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Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#51 Copy

ccstat

Vasher uses Awakening in a very interesting way, off-stage, to modify the memories of the girl he rescues. Can Hemalurgy do the same thing if used carefully?

Brandon Sanderson

*long pause* No, I don't really think that it can. Nobody has asked that before, but just looking at the way the magics work, I don't think that is something that Hemalurgy is capable of doing.

Oathbringer release party ()
#52 Copy

Questioner

How does rewriting the Spiritual aspect work?

Brandon Sanderson

...So, it has ramifications through the other two Realms. It can happen. You've seen it happen.

Questioner

That's what happens with kandra, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, to an extent, yes.

Questioner

With the koloss?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, both of them. Hemalurgy is, like, sticking a piece of someone's spirit to another person's spirit and creating a Frankenstein's monster of spirits.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#57 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Eight

Killer Mists

The mists kill now. That was a major plot point from book two, so I hope you haven't forgotten it.

Not only was it necessary for the mythology of the world—as will be explained—it was a necessary shift for Vin's personality. This series is about, as I've stated before, the concepts of trust, betrayal, and faith. The mists are the one thing Vin thought she could trust, but now they have turned against her. How she deals with that is a big part of this book.

If you watch throughout the book, Vin has a stronger reaction against the mists than other characters. True, they're worried about the way it's killing people, but Vin is bitter—almost hateful. This is partially because she feels betrayed, but another factor is the taint of Hemalurgy—and therefore Ruin's touch—in her blood.

Starsight Release Party ()
#61 Copy

Aradanftw

If you were to use Hemalurgy on a Surgebinder, would it steal the Surge or the actual spren bond?

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to steal the spren bond, but you've got to remember the spren has power over that bond. So what you're doing is (1) incredibly evil, even more evil, but (2) you may not end up with what you want, because that spren has free will in most cases. You may go through all this trouble and then they may break the bond, and you would be left without it. So you would need something else to force them to be unable to break the bond, which would be even more evil, but it is possible in Hemalurgy.

General Twitter 2018 ()
#64 Copy

Jack Eaton

Can Hemalurgy steal a Nahel bond? And if so, would that bond be unbreakable for as long as the spike was implanted.

Brandon Sanderson

This is a very dangerous and frightening thing in the cosmere, but it is possible--and the implications of it are something I intend to cover eventually in the books.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#66 Copy

Questioner

Can Hemalurgy be used to steal [Surgebinding]?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, technically, but since there are spren involved it's not gonna work the same way. It is possible but not gonna be nearly as effective, how about that? Basically since the spren can break the bond in certain instances, you can get it and then immediately lose it.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#69 Copy

Phantine

If I stab someone with a steel spike to steal their physical Allomancy, what determines which power I steal? Where the spike is stabbed into, my Intent, or some other factor?

Brandon Sanderson

Intent is at play once you get to the finer points of Hemalurgy, but that can get wonky, as evidenced by some certain events with Spook and even Vin.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#70 Copy

yulerule

Can you reuse a spike?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Uh, yes, technically, but not as easily as that question makes it sound.

yulerule

Can you re-use it if it's for the same exact thing or for a different thing? Will that change?

Brandon Sanderson

Spikes are going to get keyed by Identity--

yulerule

So you can't already spike that person. But if you spike and don't kill them can you spike the same person again?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah and if you can somehow strip the identity of the person or the spike-- So yes you can use them again but it comes into a sort of-- Like, you can't just take that spike and spike somebody else.

TWG Posts ()
#71 Copy

Elladan259

I have a questions. I read in the book that under the Lord Ruler, the Steel Inquisitors had 9 spikes. So they had 8 spikes for the normal Allomantic abilities, and only one left. But they needed one more. One would be a Feruchemical spike which granted the user healing abilities. And the other one would be an atium spike. In the book they burned it often, but how? But then, how could they burn atium? They would have needed an atium spike (extremely expensive) and an Mistborn (because atium Mistings weren't discovered).

Somehow, the number of the spike just don't make sense. There should be 10. Do you have some ideas, or is it just an mistake by Brandon Sanderson? 

Peter Ahlstrom

The official answer is that the number varies depending on how many Mistings they can find and sacrifice. Not all Inquisitors will have all the same powers.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#75 Copy

Questioner

The people on Scadrial have innate Investiture from Preservation. If someone from another planet, say Roshar, were to get Allomancy, from Hemalurgy or Feruchemy, would that person have to have Stormlight as well as the metal in order to do their--

Brandon Sanderson

No, good question. They would just need the metal if you were Hemalurgically getting the ability. Remember, Hemalurgy is basically ripping off a piece of someone else's soul and stapling it to yours. Short circuiting the soul, so to speak... All the pieces of the soul you would need, it is giving you. It has dangerous ramifications, but you wouldn't need Stormlight also.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#77 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Thirty-Seven - Part Two

Human Tries to Make a New Koloss

Yes, koloss are people. I assume that many of you guessed this. Then, again, many of you probably didn't. The clues are there, if you care to look—including the fact that small spikes were found in the koloss bodies after the siege of Luthadel. (It's mentioned at the end of book two.)

Unfortunately, the heroes just don't know enough about Hemalurgy to make the connection until this dramatic reveal by Human. There are only three magic systems in this book—all related, all dealing with metal. It's mentioned in book two that koloss, Inquisitors, and—yes, even kandra—are related in some way. All were created by the Lord Ruler during his Ascension.

And all were created from existing material, one might say. There's a little more depth to the kandra, since they're a race that (kind of) breeds true. You'll see as the book progresses. However, all were created through Hemalurgy, and the spikes are very, very important.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#80 Copy

Questioner

With spikes, would you be able to actually transfer Breaths, when they get to the other planets?

Brandon Sanderson

So spikes rip off pieces of the soul and so Breaths are not going to be part of the soul. You could maybe get a divine Breath but I haven't really decided on regular Breaths, they're kind of stuck there in the Physical Realm which is not a thing that spikes are dealing with. Divine Breath, potentially, because that's something that's actually melding onto your soul. But, you know, when you're using the Breaths they reach through to the Spiritual Realm so, maybe if you got it while the Breaths were kinetic, right, while you're using them, then you might be able to rip them off. I'm not a hundred percent certain on that one.

Bystander

There's still things to decide upon.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah there's still things, like I have to kind of see. My instinct says no right now. But, you know, how they interact is not something that I have-- Yeah.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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Odium's_Shard

Lastly, less pressingly, do Spirit Points (Hemalurgic spots) apply to ever magic system, and through the cosmere at large? Ie. could Hemalurgy be used to take any other magic systems aspects, and do other magic systems also have these 'Points', such as Body Focuses, that work in similar ways?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgy crosses magic systems. You could steal things from people on other worlds, if you knew the right places for the spikes.

Legion Release Party ()
#82 Copy

Steeldancer

Given a situation where they have perfect knowledge of Hemalurgy--everything is known. Is it possible they could use a Shard-scalpel and spike to carefully...

Brandon Sanderson

To excise without killing somebody? The real damage is to the soul...

Steeldancer

I'm imagining taking out toxic sort of things.

Brandon Sanderson

You've seen Vasher do something similar, so it's not off books that that's possible.

Legion Release Party ()
#84 Copy

Questioner

Would it be possible to make Hemalurgic dental fillings? If there were a mad-scientist dentist?

Brandon Sanderson

I've thought about this. I think that would be possible, but for Hemalurgy to really work I need it to...it doesn't actually have to be touching the blood, despite what they think. But I think your average dental filling is not going deep enough...

Questioner

Root canal!

Brandon Sanderson

*Continues* But yeah, you could make it work.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#85 Copy

Moderator

Is there such a thing as… voluntary Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

Voluntary Hemalurgy? Yes.

Moderator

...Where you can give a power to someone through those sorts of means.

Brandon Sanderson

Through any means, or through Hemalurgic means?

Moderator

Er, explain what you mean by that question. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

In Nalthis, you are giving up your power voluntarily to someone else.

Moderator

Specifically in the context of Scadrial here.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, can you not imagine a person who's like "Yes I am crazy and will give up my power to this…" you know?

Bystander

But don't the end results negate?

Brandon Sanderson

You can't imagine somebody who would do that? …I am absolutely sure that at some point even in creating Inquisitors there's somebody who would be like, "yes, I will give my life to the Lord Ruler." So, yes?

Firefight San Diego signing ()
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Leinton (paraphrased)

Can you use Hemalurgy to power machinery?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He was initially confused as to what I meant, so I said I got the idea from thinking about FTL travel, and he said that it was a RAFO, but that I was thinking along the right lines, there needs to be a merger between magic and technology.

Starsight Release Party ()
#88 Copy

Questioner

Hemalurgy. If I stab someone with an icicle but it had iron traces in it, would that still work?

Brandon Sanderson

That iron would not hold much of a charge, so it's probably not going to work. You're probably just not going to be able to get enough iron there to really charge it.

But it's plausible that you could make it work. Like, you could get enough iron in there theoretically. I'm going to say most of the time, no. Plus, the structure of it's going to disintegrate so fast that you're just not going to be able to make any use of it.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#90 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.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
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Kythis

When you spike somebody, say a full Mistborn, with a steel spike, it could end up with four different charges.  Does it get all four of them it just depends on where you place it?  

Brandon Sanderson

Where you place it it can get all four.  Spiking a full Mistborn wastes a lot of power and the way that it's known, I mean, it doesn't have to, but the way that it's known to do it right now.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#94 Copy

Kythis

Would the spike that has all four charges, could you actually reuse it and give a different person a different power, or even the same person a different power?  

Brandon Sanderson

No.  When you first spike. . .

Kythis

It loses all the other ones?

Brandon Sanderson

No.  Where you place the spike.  

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#95 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So, since I was doing other things.  Hemalurgy-when you spike, you place the spike in a place that determines which charge the spike gets.  

Kythis

Through the heart seems to pick up universally.

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on where in the heart. It's like acupuncture. This was designed from acupuncture and you get very specific on which nerve you're hitting and things like that

Kythis

So the spike will never pick up more than one power.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, the way they know how to do it.

Footnote: This clarifies two previous questions.
Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#96 Copy

Kurkistan

If you spiked out Miles' Feruchemical gold, would he be able to burn his Allomantic reserves [read: Feruchemical reserves using Allomancy] and heal it back?

Brandon Sanderson

If you spiked out his ability to heal gold and somehow left him alive?

Kurkistan

Yeah, but still having Allomancy.

Brandon Sanderson

Still has Allomancy...

Kurkistan

And he’s like in the middle of burning a goldmind.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that would still work. It'd still have a Spiritual Connection to him.

Kurkistan

So if you're a Coinshot and you get [spiked] to have Feruchemical steel, and then you lose the spike after making a store, you can still Compound that for speed?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes... Yeah, that should still work.

Kurkistan

Was Paalm doing that?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#99 Copy

Questioner

Does Hemalurgy require intent to steal the stuff? Or could somebody in theory just stab through in the exact-- I understand the chances are extremely slim, it's like accupuncture ...happen by accident?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, you've seen it happen without the intent of the person holding the spike.

Questioner

But I think it's commonly accepted that Ruin was sort of manipulating some-- I'm specifically taking the Spook example off the table, I'm just saying, someone by accident stab - whoops! stab - whoops! and have a power?

Brandon Sanderson

Again, Ruin was involved in that. Every spike-- spiking that you saw had Ruin's intent behind it. I'm not going to answer your question, RAFO. You tried, you got me to admit that I was trying to wiggle around it, and I will tell you, today I wiggled around one question that none of you saw me wiggle around, really well, today. Today. I'm not going to tell you which one it is but there is one here that you all thought, you're all like "woo!" but you didn't realize you'd given me so much wiggle room.

Moderator

So about that space station.

Brandon Sanderson

It's not that one.

Orem signing ()
#100 Copy

ElephantEarwax

Are there any Hemalurgic bind points in the mouth or digestive tract?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh. *laughs* Why do you want to know this? 

ElephantEarwax

...We're trying to make sure we're doing it right.

Brandon Sanderson

The Hemalurgic table will be released later this year. I have not planned any bind points inside the mouth. But the Hemalurgic table that we will release will comprise the knowledge of the people in-world at a specific point, and it's entirely possible that new bind points could be discovered.

ElephantEarwax

At what point will they be known? Like, when, in-world?

Brandon Sanderson

When will we know what's smaller than a quark and how gravity interacts with subatomic particles?

ElephantEarwax

No, I mean what time in-world, like what knowledge era, for the chart.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, okay, I get what you are saying. I was answering the wrong question. What technology era. I believe we are setting the table-- Wax and Wayne era, is what I told Isaac. But it's weird because it's going in the third Mistborn [leatherbound]. But I think our intent is it's what they know by that era. 

ElephantEarwax

So it's what Spook found out?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, basically it's what Spook found out. But you can't count that quite as canon until it comes out, because Isaac's going to be in charge of setting that date.