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Tel Aviv Signing ()
#51 Copy

Questioner

So, about Feruchemy. If someone takes, for example, a copper metalmind, fills it with memories, and then a tin metalmind, fills it with senses, then melts them together into a bronze metalmind, would you be able to tap anything from it, and what?

Brandon Sanderson

If you made an alloy of them, you would not get anything out of them. You would know there's Investiture in there, but you wouldn't be able to pull it out. 

Questioner

Even if it's your own?

Brandon Sanderson

Even if it's your own, yup. They would interfere with each other to the point that you wouldn't be able to get anything out. Sorry.

Ancient 17S Q&A ()
#52 Copy

Chaos (paraphrased)

Since the dawn of Scadrial, why was Feruchemy isolated in a single distinct population in the world, namely the Terrismen? Allomancy, while rare within the population of Scadrial, at least was not isolated to one population, it was spread evenly, it seems. What is special about the Terrismen that only they get the power of Feruchemy? Does it have something to do with the previous Ascensions before Rashek, with the guardian keeping the power for a time?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It's all in the spiritual DNA, which is passed on like normal DNA. However, they are a separate people. They've kept themselves isolated, similar to the Jews in our world. When I asked he said there have been some Feruchemical-mistings [Ferrings] in the past, but they are very rare.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#54 Copy

Questioner

One thing when I was reading The Alloy of Law, in Mistborn, all the [Feruchemists] were the Mistborn version of [Feruchemy], and then it changed to the Misting version of [Feruchemy]. Is there...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, there's a reason for that, and I'll delve into it a bunch more later, but basically, there's two things going on. Number one, the bloodlines have thinned, and that's the reason they're talking about [here]. Also, full-blooded Feruchemists mixing, like the populations mixed, is really dangerous, and Sazed knew this. So, I'll just leave it at that.

Skype Q&A ()
#56 Copy

Calderis

In Shadows of Self, in the scene where Paalm is speaking to Wax from a floor above, she rushes out the window and down past him. The window isn't damaged, the earth that she runs on isn't damaged, and she runs down a flight of stairs at speed. Being as "speed" affects gravity, and physics apply to Paalm as if she were moving at normal speed, is Feruchemical steel a temporal effect?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* Nice. I'm going to ask for more definition. What do you mean by temporal effect. What exactly do you mean by that? Are you reaching into magic system definitions, or are you trying to use our definitions? Give me more.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#59 Copy

Phantine

I actually asked Peter Ahlstrom (who tends to handle math and magic system interactions with physics for Team Sanderson) about this a little while ago

A couple of friends and I are discussing if the iron feruchemy causing changes in speed is a retcon (since there's a mention in AoL that "increasing his weight manyfold would not affect his motion"), or if the effect is just more complicated (like only causing an instant change in speed if Wax changes weight while actively pushing on something).

Are you willing to weigh in on that, or is it just something we shouldn't be thinking too hard about?

Thanks :)

And his response was

I just don't know the answer to this question. :)

So I personally think the explanation is either 'Brandon thought it would be cooler for shifting your weight to change your velocity, and forgot he had mentioned it a couple times' or 'this is Wax's twinborn perk'. I'm leaning towards the latter, since the person who writes the magic system summaries at the end of the book specifically interrogated Wax about the effects, and mentioned she specifically was interested in his very unusual power combination.

As for the density thing, there is an explicit mention that you appear to get stronger when tapping, but only to the extent that you can still stand up and walk around - you still have more difficulty moving around overall. So (to pull out random numbers), if you're at 200% normal mass, you have 180% normal strength, and at 50% mass you have 60% normal strength. That means Wax habitually going around at 75% weight so he's 'light on his feet' makes sense - even if he's weaker overall, he's proportionally stronger.

The way I personally think about things for bullets or whatever, anything 'inside' the body (where 'inside' is defined in the same way that pushing/pulling metal 'inside' the body uses it) interacts with your body as if it were normal. So tapping iron doesn't cause your ultra-massive blood to be impossible for your heart to pump, but it also doesn't prevent a bullet from passing through your flesh. That seems to be consistent with how it's portrayed in the books.

Brandon Sanderson

Just a note: in the quote of mine above, I was trying (I believe) to find a way for Wax to indicate that weight doesn't influence the rate at which he falls. IE, acceleration in regards to gravity. It's tough, and I made the call (perhaps incorrectly) not to use modern physics terminology in the W&W books. It has been very hard then to explain:

1). Wax changing his weight doesn't change the pull of gravity on him, or the rate at which he falls. 2) He DOES follow the laws of conservation of momentum.

My talking around these things has let me to tie a few paragraphs in knots.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#62 Copy

Jasonioan

If one were to have an unlocked metalmind, nicrosil, and held it while wielding Nightblood what would happen? Would he be taking Investiture from the--

Brandon Sanderson

That is a RAFO... you will start to find answers to these sorts of things as more people are involved with Nightblood.

Jasonioan

...So, if it was like a coppermind would the information be destroyed?

Brandon Sanderson

That is an excellent question, what I've said before is that Nightblood will feed on whatever Investiture he can gain access to. He will start with the easiest Investiture to reach. He will eventually turn to converting matter into Investiture and eating that.

Calamity release party ()
#63 Copy

Questioner

So if someone is storing weight-- Feruchemy-- Can you store enough that you can actually float like a balloon?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, your clothing and stuff will still have weight.

Questioner

If you were, like, completely naked and just *unintelligible* your hand up a wall, you will?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You will-- You could float, yeah. That's-- I mean, you could get your weight so low that it's basically like being in microgravity, which is...q

Questioner

Like 99%? Like a vacuum balloon?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#65 Copy

Kaymyth (paraphrased)

I asked him about what the board refers to as "reverse" compounding - i.e., using Feruchemy to enhance Allomancy, rather than the other way around. I wanted to make sure that it was really a thing that exists.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He said that it was.

Kaymyth (paraphrased)

Is this what the Southern Scadrians have been doing?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It's similar, but not exactly the same.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#67 Copy

Djarskublar

*inaudible* [I asked if it would be possible to recall Breaths from an object that you had not placed there if the Awakener who did place them there had no Identity at the time.]

Brandon Sanderson

So, this is a very detailed, specific question, if you didn't hear it. It's dealing with the idea of Investiture and Identity, and things like this. If you can unkey the magic with Identity, for almost any case, it's going to make it much easier for other people to use. That's gonna be a blanket statement through the cosmere. If you can blank your Identity, it's at least gonna be able to be used by someone else with a blank Identity. Sometimes it's keyed, so the blank will not work with somebody who is themselves keyed. But if you can blank and they can blank, you can almost always guarantee the magic will be able to be used.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
#68 Copy

Douglas

1) What benefit does Compounding copper get? Exceptionally clear and detailed memories? Memories that can be split into a new coppermind while still remaining in the Feruchemist's mind? Something else?

2) How does Feruchemical luck work? If a chromium Compounder tried his hand at day trading on the stock market, what would happen? Would it make him choose stocks that were coincidentally going to go up anyway? Would it change stock prices by altering the world around him? Would it fail because the required scale of action is too large? Something else?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I've said before that I want to hold off on talking about different forms of compounding and types of twinborn until I can address them in the series. So I'll have to RAFO the first two.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#69 Copy

Questioner

So, Metalminds: if you store weight, how does that work, do you decrease your mass or...?

Brandon Sanderson

So, storing weight actually plays with your mass, because if you look at how we do the physics of it… This one is really screwy, because we are changing mass and playing with it. You watch, like with Wax decreases his weight while he's in motion he'll speed up, and if he increases it, he'll slow down. The conservation of momentum and things like that, but we'll doing really weird stuff. It's like, how can you store your mass… Well, in the magic system it works, but it’s one of the weirdest things we do. *pauses to sign book* We kind of play loose and free with the physics sometimes. Like the example that I often use is Wayne doing a speed bubble, the light that is trapped in the speed bubble...like if he turns on a flashlight would actually radiate because of the redshift, and you could just kill everybody by flashing that. So, we make the speed bubbles not cause a redshift for that reason. We kind of work with what is good storytelling first, and then work the physics around it, but we have to put in all these little breaks and things like that in there regularity in order to actually have the story.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#70 Copy

Questioner

Is it possible to Compound your Spiritual Connection to a location on a planet while storing your Spiritual Connection to all other locations on the planet to kind of pull yourself through the Spiritual Realm to that location?

Brandon Sanderson

That's not how that would work. Parts of what you say are possible, but the teleportation aspect wouldn't actually do anything.

Questioner

Was Hoid trying to Compound his Spiritual location in the scene you added in the 10th Anniversary [Elantris]? Was he trying to Compound Connection to that location to try to become Elantrian?  

Brandon Sanderson

...So at that point chronologically he was not an Allomancer.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#72 Copy

Questioner

When either Rashek or a Twinborn like Miles, how does he fuel his metalminds? Does he have to actually burn the gold in order to fuel them? Because, I feel like there's a paragraph in here where you kind of explained it, but I feel like you didn't actually say that you had to burn more gold in order to fill a metalmind. Is that how that works?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You can cross the streams and use one to power the other. But you are using the metal to power your Feruchemy instead of your own-- You're using, basically, the power that's coming through the metal...

Questioner

So you do have to be burning one the whole time? Sounds good, good to know. So you could just infinitely fill it, basically? As you burn, you just use it to fill it and it just gets-- and that's where that comes from?

Brandon Sanderson

Yep. You are burning a metalmind that you've already filled, right? That's the key there. You fill a metalmind, then you burn that, and what that does is it keys the metalmind to the Feruchemy instead. Which normally no one can do because you could-

Questioner

You can't do both.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But if you can do both, you fill a metalmind, you burn that metalmind. What comes out of it is Feruchemical power instead, and you then are filling the metalmind with more.

So Allomancy is fueled by the power of the Shard. So what you're doing is you're powering your Feruchemy with the power of the Shard, instead of your own body. Using their Investiture instead of yours. Which is very dangerous.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#74 Copy

mooglefrooglian

If metals shape the Investiture in Allomancy, causing a Steelpush or whatever, how is it that the mists can be used to perform the same feat? What is 'shaping' the inhaled mists into a Steelpush, if there's no metal "nozzle" to do so?

Brandon Sanderson

Consistently through the cosmere, once you have the power in hand and it has permeated you, will becomes your nozzle. This can be seen in Warbreaker, where the power has been distributed and inhabits the people. The nozzle idea is important for Magics that are drawing power externally, as it keeps the power from overwhelming and destroying you. (Which, basically, happened to Vin at the end of the Trilogy--she got consumed by the magic. She became something new, now, so it didn't KILL her. It destroyed what she was, transformed her into something else.)

So you see magics like on Sel and Scadrial where a specific nozzle is needed--as the power source is external, at least with Allomancy. Will and intent take a backseat, though still pop up on occasion. On Nalthis (and in a lesser way, Roshar) will and intent are more important, and what you are trying to do shapes the magic more directly.

A little direct manifestation in this is found in the subtle differences between Allomancy and Feruchemy. In Allomancy, when you enhance the senses, you just get a blast of power--and all senses are enhanced, whether you want them all or not. In Feruchemy, you can be more precise, and pick a specific sense to store. The power is internal here, and therefore more limited in how much you can draw--but you can also be more precise with its manipulation.

Note that Roshar Surgebinding is a special case, as the magical symbiosis there is stronger than it is on other worlds, as much of the magic involves bits of power who have become sapient.

uchoo786

How much crossover is there in use? Like if one "breathes" in the mists they can use it to power their allomancy. Could an Allomancer utilize stormlight to power his allomancy as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the magics can be hacked together in one way or another, but some are easier to interchange than others.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#75 Copy

Questioner

If someone were to create a human shape, with full articulations, made out of the four Feruchemical Spiritual metals and copper and do like a full dump into them, would it be able to-- I mean, Investiture attains sapience on its own. And then with-- If those were mixed with the memories in the copper would it be able to effectively become an android of the person who created it?

Brandon Sanderson

So we got a couple of issues you have to overcome in creating this. Number one, the memories are not going to attune to the Investiture itself, they're going to be attuned to you. The Investiture as it attains sapience is gonna create its own Identity, which is then going to be a mismatch for those memories. So you would have to find a way to get those memories to work for that creation.

Questioner

It wouldn't tie with the Identity that was stored in the aluminum?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it would not... The other thing you were getting at there though, is that just Investing it alone, you would have to leave it alone for a long time, naturally, for it to start developing anything. And so we're looking at thousands of years, probably. There are ways to speed that process along, but just doing that and leaving it, it's gonna take a while.

/r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
#76 Copy

Cheese_Ninja

One question, two parts: If a double nicrosil Twinborn started Compounding and storing Investiture in a nicrosilmind, could they do something cool by tapping a whole huge bunch at once? And since Scadrialians have both Ruin and Preservation in them, could they store both those qualities in a one nicrosilmind, or would it require two different ones?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha. All things regarding Investiture (particularly in regards to Feruchemy) are instant RAFOs at this point, I'm afraid. I've got to save SOME things for future books.

General Reddit 2019 ()
#82 Copy

mikkomikk

It just stores wakefulness right? I don't think it gives you the actual benefits of a good night's sleep. So after an extended period of bronze Compounding, your body will start deteriorating and eventually die.

Brandon Sanderson

Bronze Compounding will indeed let you never have to sleep. /u/mikkomikk as a good theory, as I haven't really talked about this, and that might be the way to theorize without more info--but it was designed to let people go without sleep, and does give benefits of a good night's sleep.

ElTigreChang1

Alternatively, could you compound copper for a supernatural sleeping aid? or would that just lead to accidentally sleeping for 16 hours

Brandon Sanderson

Copper? I don't see that working, I'm afraid. Did you mean bronze?

You could fill bronze to sleep. (This is actually the very first power for Mistborn I imagined, back in highschool. Wishing, as an insomniac, I could sleep when I wanted to and be rested when I wanted to.)

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#90 Copy

Questioner

I've got a Mistborn question for you. So, Identity? Can you store, like-- is your physical appearance part of your Identity?

Brandon Sanderson

It is to some people. To most people, it's a part of it, yes.... I don't know the answer-- don't take that as "You can store that." and things like that. It's involved. There are certain things you can do. But it's not as simple as it might have sounded, what I just implied.

Questioner

So, does that apply to your Identity, if you're in the Cognitive Realm? Or the Physical Realm? Can you store that?

Brandon Sanderson

The reason you look like you do in the Cognitive Realm is because it's Identity, things like that. I'm not gonna talk about specifically how storing that works really. Although there is the idea that your soul is the key to Investiture and stuff like that.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#93 Copy

MoriWillow

When a Steelrunner taps speed, does it work by breaking the laws of motion, letting their speed be higher than it should be when considering their kinetic energy during movement or the force they impart upon impact with something (and inversely while storing)?

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of [Feruchemy] breaks the laws of thermodynamics, and this is indeed an example.

Skype Q&A ()
#94 Copy

Calderis

Feruchemical aluminum stores and taps a marker that seems to suffuse all Investiture within a person, removing or strengthening Identity. Does Feruchemical duralumin work similarly? Does tapping connection while storing in a metalmind increase the connection of the Investiture stored?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. Mostly because I've got a main character who's going to be doing this, I'm not going to spoil the fun or lock myself down yet.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#95 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Ten

The Carriage Ride to the Forge

Note that Wayne sleeping here is a side effect of him getting really sickly for a short time, trying to recover a bit of healing power. Marasi thinks he's just relaxed, which . . . well, he kind of is, but he wouldn't be sleeping right now save for the effects of his Feruchemy.

As another side note, the city really is as miraculous as Marasi thinks to herself. Sazed created an Eden-esque little section of land here, a place of extreme bounty and fertility, in order to cradle the regrowth of mankind. The actual science (such that it is) of it has to do with the mists bringing fresh water and hugging the ground extra strongly here, as well as some molds that refertilize the ground.

Marewill flowers are named after Kelsier's wife. (Spook, the Lord Mistborn, came up with the name—as well as naming a lot of the things that held out until this time, such as the months of the year.) The other little worldbuilding item of note here is the idea of what Wayne calls the "God Beyond," which is an idea that has begun to creep into society, the idea that there is a greater God of the universe beyond people like Harmony or Kelsier. It's somewhat analogous to some of the Gnostic beliefs in early Christianity.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#96 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if the size of a piece of metal determines the amount of Feruchemical charge that can be stored in it.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So how does that scale, like, in terms of the volume or mass of the metal or...

Brandon Sanderson

It-- So I've talked about this before, I'm trying to remember exactly what I've told people-- It does not scale as logically as you think it does. How about that? It's more like certain thresholds. You can have a-- You can store a Hemalurgic or Feruchemical charge even in very small pieces of metal, but larger pieces of metal will let you get more.

Questioner

So it's kind of like there are different classes of sizes?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, kind of like that.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#98 Copy

Questioner

Hemalurgic spikes degrade very quickly, but Feruchemical metals can hold on to their charge forever, apparently. Is that just because Hemalurgy is corruptive?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, though I may not say "forever."

Questioner

But it's much slower?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, way slower.

Yes, it's the nature of Feruchemy and Hemalurgy.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#99 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The Lord Ruler died because he had filled his bracers with a large amount of youthfulness, and had to keep drawing it out to stay young--as his soul knew how hold it was, and his body kept trying to 'bounce back' to its perceived age. Compounding is how he gained enough extra youthfulness to pull this off.

Phantine

Actually, I have a question about the 'bouncing-back'.

Is the 'bounce back force' actually what's stored in a metalmind?

For instance, when storing atium a feruchemist ruins his body to make himself old, and then his metalmind 'catches' the force the soul puts out as it tries to restore his true, younger age?

So you create metalminds by seesawing a ruining and a preserving impulse together.

Brandon Sanderson

The bounce back is caused by the relationship between the three realms of the cosmere. What you're saying isn't terribly far off, but at the same time, ignores some underpinning fundamentals of how it all works.

In the cosmere, your soul is basically an idealized version of yourself--and is a constant force pushing your body to match it. Your perceptions are the filter through which this happens, however, and many of the magics can facilitate in interesting ways.