one for you! This is the last piece we were waiting on to wrap up our backlog, and it's the February one - Vasher. We decided to work with Esther Schrader, also known as Zirael, whose work you might recognize from the Kaladin album illustrations as well as a vast swath of (mostly) Stormlight portraits (like this Ash). Their style is very recognizable, and the things they paint are very versatile. They are certainly a staple in the Cosmere art scene, and we had been looking for a subject they can really do justice, and the dynamic nature we wanted for this commission was an excellent candidate! We couldn't be happier with everyone's favorite murderhobo and his cheerful murdersword of death, and we hope you like it too! Aaand here he is! This scene heavily inspired by Warbreaker chapter 56, where Vasher escapes from Denth and goes running throughout the palace, turning walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, and enemy Lifeless to smoke as Nightblood gleefully feasts on his Breaths. We took some artistic liberties (e.g. the wall behind Vasher should all turn to smoke instantly, but having the smoke consume it from the middle just looks cooler), but the piece is a total banger.
  14. Because Mainframe's website doesn't describe it as an audiobook company It's just semantics.
  15. Quick news item for the Legion fans out there - Stephen Leeds: Death and Faxes, the next installment in the series (that's actually not a sequel, as it it takes place sometime between the existing books) finally has an official release date - June 7, 2022 according to Mainframe's Instagram account. It being a Mainframe production suggests that it's going to be an audio exclusive for a period of time, before eventually (hopefully; we are looking at you The Original) getting an ebook release. For those of you not following Mainframe or Legion closely, Mainframe is the audiobook spoken word entertainment and production company founded by Brandon and Max (Epstein), responsible for projects like Lux, The Original, and now Death and Faxes. Legion - seemingly soft-rebranded as Stephen Leeds, at least for future releases, follows a detective with the supernatural ability to retain information by manifesting Aspects who are experts in specific areas. Unless things have changed, the plan for Death and Faxes is for it to see Stephen track down a hacker. Legion is not exactly Brandon's most popular series, but it is a fun and light read with surprisingly touching moments. So what do you think of this release? Will you be getting it on day one because you love Stephen Leeds or because you feel an irresistible compulsion to own every word Brandon has every published? Are are audiobooks not your thing and you'll be crossing your fingers for the ebook? Let us know!
  16. That'll teach her not to look at your phone
  17. Feel free the report comments the moment they start approaching heat, it's better to act on (or at least monitor) those things early.
  18. ⚠️Huge spoilers for Rhythm of War! ⚠️ Aaah, friends, there's no beating around this bush, we've got a real winner on our hands here. We knew we could really step up our game if we threw twice as much money at these commissions, but our artist of choice, Nozomi Matsuoka (whom you might remember from this particular piece of horror), really outdid herself - not only did she finish this in... hold up, there's a message history somewhere here... 8 freaking days, she also nailed the mood of the piece right off the bat, and was able to split it into two pretty standalone parts. What else is there to be said? Everything is great, down to the inclusion of the agonyspren and anguishspren on the wall, which almost never show up in fanart, unlike their much more common (and also present here) angerspren and fearspren counterparts.
  19. The time is 7:46 in the morning, as the people of Iri mark the time. The sun is rising over the leeward horizon when the Kasitor Bay ripples with a wave that is not quite a wave (fine, it's a bit late for a sunrise, but your memory of the event has painted it with a bit of an artistic license). From the illusory water rises a spren with a body like a jet of water, a hundred feet tall (your memory embellishes the sight a bit again), four arms sprouting from the main body, landing on pillars carefully constructed in the exact locations the arms' hands land every morning. Cusicesh the Protector has arrived, just like it does every morning. For the month of March we chose to hire Jordi Rapture, an illustrator talented in depicting (among other things) all sorts of weird creatures (you may have seen this Nightwatcher or this Stormfather from a couple of years ago). Cusicesh is a notoriously difficult spren to paint, in large part because of how little detail there is to its shape, but we think Jordi gave it a very fair interpretation - faithful to the text, but also unique and strange, as befitting a one-of-a-kind spren. We couldn't do the shifting faces, unfortunately, turns out you really need animation for that
  20. Frequent visitors of our Discord server might be familiar with user betweenskyandsea, known on Instagram as heatherly.draws. She is not only talented and versatile in her art, but also incredibly helpful to other artists in our community, and an overall great person to have around. So it goes without saying that we've been looking for an excuse to have her work on something. Well, it turns out that she had a great idea for how to depict the Pantheon archipelago from Sixth of the Dusk (several ideas, actually), and we love what she's done with the place! The vibrant blues of the water, the variety of Aviar flying over the myriad of islands overgrown with vegetation, and - for the eagle-eyed viewer - a hint of something special hidden deep within the Father, Patji. Make sure you send her your love, friends!
  21. Hey, @storm0001, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Brandon is not actually on these forums (technically he still has account, but he hasn't had the time to visit us in over a decade). We are just a fan community that likes talking about his works. Also, and I hope you find this helpful, we don't usually expect these kinds of... direct messages in a forum. Forum topics (or threads, as they are sometimes called) are usually meant to share an idea or an opinion, or provoke a discussion with the wider community - take a look around and see how others do things. If you really want to contact Brandon, his website ( has a contact form, but there is a very good chance he won't be able to respond to you, let alone help you; he's become a very busy man lately.
  22. It's what the entire episode is about, yes
  23. Hey, everyone! It's been a little while since we had one of these for you, but between scheduling and post-holidays food comas, art has been taking just a little bit longer than usual. Nothing to fret about, but we wanted to give you a heads up. Both the (last) December and (this) February are in progress, and they are both looking great - just, you know, not ready. But you are not here for status updates, you are here for witty commentary and pretty art, and this post is going to deliver at least one of those! This cute-beyond-reason illustration of Rig and FM comes to you from an artist you are going to be familiar with of you've ever visited a Cytoverse page on the wiki - Jill Andersen. She juggled grueling work (animating things for the MCU, no big deal) to deliver this to us, and deliver she did! Go give her some love on Instagram and tell her how fantastic she (and her work) is.
  24. The way it's worked in the past, Adam has put up a thread (e.g. here's the one for the Feb 1 stream) on r/brandonsanderson, and he picks the top questions from there.
  25. We don't know how these are going to be handled - using Reddit for the last couple of streams seems to have worked well, but who knows if they'll keep that up. There are some questions here that I like and will either ask or upvote, mostly about the worldbuilding - planet's name being my top choice. I personally would say anything over 2 questions per person is pushing it, but I can't tell y'all how to live your lives. I would also suggest posting the questions as separate posts (especially on Reddit), so people can more easily upvote the ones they like best, without having to deal with the dilemma of liking some but not all questions in a comment.