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Starsight release party, Orem, UT, November 2019

Mason Wheeler

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Get your bets in for what the reading is gonna be! The options are:

  • Stormlight Four Interlude
  • Stormlight Four Flashback
  • Other Stormlight Four scene
  • "Trunked" Cosmere novel (Way of Kings Prime, Dragonsteel, etc)
  • Sixth of the Dusk 2
  • None of the Above (a brand new story entitled "None of the Above")
  • Apocalypse Guard excerpt
  • none of the above
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Reading has been transcribed. Stormlight Four, Eshonai flashback. More audio will continue to come in, considering the event is still ongoing. (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/402-starsight-release-party/)


Brandon Sanderson

Eshonai had heard it said that mapping the world removed its mystery. Some of the other listeners in her camp insisted that the wilderness should be left wild, the place of spren and greatshells, and that by trying to lock it down into paper, they risked stealing its secrets. She found this to be flat-out ridiculous.

She attuned Awe as she entered the forest from the back way. Closer to the Shattered Plains, almost everything was flat, grown over only by the occasional rockbud. Yet here, not so far away, was a place where trees grew in abundance. She’d started her map by going around the perimeter of the forest until she found the river on the other side. Now, after a few days of walking, she intended to head back along the river until she came out on the other side, closer to her camp.

Everyone had been so worried about the storms and her being trapped in them alone. But she had been out in storms a dozen times in her life, and she had survived just fine. That had been without the forest here. These trees made a wall before the storm, like the ones that encircled the ten camps.

Those camp walls had fallen long ago, like most of the ancient listener creations. That was proof: you couldn’t steal the secrets from nature simply by exploring them. The mere thought was laughable. Yes, listeners could create mighty walls, but they were a poor imitation for what nature presented. This forest had likely stood when the ancient city at the center of the Plains had been new; and it stood, still, now that the city was little more than a scattering of lumps in the crem.

She settled down near a rock and unrolled her map, made from precious paper. Her mother was one of the few among all the camps who knew the song that outlined the steps in creating it. With her help, Eshonai had perfected the process, and made certain her cases were sealed against the rain. She used a pen and ink to sketch the path of the river as it entered the forest, then dabbed the ink until it was dry before rerolling the map.

Though she was confident, Resolve attuned, she did admit that the complaints of the others had seemed particularly bothersome to her lately.

“We know where the forest is! Why draw it out?”

“The river flows this direction. Everyone knows where to find it. Why bother putting it to paper?”

“You try to capture the songs, but the songs aren’t meant to be trapped. Save writing for marking debts. Don’t force something as alive as spren to become as dead as a sheet of paper.”

Too many of her camp wanted to pretend the world was smaller than it was. She was convinced that was why they continued to squabble and fight with the other camps. If the world consisted only of the ten camps and the ground around them, then fighting over that land made sense.

But their ancestors hadn’t fought one another. Their ancestors had united. Their ancestors had turned their faces to the storm and marched away, abandoning their very gods in the name of freedom.

Well, Eshonai would use that freedom. And with her maps, she would show the others, expand their minds, bring them with her next time she visited the forest, and would show them the wonders out here.

They would sit by the fire and complain that she was stealing Cultivation’s secrets away, never experiencing the beauty she offered, never knowing the best wonder of them all, the ultimate question: What will I discover next?

The river wound through the heart of the forest, and Eshonai mapped its course using her own methods of counting the distance and rechecking her work by surveying sites from multiple sides. It flowed after highstorms, but often continued for days once one had passed. Why? When all the water had drained away or been lapped up, why did this river keep going? Where did it start? Once she had this map done, she intended to head all the way up the river, further than she’d ever gone before, and try to figure out its origin. Rivers excited her. They were markers, guideposts, roadways. You could never get lost if you knew where the river was.

She stopped for lunch near one of the bends, and there discovered a type of cremling that was green, like the trees. She’d never seen one that shade before. She’d have to tell Venli.

“Stealing nature’s secrets?” she said to Annoyance. “What is a secret but a surprise to be discovered?” Making a map didn’t lock down or constrict the wonders of nature. Nature would keep on changing, growing and providing new wonders! All a map did was provide a path to experience them.

Finishing her steamed hasper, she put out her fire and continued on the way. By her guess, she could travel through here only a day and a half before reaching the other side. Then, if she rounded the other side of the forest, she’d have a finished picture of how this land looked. It might take months of work after that to map the interior of the forest; if it could be mapped. How would she keep from getting lost without the river to guide her or the edge of the forest to mark a barrier? Such an intriguing problem. Such a wonderful problem! There was so much to see, so much to know, and so much to do; and she was going to discover it all. She was going to…

What was that? She frowned, stopping in her tracks. The river wasn’t particularly strong right now; it would likely slow to a trickle by tomorrow. The trees grew far back from its banks, evidence that the flood during a highstorm was dangerous. That could be so loud, she could follow it from a distance, just by listening. Now, though, the water made barely a gurgle. And over it, she easily heard the shouts in the distance.

Had others come to find her? She’d told them not to expect her back soon. She hurried forward, in part overjoyed. If someone had come after her, perhaps they were growing more willing to explore.

It wasn’t until after she was almost to the sounds that she realized something was very wrong with them. They were flat, no hint of a Rhythm, as if they were not made by listeners, but by the dead.

A moment later, she rounded a bend and found herself confronted by something more wondrous and more terrible than she’d ever dared imagine.


Starsight Release Party (Nov. 26, 2019)


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I asked him in the q and a if there were crem/hordelings that could "see" investiture, he said yes.

In the line, I asked specifically about the unusual cremling Kal sees in the slave wagon at the beginning of WOK, and Brandon laughed and told me it was more than it appeared, and gave me a RAFO card.

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I got some interesting answers to questions.  Paraphrasing by memory here, especially the last one.

Q:  So Vasher moved to Roshar to live off the easy Investiture from Stormlight.
A:  Yeah...
Q:  Does he know about larkins?
A:  He's heard of them.
Q:  How afraid of them is he?
A:  He's really glad that they're extinct, or so he's heard at least.  Because a larkin would kill him.

Q: The Double Eye of the Almighty... is that just religious symbolism, or does Tanavast have weird pupils?
A: Just religious symbolism.  However, if you were to meet Tanavast after that symbolism had gotten enough traction, you might notice he has weird pupils.
Q: Sort of a "the god is shaped by the ideas of his believers" thing?
A: Yeah.  But he wasn't born that way.

Q: When you got picked to finish up The Wheel of Time, I remember thinking two very different things.  One was "oh cool, he writes good books," but the other was "he's only published a few books; I wonder why they picked him and not someone more experienced."  What was that like, the process of you getting chosen to finish the series?
A: Well, the main thing was that Harriet had read Mistborn, and she liked it. The other main contender was George R. R. Martin, but they decided not to go with him because it would cause his fans to riot; even back then he had a reputation for taking a long time to publish new books.  But a lot of it was that Harriet liked Mistborn, and she wanted someone with a strong understanding of the world of The Wheel of Time, which I had.  But also, I think she kind of wanted a writer without much experience, so she could help guide and teach him on the project, rather than someone who was already really established and set in their ways.  That's what she did with Robert Jordan afterall; she was the editor who first discovered him.


So that was fun!  Anyone else get any good WoBs?

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31 minutes ago, Xardan Ta'Caran said:

Is there somewhere we should be sending our Q&A audio or video files? I recorded the whole thing, but I figured there have got to be at least 10 or 15 people who did the same and I'm not sure if sending mine somewhere would do any good. Anyone know for sure?

The transcriptions are being done at https://wob.coppermind.net/events/402-starsight-release-party/. A copy of the opening session audio (lecture, Q&A, and reading) has already been uploaded; normally, additional copies are handy in case something's unclear in one recording, but since this was straight out of the PA system, it's crystal clear. So there is no need for additional Q&A audio. Thanks, though! (And, yes, release parties have a tendency to be entirely overrecorded. It's much better than the other extreme.)

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I'm not sure if it's good, but he said there were about a dozen different magic systems on Sel (depending on how you look at what a magic system is, like saying that AonDor, Forgery, and the Dakhor system are all different magic systems, which I assume is how he answered). So that's neat and I'm wondering if we're gonna go into all of them. 

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27 minutes ago, aneonfoxtribute said:

I'm not sure if it's good, but he said there were about a dozen different magic systems on Sel (depending on how you look at what a magic system is, like saying that AonDor, Forgery, and the Dakhor system are all different magic systems, which I assume is how he answered). So that's neat and I'm wondering if we're gonna go into all of them. 

We already know 6

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Guest Procrastination Shard

On his Instagram story Brandon has posted videos of some of his answers to certain questions. I do not currently have the ability to screen record these at all. If someone can please do before they get automatically deleted. In the mean time here is a transcript of what he said to the questions he posted. Also apoligies for any misspellings as I haven't read the books myself. For people wishing to add this to arcanum one or two of the questioners appear to be children as well, I'm unsure if this complicates putting entries on the site for some legal reason and as such I'll mark clearly if they are a child or not.

 Questioner 1: (child) Okay so question number one. Why are the Libarians in Alcatraz evil?

 Brandon: Because they find it much more fun that way.

 Q1: Okay question number 2. [in audible] so big?

 Brandon: Because I just can't shut up. I just talk way to much and I really really like big books and so I just let myself go on and do whatever I feel like doing.

 Q1: Okay so question number 3. Why is Spensa's dad a coward and why does everyone make fun of him?

 Brandon: So he's not actually a coward, if you read the book you'll find out. Everyone makes fun of him because their society focuses to much on what is a false version of what is a hero.


 Questioner 2: (child) What inspired you to write these books?

 Brandon: So these books in particular were inspired by me wanting to write a story of a kid who had a pet dragon but I thought to many kids with pet dragons stories have been written so I instead made it a girl and her spaceship. That is where this story started.


 Questioner 3: Okay so, what would happen to the listeners if Odium were to be splintered?

 Brandon:  So Odium being splintered would not terribly effect the listeners. Now various other members of that faction like the singers and the fused might see effects but the listeners could deal with that very easily. Wouldn't even effect them.


 Questioner 4: Are there enough perfect gemstones on Roshar to capture all of the unmade?

 Brandon: Yes there are.

 Q4: Oooh, I got a real answer!

 Brandon: I just saw that. Did you make that? [indicating to teddy of slug like creature with yellow underbelly and dark blue back.]

 Q4: I did I did. [inaudible] pattern. So I tried it for a [inaudible] So my other question was the Shin invasion to cover up them gathering lots of [hard to hear, I think Shardblades?] and hiding them away?

 Brandon: Rafo.


 Questioner 5: (child) Out of all the worlds you've written about which one would you like to live in?

 Brandon: Ooh. I would probably choose to live on Scadrial the mistborn world because they are not undergoing any major disasters and in the current timeline they are the closest to instant noodles and the Internet. They are still pretty far away from both but that's where I would be.

 Questioner 6: (child) Oh cool. And then so out of all the powers you have created and written about which one would you want to have?

 Brandon: I think it would be really fun to bounce around with Allomancy so I would probably pick that unless I could have a Spren in which case I would pick that as having a Spren buddy would be awesome.

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11 minutes ago, aneonfoxtribute said:

Oh right, I forgot about that. I assumed that it wasn't related to any magic system. Wasn't it, like, a poison or something that made you look like that? I clearly need to reread Elantris.

It had a supernatural element.  Think about the timing. 

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Signing line is up for transcription: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/402-starsight-release-party/

Those of you who are Ooklas are either going to need to log in to Arcanum and claim your WoBs once they've been transcribed, or edit your posts in this thread to let us know who you really are. 

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On 11/27/2019 at 2:50 PM, Debarra said:

Q4: I did I did. [inaudible] pattern. So I tried it for a [inaudible] So my other question was the Shin invasion to cover up them gathering lots of [hard to hear, I think Shardblades?] and hiding them away?

 Brandon: Rafo.

The fact that this was asked and RAFO'd excites me to no end.  I have no idea who Questioner 4 was, but thank you for asking that.  And thanks Debarra for posting!

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On 11/30/2019 at 1:16 PM, Pagerunner said:

Those of you who are Ooklas are either going to need to log in to Arcanum and claim your WoBs once they've been transcribed, or edit your posts in this thread to let us know who you really are. 

Thank you!

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