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Cradle ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

Dross has nearly infinite knowledge.

Will Wight

He doesn’t! Let me nip that in the bud right now. To borrow the catch phrase from a certain fictional class rep, he doesn’t know everything, he only knows what he knows. That’s what I was illustrating when they leave GW and he doesn’t know what the sun is.He might know how to recreate the wells. That could be within the scope of his knowledge, because it happened within Ghostwater and under the supervision of people and constructs whose knowledge rested in Northstrider’s oracle tree, but Dross only got pieces of that.This will be explained relatively early in Underlord, but I thought I’d jump out in front of it now. Rebuilding the Wells is certainly a possibility, depending on what Dross knows, but infinitely knowledgeable he is not.

Cradle ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

Thanks for the answer, not sure if you do follow-ups, but Northstrider very clearly wants a 'subordinate' mind, is Dross suborindate to Lindon? Or a partner? What if Lindon wants to do something Dross doesn't want to do.

I guess that might too detailed... is Dross what Northstrider wants in terms of independence i guess is my question

Will Wight

Northstrider thinks of a Presence as something like an extra mini-brain, which is not entirely right. A Presence is more like a committee of experts inside your head that speak with one voice. In Dross’ case, there’s one dominant personality speaking for that committee. Dross and Lindon could disagree, and Lindon might lose the benefits of having Dross around, but Lindon could also kill Dross. Plus, Dross still has his essential nature as a memory construct; he doesn’t really mind doing what he was built for.

Cradle ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

Is Dross the Dolls?Not that I have a problem with it, but does Will just like his protagonist to have a battle facilitating comedic voice in his head that nobody else can hear? Now don't take this as hate, I love the dolls and I'm really enjoying Dross so far, and if it works, run with it, but am I the only one noticing the similarity...?

Will Wight

Yeah, honestly this was one of the reasons I was hesitant about introducing Dross in the first place. I developed him for a different reason than I developed the dolls; Simon needed someone to interact with during the many scenes he was alone, whereas Lindon has Orthos and Yerin. I then gave the dolls powers in order to keep them relevant during combat scenes, which is when I most needed them talking. As for Dross, I developed his powers (and his role in the series) first, and then worked backwards to give him an engaging personality. However, I'm fully aware that now any entity that speaks directly into the MC's head and gives him combat advice is going to read like the dolls. They exist for different reasons and they're different people, but I'm aware they fill the same niche. Oh well. I'll try not to have psychic advisors in future series.

Cradle ()
#4 Copy

RMvice

Does Lindon need to cycle aura/madra specifically for dross or can dross live off of pure madra (follow up Q:So dross can be sustained off if blackflame madra?)

Will Wight

Dross can live off his pure madra.. In fact, Dross lives off his connection to Lindon, so his madra wouldn't even need to be pure. Dross is tied to Lindon's spirit now. As long as Lindon is healthy, so is Dross.

Cradle ()
#8 Copy

Lil' Blue

So, a bunch of discussions about Lindon fighting other people are ending with people saying "But Dross" as if that answers all questions. Can you confirm that Dross isn't going to be an auto win from every fight going forward? (The same usually happens with anything about Eithan.)

Will Wight

Yes, actually. From here on out, Lindon will now easily coast through every challenge.

Cradle ()
#9 Copy

SomeWhoCallMe... Tim

So a presence isn't exactly what Northstrider was trying to make, then?

Will Wight

A Presence is what he was trying to make, but he didn't entirely understand what it was or how to make one. He's fumbling in the dark. So he has focused on the capacity of the Presence more than its nature. He would think of it as a failed product even if he encountered Dross directly, because Dross doesn't have the limitless store of knowledge or processing capacity of one of the Abidan Presences.

Cradle ()
#11 Copy

Kalani

Is Dross's "physical" form just an illusion of dream madra or can it interact with other objects like dream tablets? And if it can interact with other physical things, can other people somehow capture him if he strays too far from Lindon?

Will Wight

Dross’ physical form is now a projection that can’t move far from Lindon. He can interact with small or light physical objects, but if he were to be captured and taken away, he would dissolve and be reborn from the seed inside Lindon. Although it might hurt him, he couldn’t be stolen.

Cradle ()
#12 Copy

Reigan Shen

What purpose do Dross' core and Madra channels serve? Can he actually cycle with them?

Will Wight

That was all part of Dross evolving from a construct to an independent spirit. Without some form of madra channels, he wouldn't be able to process power. He cannot cycle aura, though technically Lindon could cycle aura to him. If he wanted.

Cradle ()
#13 Copy

Windrunner

Was wondering a bit about Dross and Northstrider, I've read the WoW and we were discussing it last night. I know you've said that Northstrider would think Dross was a failure because he doesn't have the depth of information as a Abidan presence, but I was also wondering if Dross is a bit more aware/independent than Northstrider would like/how the Abidan Presences are

Like Suriel's keeps giving distance units to various places, even when clear context would say not to do that, until she tells it to stop.

Will Wight

We’ll get more into the nature of Presences as the series progresses, but basically they’re each very individual. Suriel’s is very different from Makiel’s in both specialty and personality, etc.

Cradle ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

Did you hesitant with just dross or when making all the presences for the abidan as well? besides I don't think it matters it just another away your books connect other than the way.

Will Wight

Nah, just Dross. I knew the Abidan needed some kind of magical AI.

Cradle ()
#16 Copy

Bearilicious

What happened to Dross's shell the eye of the deep casing? did it just dissapear? is the script still there to yank Dross out of Lindon's soul?

Will Wight

Good question! Dross is beyond such things now.

Cradle ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

Dross’ relationship with Lindon for some reason reminded me of Vampire Hunter D. D is kept alive at one point in the first movie by an independent entity in his hand which lives off D but also allowed D to heal/regenerate (or at least regenerate faster). I wonder if such a relation would be possible in cradle. Essentially a symbiotic relationship (with a parasite or something of the sort), which could leave both parties better off but didn’t necessarily require a contract or sharing of madra. Now Dross is a construct and seems to operates off all madra, so maybe he’s a special case?

Will Wight

Yes, that would be possible.

Cradle ()
#20 Copy

Questioner

[From a reddit post regarding Little Blue]"Sylvan Riverseeds were natural spirits—beings like Remnants, only born of accumulated vital aura rather than the death of a sacred artist. They only formed in places where the aura was both extremely strong and in perfect balance. If the aura slanted toward one aspect or another, a different natural spirit would form. Typically, you would find that balance of aura in the heart of a forest, next to a spring or a river. In such a place, air and earth, heat and cold, life and death all coexisted at the same point in roughly equal amounts." Location 9460 in cradle foundationInteresting. Except Ghostwater reiterates the life & water line about Sylvan Riverseeds, and explains that Sylvan Dreamseeds are created when a different two elements are in balance:“Sylvan Dreamseeds,” Dross explained. “Just like Riverseeds are pure spirits that are born in areas with a strong balance between water and life aura, these little guys are born under the influence of dream aura. From the dream tablets, you see. The library and the Well are here purely to create the right conditions for their birth.Wight, Will. Ghostwater (Cradle Book 5) (Kindle Locations 2364-2367). Hidden Gnome Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Will Wight

When Dross says what he does about life and water, it’s a simplification. The first answer is more technically correct.

Underlord Release Q&A ()
#21 Copy

Everath

After hearing your Dross voice, I now believe Dross is a gnome. Is this true?

Will Wight

Haha. Yes this is 100% accurate, Dross is only 30% through his transition to full gnome hood. He's currently like a Mike Wazowski looking floating purple thing, but he's going to develop a second eye and a whole little body and a beard and denim overalls and a peaked red hat, yes.

Cradle ()
#22 Copy

Decadakon

Did dross just make more ghostwater in the end by mixing all three vials together and ghostwater or was that supposed to be a different substance all together?

Will Wight

That process in the end is just how you make more ghostwater.