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A welcome to 17th Shard, and the rules.

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Hello everyone, and welcome to 17th Shard, the official Brandon Sanderson fansite and the home to his official forums. I'm Eric, and I'm the forum administrator. The staff and I are here to make this place a fun and interesting community to be a part of. If you ever have any questions, please let us know. This topic is here to give you the rundown of most all the site features.

Our site is named 17th Shard, well, because Brandon told us to. It's named after a group of people who jump between worlds in Brandon's adult novels. Brandon's novels--at least Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, and Stormlight Archive are. If this is news to you, man! There's plenty to learn about this behind the scenes stuff in the cosmere. If you've read those novels and want to dig deeper into Brandon's universe, I'd suggest you take a look at the topic Cosmere 101, as it's a nice introduction, and then if you want to know more about the Shards of Adonalsium, look this article about them on the wiki. Warning, though, if you haven't read all those novels, I'd strongly dissuade you from delving into those topics (as well as going to the General Theories) boards, because there will be a heck of a lot of spoilers!

Aside from the information in this topic, here are a few resources from around the forums:

  • The About Page - Has all sorts of information on the history of 17th Shard and contact information.
  • Verified Locations for Sample Chapters and Unreleased Chapters - A list of all sorts of publicly available content from Brandon, including short stories and stuff from unpublished novels.
  • The Brandonothology - Compiled by the illustrious zas678, this is an archive of everything Brandon has ever said about the cosmere. It’s a huge document over a hundred pages long. Additionally, it contains all the annotations in an easy to search file.
  • The Ultimate List of Questions for Brandon - Every question ever compiled. Now you have no excuse when you see Brandon at a signing to not have a ludicrously long list of questions to ask!

Edited by Chaos

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Site Layout and Features

17th Shard (abbreviated as 17S often) has

Home Page

This is where our news posts will be. Often, news posts will also be posted in the forums as well. On the main page, there’s a sidebar where you can find the latest blog posts, and also a Twitter feed for both 17th Shard and Brandon Sanderson.

The Forums

The community hub of the site, which has a few key sections.

  • Brandon News and Discussion - There are two forums where you can talk about all of his works: one is spoiler-free, the other is spoiler-tastic. This forum is the spoiler-free one, where you'll find recent news posts about Brandon Sanderson and his books. This would be the area to post polls like, what is your favorite Brandon novel, and etc.
  • General Theories - This forum is for in-depth discussion of Brandon's connected universe, the cosmere, which contains all of his adult fantasy novels. If you haven't read Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, and the Way of Kings, there are going to be massive spoilers for you here. It's the place where we discuss for many hours all the minutiae of every novel. There are no spoiler tags here ever! So if you have more general topics of a less theory-intensive, spoilery nature, please post it in Brandon News and Discussion.
  • Individual Book Discussions - Fairly self explanatory. If you want to discuss Mistborn, post in the Mistborn forums, etc. For a spoiler policy, see below in the Rules post.
  • Dan Wells - We also host the forums for the illustrious horror author, Dan Wells. Not only is he a good friend of Brandon's, his John Cleaver trilogy is some of the finest psychological horror ever.
  • Related Works - This category has forums about Writing Excuses, a podcast by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal. It also contains Reading Excuses, an excellent online writing group inspired by the podcast. If you're an aspiring writer, consider joining!
  • Community - The area for discussion, fan fiction, role-playing, and everything else!


The longer you stay at 17th Shard, the more you realize it's almost like Shardbook (more on that in a bit). To that end, you can post a member blog here, for all to see. Among our other members' blogs, we mirror Brandon's blog as well. You can comment and rate on all blog posts.

Have your own blog already? You can easily import your posts here via an RSS feed.


This area is for fan art and all other images regarding Brandon fandom. Everything is welcome here, including cosplay photos. We'd love to see the awesome stuff you've done!

The Coppermind Wiki

This is the official wiki of the official Brandon Sanderson fansite. Everything regarding the cosmere and Brandon's works are here. It's a work in progress, yes, but it’s improving every day. Please us by expanding it!

Mistborn: The Inquisition

This is an advanced role-playing site set during the times of the Final Empire. Explore the times a century before the events Mistborn: The Final Empire here. This is another excellent section of the site if you are an aspiring writer. MBI focuses much more on the tension of the Final Empire than combat, however.

This Mistborn RPG is unrelated to the Mistborn Adventure Game by CraftyGames.

Edited by Chaos

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Other Capabilities

Member Statuses, Friending People

Yes, you can post statuses here. I wasn’t kidding when I said that this site can function like Shardbook. On any member’s profile, you can add them as friends. By default, 17th Shard automatically accepts your friend request, but you can change that in your settings.

Then, you can post status updates. If you’d like, you can integrate your Facebook or Twitter account into 17th Shard.

Lastly, on any member’s profile, you can also comment there, which acts somewhat like a Facebook wall.

Reputation Points

On the bottom right of topics, posts, and comments, you’ll see a + and - button. Here, you can upvote or downvote a post in the site’s reputation system. Think of these as ways you can regulate content as good or bad. If you think something is awesome, upvote them! And if you thought something was dumb, don’t troll a person (more on that in the rules section), but you could always downvote them.

Reputation points are carried throughout the site and are displayed whenever make a post. When you give out reputation, it’s anonymous to other members, so feel free to let your voice be heard!

Also, it is plain fun to see who can amass the most reputation points.

Rating Articles, Blog Posts, Gallery Images

In articles (that is, the stuff on the main page), blog posts, gallery images, and even member profiles, you can do a similar thing to reputation points, but rate things on a scale of 1-5. Just click on the set of five stars to do it.


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Your User Settings

On the top right hand of the screen, there’s the floating bubble which has your user information. If you click the box which says your username, a dropdown menu appears. There, you can access your profile, your settings, and your messenger. To the right of that dropdown menu is your notification box. In just a moment I’ll show you where you can change those notification settings.

Click Your Settings. Oh boy, plenty of settings here! Surprising, I know. I’ll describe it by each tab:


These are main site settings. Adjust your time zone. Change your email address, or your password. Want to change your username? No problem.

One setting that tends to get passed over is the View New Content Settings, under General Settings. By changing this, you can adjust how the View New Content button (right below the search box) operates.

Near the bottom are the various exciting notification settings as well. I recommend disabling “Show popup when I receive a new inline notification,” because it is sort of a redundant feature. Also, if you hate spam, there are a lot of email notifications that you should turn off. I know I did.


A few settings regarding the forum itself, if you happen to like Watching particular forums.


Here you can edit all aspects of your profile, like your About Me page, your avatar (and personal photo), your signature, and all that exciting stuff you’d expect. Your personal photo is actually different from your avatar for some stupid reason. I’ve set mine to be the same picture.

There’s also a spot where you can hook up your Facebook or Twitter profile to work with your account, so it mirrors status messages. Those options are labeled as Facebook Connect and Twitter Connect, respectively.


This takes you specific blog settings, if you have a blog on the site.


A couple of Gallery settings which you probably won’t use.


If you go back to that dropdown menu when you click on your username in the box on the top right, you can also go to your personal Messenger, and you can also manage your friends list.

One last thing: on the wiki and MBI, you’ll have to register a new account on both of those sites. For the wiki, you don’t have to, but I’d recommend it.

Edited by Chaos

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17S Staff/Group Legend

Let me introduce you to all our staff, as well as explain all the pretty colors certain members’ names have. They represent different staff areas.

We have five main administrators:

Rubix, otherwise known as Josh Walker. He is one of the co-founders and the owner of the site. He and his wife, Mi’chelle, both live in Utah and primarily stalk Brandon.

firstRainbowRose, otherwise known as Mi’chelle Walker. We lovingly refer to her as Mi’ch. She’s the founder of the site, our public relations person, and moderates us in meetings. She likes making cryptic comments on the forums.

Chaos, otherwise known as Eric Lake. He is the day-to-day site administrator. When the site breaks, it is usually his fault. He spends all day on the forums and theorizes about the cosmere a lot. Sometimes, he works on the wiki obsessively, and is a co-admin on the Mistborn RPG.

Shivertongue, otherwise Will Raboin. He's our senior graphics design monkey and created all of our art on the site.

KChan, otherwise known as Kerry Stuart. She’s the Highprince of Stuff, and it’s hard to pinpoint something on the site she hasn’t worked on. She’s the co-admin of the Mistborn RPG, works on the wiki, and also skins the site.

In addition, we have other staff groups:

Global moderators manage all areas of the forums. We have one global mod, Eerongal.

Ardents focus in the Book Discussion boards, as well as General Theories. Our ardents are zas678, Andrew the Great, and Mad_Scientist.

Obligators moderate the Role-Playing boards--including the Mistborn RPG--and the fan fiction area. We have one obligator, Comatose.

Radiants moderate the community areas on the site, such as General Discussion. We have no radiants at this time.

Returned moderate the galleries. Those who have come back from death currently are MerryBerry and EHyde.

Soulcasters are our coding backups. Our two Soulcasters are Ryan and Moru.

Worldbringers are wiki administrators and moderate the Coppermind forums. Our one Worldbringers is Joe_ST.

The final user group isn’t a staff group, but you definitely want to pay attention to them: Team Sanderson. I shouldn’t have to tell you what people in this usergroup represent.

Edited by Chaos

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Forum-wide Rules and Forum Etiquette

Please don't be afraid of these rules! We really do care about what you have to say. Just be intelligent and courteous. You'll be fine.

Remember to report posts that violate any of these policies. We have a big staff, so we usually see everything, but when you hit that report button, we’ll get to it much quicker.

Be smart about posting

This is a fan site for an author. We all know you can read. As such, we expect you to actually spell things out, rather than using shorthands like "u" for "you". We know you can do it, we believe in you! Don't use things like l337 speak. Capitalize sentences, use punctuation, that sort of thing.

Be polite. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, so you must show others respect. Don't flame (deliberately attacking someone) or troll (making a post that's designed to upset or get a rise out of someone). If a member is flaming you (or is otherwise spamming/trolling), do not respond to them. Please notify a staff member and we will handle it. Conflict is detrimental to the community and will be dealt with extreme prejudice.


Obviously, we don't tolerate spamming (is there somewhere that actually does?). Don't post something with just an emoticon or "lol". Make sure all your posts have purpose and actually says something. A post like "lol" makes it seem like you are simply padding your post count.

Don't post twice in a row. This is "double-posting". If you forgot to say something in your previous post, there's a button on all of your posts called "Edit". Please make sure to use this, rather than making a second, tiny post to correct an error or say one more thing. The only place we should see double posting is if, after a time when no one responds, you post new information or ideas. For example, if I post in General Discussion something about an upcoming video game, and after some replies, I posted the final comment, then if there's new information revealed about the game a month later, it would be completely acceptable for me to make a new post in that topic to let people know about this new information. I added something to the conversation, which is always acceptable (and encouraged!)

On that same note, don't bring back topics that have been dead forever. This is called thread necromancy (or simply "necroing"). If after a long time you post something new in a topic--one whose discussion has long since ended--that would be thread necroing. We're going to be more lenient about this on the Brandon Sanderson forums, because if you have something to add in the "Mistborn Movie Casting" topic and there hasn't been a post there in a great while, why shouldn't you? You're adding something to the discussion, that's fantastic! A lot of the Books forums will have theory threads, and if you have something to add to them which just perfectly fits the topic, better to revive a dead thread, right?

Thread necroing is only bad in a case like this: let's say Mi'chelle and Josh post in General Discussion saying "We're married!" in a few months. Members will congratulate them, but what you don't want to do is post three months later a congratulation. The sentiment's nice, but at the same time, the news is outdated. Your post is itself outdated, which means it didn't really need to be said. It was superfluous and there was no need for you to post it. Does that make sense? That's why most forums hate thread necromancy, because it's superfluous posting. Essentially, spamming.

Don't advertise your stuff (unless of course it's in General Discussion). Post your stuff in the correct forums, and stay on-topic. Common sense stuff, here.

Finally, don't make duplicate accounts. You aren't fooling anyone.

Keep it clean

We don't have to tell you this, because you are all intelligent people: don't post explicit content in any way. If you post an explicit image or link to one, that's a one-way ticket to the Banhammer. Remember, people, young kids read Brandon's stuff. Keep your content family friendly.

On the same token, cursing above the level of "crap" may be too much. I know there's grey area there, but if you don't have to curse, don't. Usually you won't. Mi'chelle will smack you if you curse too much, so watch out for that tongue.gif/>/>


Avatars should be 100x100. You are allowed to have images in your signature. If it's more than an icon, please keep the total size of all images in your signature under 500 wide x 100 tall pixels. No one likes it when someone posts an image (or images) which expands the width of the forum and forces people to scroll horizontally, or unnecessarily stretches the page. Keep that in mind when you make a spiffy signature image, and try to not post anything too large when you post an image to a topic itself.

Spoiler Policy

Our policy on spoilers depends on what forum you are posting in.

The Brandon News and Discussion and General Dan Discussion forums are non-spoiler forums. You must denote spoiler in the topic title (usually by writing *spoiler* in it), or use spoiler tags.

In General Theories, there are no spoiler notices required, and spoiler tags are extremely discouraged. Read at your own risk.

For an individual book or series forum, spoiler tags must always be used if one is referencing another series (like, if someone is posting in Mistborn, but referencing Stormlight Archive). However, if a book in that series has been out more than six months, spoilers are now permitted in that forum without needing to be tagged. So, for example, there would be a window where Alloy of Law spoilers require a spoiler notification, but a few months later, that would no longer be a problem.

Unpublished Works

Brandon has several unpublished works that some people have read. However, for a variety of reasons, we require that you not talk about them. Unpublished works aren’t canon, so discussing them spread false information. But more importantly, they aren’t publicly available to everyone. You could spoil a key plot point to someone who haven’t read it. Simply put, it isn’t really good for the community when some people has information that others don’t. It’s a recipe for conflict.

At some point there may be special, hidden forums where members can discuss unpublished works, but at this time we do not have such a feature ready, so administrators will edit posts that talk about these unpublished works.

For your reference, unpublished works include:

  • Dragonsteel
  • Liar of Partinel
  • White Sand
  • Aether of Night

However, there’s one caveat: if, say, sample chapters for an unpublished were posted, as is the case for Liar of Partinel, then everyone is able to read them, so that means we can discuss it. Still, best keep that stuff in the General Theories forum. A list of publicly available sample chapters can be found here.

What Happens When Rules are Broken

There are certain cases, like the posting of explicit images or a spambot attack, which will get your account banned automatically. These cases are rare, however. For the majority of other infractions, an administrator or staff member will verbally warn you to stop. If you continue, this may warrant a week-long suspension of your account. Finally, if you continue despite the staff, then we will ban your account. We don't like doing this, of course, so if you remain respectful and courteous, that should never happen! Please note that these are a general guideline. If the admins deem in necessary to take further action, we'll let you know. 


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