Pagerunner

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The Original Cosmere Outline

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Brandon recently responded to criticism that he was adding too many new works in this year's State of the Sanderson, by showing us his original plan for the cosmere that contains most of these works!

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To be clear, those stories that I "added" have been part of the original cosmere sequence since forever. I just haven't talked about them.

Original Cosmere sequence (from around 2003 or so.)

  • Core books:
    • Dragonsteel (7 books)
    • Mistborn (9 books)
    • Stormlight (10 books)
    • Elantris (3 books.)
  • Secondary stories
    • Unnamed Vasher prequel (1 book)
    • White Sand (3 books)
    • Unnamed Threnody novel. (1 book.)
    • Aether of Night. (1 book.)
    • Silence Divine (1 book.)

This version was after I decided I'd trim back Aether of Night, but felt confident that Dragonsteel would be coming out soon. (I tried a rebuilt version of it in 2007.)

By 2011, some things had changed. First, I'd rewritten Stormlight, and had sucked Bridge Four off of Yolen, following Dalinar (who had been moved to Roshar for the first draft of TWOK.) Warbreaker had been given a sequel. Dragonsteel, having lost the entire bridge four sequence, refocused to be more about Hoid and shrunk from seven books to between 3 and five, depending on what I decided needed to go there. Silverlight had grown from just a place I referenced to a place I wanted to do a complete story for. And, of course, Mistborn got another era. (Dark One also moved to the cosmere somewhere in here.)

So, a lot of these have been brewing all along, and I haven't really been adding that many books--I've actually been shrinking the numbers as I feel certain things combine, and work better together than alone.

I still suspect we'll end up in the 40 book range, but most of the new ideas for the cosmere I have, I try to limit to novellas so that we don't end up with too many promised books.

Also includes a new statement on Dark One; it hasn't always been cosmere, but now we've got an up-to-date WoB saying it still is. (For now, at least.)

EDIT: Upon further reflection, I think this also narrows down our 10 core Shardworlds. [and Shard count]

  • Dragonsteel: Yolen [?]
  • Mistborn: Scadrial [2]
  • Stormlight: Roshar [2]
  • Stormlight: Braize [1]
  • Elantris: Sel [2]
  • Warbreaker: Nalthis [1]
  • White Sand: Taldain [1]
  • Threnody novel: Threnody [0]
  • Aether of Night: ??? (Vax seems more and more likely) [1+]
  • Silence Divine: Ashyn [0]

This would revise some traditional lines of thought that have defined Threnody as a minor Shardworld. I don't think Brandon has been intentionally lying to us about its status; I think we've conflated 'core Shardworld' and 'major Shardworld.' The first is an out-of-universe term to describe the 10 worlds the books are set on. The second is which worlds have Shards Invested in them and actual magic systems. All core Shardworlds have significant Shardic influence, but they don't all necessarily have a Shard. Ashyn seems to be another core Shardworld that isn't a major Shardworld (no magic system, but diseases interact with Realmatics because it has significant Shardic influence). It's still possible it actually has a Shard, and I've misplaced either Cultivation or Honor on Roshar, but I view those as less likely.

This would require a new term for the Drominad system; they have no magic and no book, so they are minor and... auxiliary? Dictionary.com hasn't been terribly helpful, and insists 'core' isn't an adjective. But I'll call First of the Sun an auxiliary minor Shardworld, Threnody a core minor Shardworld, and Scadrial a core major Shardworld. If Dark One has a Shard, then it would be an auxiliary major Shardworld; not part of the core story, but still having a full Shard.

This has further ramifications on our Shard count. Since Aether has a magic system, it must have at least one Shard on its planet. If I run the math (adding in Ambition and the other worldless Shard), that means there are 5 Shards to go between Aether's world, post-Shattering Yolen, and any potential auxiliary major Shardworlds. (If Ashyn is major, it wouldn't change the overall math; we know there are 3 Shards total in the Rosharan system.)

Edited by Pagerunner
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28 minutes ago, Pagerunner said:

Brandon recently responded to criticism that he was adding too many new works in this year's State of the Sanderson, by showing us his original plan for the cosmere that contains most of these works!

Also includes a new statement on Dark One; it hasn't always been cosmere, but now we've got an up-to-date WoB saying it still is. (For now, at least.)

The Dark One must be where either the WoT or the reckonerverse collides with the cosmere :D

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Just now, LeftVash said:

The Dark One must be where either the WoT or the reckonerverse collides with the cosmere :D

Plot twist: It's actually where Rithmatist collides with Reckonersverse. And it's still a cosmere story.

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1 hour ago, Oversleep said:

Plot twist: It's actually where Rithmatist collides with Reckonersverse. And it's still a cosmere story.

Double plot twist: the Reckonverse allows for an AU Cosmere, which is where the Rithmatist takes place.

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I've edited the original post to include further musings on core Shardworlds and total Shard count. Please feel free to continue derailment.

Further plot twists: someone in Dark One uses the portal stones to take the pristinely ungifted to bring about a post-magic world. (Am I doing this right?)

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2 hours ago, Pagerunner said:

This would require a new term for the Drominad system; they have no magic and no book, so they are minor and... auxiliary? Dictionary.com hasn't been terribly helpful, and insists 'core' isn't an adjective. But I'll call First of the Sun an auxiliary minor Shardworld, Threnody a core minor Shardworld, and Scadrial a core major Shardworld. If Dark One has a Shard, then it would be an auxiliary major Shardworld; not part of the core story, but still having a full Shard.

Loser Shardworld ? One-day-I-wll-be-a-major-too Shardworld ?

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1 hour ago, Yata said:

Loser Shardworld ? One-day-I-wll-be-a-major-too Shardworld ?

When-I-grow-up-I-will-be-a-major-Shardworld?

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Are we sure Braize counts as a core Shardworld? Do we have a WoB for this? Cause I find it wierd that Stormlight gets two core worlds.

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37 minutes ago, Chull #445 said:

Are we sure Braize counts as a core Shardworld? Do we have a WoB for this? Cause I find it wierd that Stormlight gets two core worlds.

No, other than the first WoB I linked, we have no more specific confirmation on which are core Shardworlds. But, since Odium is on Braize, the Everstorm has allowed travel from there, there are a bunch of Cognitive Shadows, whether or not Hoid has been to Braize is 'the biggest RAFO'... some of us think there will be a significant portion of the Stormlight Archive set on Braize, especially in the back five books.

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I see the phrase "10 core Shardworld" being thrown about. I think it's worth pointing out that the WoB refers to "10 core planets/worlds", which is an important distinction, isn't it?

For example, I think Braize is unlikely to be one of the ten, unless it plays a much more prominent role in Stormlight than it has so far. Just because a planet is a Shardworld doesn't imply that it's one of the core planets that the Cosmere story revolves around.

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1 hour ago, jofwu said:

I see the phrase "10 core Shardworld" being thrown about. I think it's worth pointing out that the WoB refers to "10 core planets/worlds", which is an important distinction, isn't it?

For example, I think Braize is unlikely to be one of the ten, unless it plays a much more prominent role in Stormlight than it has so far. Just because a planet is a Shardworld doesn't imply that it's one of the core planets that the Cosmere story revolves around.

What is the distinction you're trying to make? All planets in the cosmere are Shardworlds; some are major, some are minor (presence of a Shard); and some are core, some are not (importance to the Cosmere story).

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6 hours ago, Pagerunner said:

What is the distinction you're trying to make? All planets in the cosmere are Shardworlds; some are major, some are minor (presence of a Shard); and some are core, some are not (importance to the Cosmere story).

You listed the ten planets you believed were 'core worlds,' including Braize, which will probably not be the focus of a book/series by itself (outside of Stormlight, at least) like the others; I imagine jofwu interpreted that to be the main criterion you were judging "coreness" on (it holds true for the other nine, at least), although Braize may still be of great enough relevance to the Cosmere to merit that distinction independent of having a series set there specifically. 

I could be mistaken, however.

Edited by Three1415
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There is a possibility that the unknown Dark One world (which also could be Vax) is a core world as well, and then Braize pretty much has to go off the list.

Of course, the fact that Brandon hasn't always planned Dark One to be Cosmere is an indicator of it not having its own core world. Although when Brandon decided to make it Cosmere, it is possible that he tweaked the outline a bit.

I dont know how long Dark One will be (is it standalone or a trilogy?) but if it is set on a world that is all its own, then it would be a little wierd if it was not a core world.

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25 minutes ago, Chull #445 said:

Of course, the fact that Brandon hasn't always planned Dark One to be Cosmere is an indicator of it not having its own core world. Although when Brandon decided to make it Cosmere, it is possible that he tweaked the outline a bit.

Dark One may be integrated in some world he already planned as relevant for the Cosmere (for example Vax)

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2 hours ago, Three1415 said:

You listed the ten planets you believed were 'core worlds,' including Braize, which will probably not be the focus of a book/series by itself (outside of Stormlight, at least) like the others; I imagine jofwu interpreted that to be the main criterion you were judging "coreness" on (it holds true for the other nine, at least), although Braize may still be of great enough relevance to the Cosmere to merit that distinction independent of having a series set there specifically. 

I could be mistaken, however.

It's not that the planets are the 'focus' of a book; it's where the books are set. Stormlight has laid hints that its story will unfold on multiple planets in the Rosharan system (Cognitive Shadows on Braize, anybody?), so that's why I included it on the list, because I think stuff will be happening there. (Maybe even on Ashyn, too, since Brandon has RAFOd some Ashyn questions because the answers could involve Stormlight spoilers.) I'm honestly surprised Braize is getting this much pushback... I thought it'd be harder to convince people that Threnody counts as a core world, after all this time lumping it in a category with First of the Sun.

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