2017-02-17 Boskone 54 - Boston, MA

155 posts in this topic

On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 10:10 PM, ccstat said:

Sunday signing line transcript is done.


16 hours ago, DAdam said:

The link to my Sunday signing recording is below. 

Looks like I spoke too soon. I've added all the questions from DAdam's recording to the transcript, but there are a handful of places where I couldn't make out what was said. If someone could correct my paraphrased sections with verbatim wording that would be helpful. They are highlighted in yellow.


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On 2/23/2017 at 9:32 PM, DAdam said:

Should the reading transcript go in a separate document since it happened in the Saturday readings/Q&A?

Not sure if you were commenting on the question or the answer, but since I had a hard time making this question out I've changed it to " [Something about where should I look to find Ambition’s influence]" in the transcript for now.

Not yet, but I'll try to get it up here before the end of this coming weekend. The sound quality's not pleasant to listen to, but it's good enough to transcribe from.

I'm looking forward to speculating about the cover art when it's finally revealed since Brandon mentioned in the "building a career" panel that...

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...he sent the last chapter of the book to Michael Whelan for him to base it off of.

@ccstat, I'll put together something about the Mistborn game in the next few days too (don't have much time tonight). Thanks for giving me some questions to work from.


And if that is the case we can expect jasnah in the final climactic scene of oathbringer! HOORAY




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Alright folks, I just finished going through the Sunday Signing Line audio to see if I could figure out some of the paraphrased stuff. I got most of it down verbatim, so I think we're basically all done with these transcriptions! Thanks everyone for all the hard work, and thanks especially to @ccstat, @Ironeyes, and @DAdam for making recordings and uploading them! I've updated the OP to reflect the finished statuses of the Sunday signing and the Rithmatist Q&A.


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I used the video on YouTube from the Boskone reading of the Oathbringer prologue to update the transcription made by /u/RyanEl on Reddit, @Kanrei and @jofwu, since @jofwu said he lacked the motivation after transcribing the Interlude. Also I transcribed Brandon's recent introduction and replaced the old one. The reading in Boskone didn't cover the whole prologue, since there wasn't enough time, I will mark in the transcription where it ends.


As I mentioned, the prologues of each of the books in the Stormlight Archives take place on the same day, from different viewpoints. It's one of these kind of fun - non-linear things that authors indulge themselves in once in a while. And this one is from Eshonai's viewpoint. So if you haven't read the first book, it's OK, I'll give you a little primer.  'Cause it's in the first chapter, it's not there(?) as a spoiler. There is a guy there named The Assassin in White and he assassinates the king of one of the most militaristic and dangerous kingdoms in the world. And they rightly go ballistic for this and it is thought that the new allies of these people (the Alethi), that they had discovered, that they signed the treaty with, are behind the assassination. This is from the viewpoint of one of these people they had discovered, made a treaty with on the night of the assassination, before it happens.

Eshonai had always told her sister that she was certain, something wonderful lay over the next hill.

And then one day, she crossed that hill and found - aliens.

Strange and wonderful creatures who spoke a guttural language with no discernible rhythms, but who created beauty all the same. They wore clothing as vibrant as any carapace, though they couldn’t grow their own armor, and were so terrified of storms, they hid inside tombs of rock, or wood, even while travelling.

Most remarkably, they had only one form.

It seemed Eshonai at very first that these creatures, these Alethi, must have forgotten their forms as the Listeners had. That built an instant kinship between them. That and the fact that they seemed to have adopted another group of Listeners who had somehow lost their forms. The humans had begun taking care of them so the poor souls without songs would not hurt themselves.

Oh how innocent those first meetings had been. Eshonai went with the drummers to gather their instruments. She had never quite understood what her purpose was to be this night, when the Alethi and Listeners dined to celebrate their contract together. She was a scout, a hunter, but also their foremost expert on the Alethi. She wasn’t one of the Five, but neither was she a lowly farmer. She was important tonight, yet not so important that she couldn’t be spared for some menial labour.

She was glad for that. She hummed to Awe as she helped unload the drums from the cart behind the chulls.  She had never wished for authority.  People with authority couldn’t go chasing the horizon. But if being an expert brought her to this wonderful place, then she would accept it. This wonderful, terrible place.

She handed the drum to Hermo, feeling dwarfed by the palace structure. The humming sounds of her people working echoed in this cavernous unloading dock on the western side of the palace. It was so large it could accommodate their entire caravan. Two hundred Listeners unpacked in here during their first arrival and hadn’t even filled the place. Indeed most of the Listeners couldn’t attend the feast upstairs, but the Alethi had seen to their refreshment anyway, providing mountains of food and drink for the group down here.

So wonderful. This palace was what the buildings at the center of the Shattered Plains must have looked like before being weathered by the storms. The sheer engineering prowess of the city beyond, with its clustered buildings and enormous walls made her revise, yet again, her understanding of these creatures they’d met.

She stepped out of the wagon, looking up the reaches of the building, humming to Excitement. When she told her mother she was determined to map the world itself, she had imagined a place of natural discovery. Canyons and hills, forests and lakes overgrown with life. And yet all along, this had been out there, waiting just beyond their reach.

And so had more Listeners. A population that was not just some little tribe like in songs. An enormous, mind-numbing population of people like her own, but silent. And owned by the humans.

“They keep wanting to come help,” Gedgat(?,a name) said, handing her a drum. "They want to be near us. They sense that something is wrong with their minds, I tell you."

Eshonai accepted the drum and set it with the others. A group of parshmen, as they were called, clustered around the outside of their ring of workers. They'd been sent to help with the drums and had been forbidden by their masters to participate in the festivities going on nearby, where Listeners feasted. The Alethi wanted to make very sure there was a line between their slaves and their new allies.

What to make of this idea? People who can buy a soul?

Klade, one of the Five, had gone to the slavers in the city and purchased a person to see if it is truly possible, and it had been depressingly easy. There had even been Alethi for sale. Apparently parshmen were expensive and considered high quality slaves. The Listeners had been told this, as if it, for some reason, were supposed to make them feel proud.

She hummed to Curiosity and nodded to Gedgat, who smiled and hummed to Peace. Everyone was used to Eshonai wandering off in the middle of jobs to be done. It wasn't that she was unreliable, well, maybe she was, but at least consistently so.

She walked up to the parshmen and hummed a song to them, the Song of Hunts, hummed to Excitement. They, like all the others she had tried talking to, just looked at her with hollow eyes. They wore slaveform. At least, that's what the Listeners had decided to call it. Really, it wasn’t a form at all but a lack of one. They seemed like dullform, but dullforms could hear the rhythms, and these could obviously not. Eshonai herself wore workform instead of warform; the armour of warform could be handy in a hunt, but workform was more freeing. She liked the way she thought in workform.

She wandered away from the parshmen, walking up the steps and entering the palace, trying to take in the ornamentation of the beauty and the sheer overwhelming wonder of the palace. Beautiful and terrible. People who were bought and sold. And that kept this place clean, but, was that what freed the humans to create great works like the carvings on the pillars she passed, or the inlaid marble patterns on the floor?

She passed soldiers who wore their metal carapace. Humans hadn’t lost their forms. They had only one. Always in mateform, workform and warform all at once. They wore their emotions on their faces far more than Listeners. Oh, Eshonai’s people would smile, laugh and cry, but not like these Alethi, who were perpetually held enslaved to their emotions. Perhaps that’s where they had gotten the idea.

The lower levels of the palace had an open feel to them, broad hallways and galleries lit by spheres with carefully cut gemstones that made light sparkle, as opposed to the uncut stones her people tended to wear. Sparkling chandeliers hung above her, broken suns spraying light all around.

She trailed up the steps, holding a hardwood banister polished so deeply it reflected her face. How strange it was that Listeners with their varied faces and skin should be the ones who could control themselves to a single form, while the Alethi who seemed so dull with their tan skins should be the ones so vibrant with emotion? Perhaps the simple ways they looked was another reason they sought to ornament everything, from their clothing to the pillars that held up the roofs.

Could we do this? She thought, humming to Appreciation, if we knew the right form for creating art?

The upper floors of the palace were more tunnel-like, tight stone corridors, rooms like bunkers dug into a mountainside.

She made her way back toward the feast hall, but with diversions, glancing into rooms, making a mental map in her head. If they were going to give her free reign of the palace, she'd take it and learn everything she could. As long as she was back to the music, Klade and the others wouldn't complain. They were as accustomed to her ways, as everyone else. She was always wandering off, poking into things, peeking into doors…

And finding the king? Eshonai froze. The door cracked as she looked into a lush room with a thick red rug and bookshelves all around. So must information just lying around, casually ignored. That was the king himself, standing in front of the table, pointing at something on it, surrounded by a group of five Alethi in uniforms and long dresses.

Why wasn’t he at the feast? Why weren’t there guards at the door? Eshonai attuned to Anxiety and pulled back, but not before one of the women inside prodded King Gavilar in the arm and pointed towards Eshonai. Rhythm pounding in her head she pulled the door closed, but a moment later a tall man in a uniform stepped out.

“The king would like to see you,” the man said.

She spoke their language pretty well these days, but she pretended not to.

“Sir?” she cocked her head. “Words?”

“Don’t be coy,” the soldier said. “You’re the Interpreter. Come in. You aren't in any trouble.”

Nervous, she let him lead her into the den.

“Thank you Meridas,” Gavilar said. He turned to the others. They filed out, leaving Eshonai at the door, attuning Consolation and humming it loudly as she could, even though the humans wouldn’t understand what it meant.

“Eshonai,” the king said. “I have something to show you.”

He knew her name? She wasn’t aware that the king had been paying that close attention to them. She had spent most of her time speaking with his scribes, trying and failing to explain the Rhythms to them.

She stepped further into the small warm room, holding her arms tightly to her. She didn’t understand this man. It was more than his alien dead way of speaking, more than the fact that she couldn’t anticipate what emotions might be swirling in there, as warform and mateform warred inside of him. More than any human, this man baffled her. What did he want?

Why had he offered them such a nice treaty? At first it seemed like an accommodation between tribes. That was before she'd come here and seen the city, watched their armies patrol the streets. Her people had once been like this, she knew that from the songs. Once possessed cities of their own and armies to envy.

That had been long ago. They were a fragment of a lost people, traitors who had abandoned their gods to be free. This man could have crushed them and taken their Shards, the few weapons they had passed down from ancient times.

Why did he smile at her like that? What was he hiding inside by not singing to the rhythms to calm her.

“Sit, Eshonai,” the king said. “Oh don’t be frightened little scout, I’ve been wanting to speak with you. Your mastery of our language is unique.”

She settled down on the seat before him. She couldn't see what was on the table, some papers he'd been studying? He reached down and removed something small from a satchel at his feet. It glowed with red Stormlight, a construction of gemstones and metal crafted in a beautiful design.

“Do you know what this is?” He asked, gently, pushing it towards her.

“No, your majesty.”

“It’s what we call a fabrial. It's a little device powered by Stormlight that does something handy. In this case it makes warmth, just a smidge unfortunately, but my wife is confident her scholars can create one that will heat a room. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? No more fires and hearths.”

It seemed lifeless to Eshonai, but she didn’t say so. She hummed to Praise, so that he'd be happy telling her of this, and handed it back.

“Look closely,” King Gavilar said. “Look deep into it. Can you see that thing moving inside? It’s a spren. That’s how the device works.”

Captive, like in a gemheart, she thought, attuning Awe. They build devices that somehow mimic how we apply the forms? Humans did so much with their limitations.

“The chasmfiends aren’t your gods, are they?” he asked.

“What?” she said, attuning to Skepticism. “Why ask that?”

It was a strange turn in the conversation.

“Oh it’s just something I’ve been thinking about,” he said, taking the fabrial back.

“The others feel so superior as they think they figured it out, but I know the truth", he chuckled. They think you are savages. You’re not savages. You’re a little enclave of memories. A window into the past.”

He leaned forward, ruby light slipping between his fingers.

“I’m going to help you, Eshonai. Did you know, I figured out how to bring your gods back?”

End of Boskone reading


“No,” she hummed to the rhythm of the terrors. “No!”

“My ancestors,” he said, holding up the fabrial, “They’re the ones who first learned how to do this.” Hold a spren inside a gemstone. With a very special gemstone you can even hold a god.”

“Your majesty,” she said, daring to ?????? He couldn’t feel the rhythms, she didn’t know. “Please, we don’t worship those god any longer. We left them, abandoned them.”

“Ah, but this is for your good, and for ours!” He stood up. “This life we live, a life without honor or victory, cannot persist.  Your gods brought ours, and without them, we have no power. This world is trapped, Eshonai, stuck in a state of dull lifeless transition.”

He looked up at the ceiling. “Unite them. I need a threat.  Only danger will unite them.”

“What?” she said to anxiety. “What are you saying?"

“The parshmen were like you once. We stopped their ability  [to enter the?]  transformation somehow by capturing a spren. A very ancient, very important spren.” He looked to her, his eyes alight. “I’ve seen how I can reverse it.  A new storm that will bring the Heralds out of hiding. A new war.”

Insanity!” She rose to her feet. “Our gods tried to destroy you!”

“The old words must be spoken again.”

“You can’t…” she trailed off, noticing the map on the table for the first time. An extensive map, showing a land bound by ocean, an incredible drawing that put her own attempts at charting the lands around the Shattered Plains to shame. She stepped to the table and gaped, the rhythm of awe playing in her mind.

This was gorgeous. Even the grand chandeliers and carved walls were nothing by comparison. This was knowledge and beauty fused into one.

“I’m going to be pleased to hear that we are allies in seeking the return of your gods,” Galivar said. She could almost feel the rhythm of reprimand through his dead words.

“I know you’ve been saying you fear them, but why should you fear that which makes you live? My people need to be united and I need an empire that won’t simply turn into infighting once I am gone.”

“And so you seek for war?”

“I seek for an end to something that we apparently never finished. My people were radiant once and your people, the parshmen, were vibrant. Who is served by this drab world where my people fight each other and end in squabbles without light to guide them? And your people are as good as worthless.”

She looked back at the map. “Where… Where is the Shattered Plains? This portion here?”

“That is all Natanatan you gestured to, Eshonai. This little portion here is the Shattered Plains.” He pointed to a spot not much longer or larger than his thumbnail, when the entire map was as large as the table.

It gave her a sudden,  horrifying perspective. This was the world? She thought that traveling to Kholinar had crossed almost as far as the land could go!

She ??? legs weakened, and for some reason she attuned mourning. She dropped back into her seat, unable to stand.

Gavilar removed something from his pocket. A sphere? It was dark, yet somehow still dun, as if it had an aura of blackness, a phantom light that was not light at all, faintly violet, a sphere that seemed to stop the light around it.

He set it on the table before her.

“You can have that,” he said. “I have another. Take it, and remember what your people once were. Wake up, Eshonai. Your people are now little better than parshmen, and you can be so much more.”

He patted her on the shoulder and left out the door. She stared at the terrible light, and knew it for what it was in the songs. The forms of power had been associated with a dark light, a light from the king of gods. A terrible creature that the Listeners escaped. She seized the sphere on the table and left running.

When the drums were set up Eshonai insisted on joining them. It was the only outlet for her anxiety. She beat to the sound of the rhythm in her head, banging as hard as she could, trying with each beat to slap away the things the king had said and the things she had just done. The Five, leaders of the Listeners sat the high table, the remnants of the final course of the meal sitting uneaten.

They intend to bring back our gods, she had said. Close your eyes. Focus on the rhythms. He could do it, he knows so much. Furious beats pulsing in her soul. We have to do something! Klade’s slave was an assassin. She thought he purchased him on a whim, but Klade had claimed the voice speaking in the rhythms had led him to the man. They claimed it was a sign of what they would do, and that the creature had confided his skills [to them?] when pressed.

Long ago they had the courage to do something drastic. They adopted dullform to escape their gods. They sought freedom at any cost.  But then, that cost would be higher. She played drums, she felt the rhythms, she wept softly and didn’t look as the strange assassin wearing white clothing provided by Klade left the room. Just the peace in the music, like her mother always said. Seek the rhythms, seek the songs.

She resisted as the others pulled her away, she wept to leave those beats behind. Wept for her people, who could never face this danger if they had to, wept for the world who would be destroyed if they did not. Wept for the king, whom she had resigned to death. The drums cut off around her, and dying music echoed through the halls.


A little remark to the Condensation of shardblades: That explanation is physically just wrong. Condensation (resublimation, strictly speaking) is an exothermic process since atoms/molecules get bound and the binding energy is released to the environment. Also the entropy is reduced, since a condensed (resublimated) state has more order than the gas phase (less possible states to occupy). Even in extreme regions of the phase diagram this does not change. Condensation/resublimation stays exothermic.

Additionally, while discarding the shardblade (with endothermic condensation at summoning), there should be a release of heat as this would be the reverse process.

Let's just wait for some realmatic explanation, physics clearly doesn't work here.


Edited by Pattern

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