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Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#101 Copy

Necarion

The compounding trick that the Lord Ruler performed. When you're storing Investiture, are you storing your "Mistborn-ness" or all the powers individually?

Brandon Sanderson

All of the powers individually.

Necarion

Oh okay!

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the compounding trick. Really what's happening is you're fueling Feruchemy with the power of Allomancy, but you're filtering it through you, and then you're storing it.

Necarion

So it's not that you're a more powerful mistborn when you've tapped [investiture]

Brandon Sanderson

No, good question.

Orem signing ()
#104 Copy

Questioner

So, Miles Hundredlives. If you were to spike his Allomantic gold out of him, would that change his Identity such that he could no longer access his metalminds?

Brandon Sanderson

That would not necessarily change his Identity, but it would change his Investiture. So if you took off the piece of his soul that could do Allomancy, and then gave him his metalminds. Well, no... No, this is more complicated than I was assuming. So you're saying if someone took away his ability to do Allomancy, could he still access his Feruchemy metalminds. Yes he could. He could still do that. That should work just fine. 

Questioner

Do the metalminds kind of have a pointer to his Identity, they don't have a copy of his Identity that they're keyed to? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah... he is still him unless you spike him and do something with the Identity specifically. 

Questioner

So you could potentially steal his Identity.

Brandon Sanderson

That strays into RAFO territory, so we'll go ahead and give you a RAFO card. But simply taking it away would not change his Identity to the point that it would prevent-- Good question. Very detailed.

Orem signing ()
#105 Copy

Questioner

If you were to Feruchemically drain your Identity, would you just be able to be soulstamped by any--  Would any soulstamp work on you?

Brandon Sanderson

Not the way I have it now. Because-- You're getting into stuff that I really would like to have my notes next to me for. So don't take this as too gospel. But the way I have this worked out right now, is if you drain your Identity, you still can't use Feruchemical metalminds that themselves have not been drained of Identity, right?

So, any old stamp still is going to be keyed to someone's past and Identity. So my instincts say no that would not work, but I have not worked out that specific interaction in the notes.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#106 Copy

Kurkistan

What would happen if you shot a thug with an aluminum bullet or stabbed him with an aluminum knife?

Brandon Sanderson

Ah, that's a good question. The wound would not be able to heal around the aluminum, but once the aluminum came out and was gone from the system, they would be okay.

Kurkistan

Wait, is that a Bloodmaker, not a Thug?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, you're talking about Thugs?

It would work similarly, but it really wouldn't have a huge effect on them.

Kurkistan

Alright, because Peter was implying that there was some weird aluminum interaction with Thugs.

Brandon Sanderson

What was he thinking of...?

There is some weird interaction but...

Kurkistan

In the wedding scene, Wax thinks they would have aluminum bullets to deal with Thugs, and I was like, "Oh, that's a typo." And Peter was like, "Oh no it's not..."

Brandon Sanderson

No, no. That would just be-- it's like I said: healing it until the bullet is gone, it's just the same as Bloodmakers.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#107 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.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#109 Copy

Questioner

I remember in, I believe it was Hero of the Ages, when Sazed was helping TenSoon escape. When he had fallen on the guard, he said that, by increasing his weight he also increases his density so he doesn't <hurt> himself. Then in The Alloy of Law, it also says that when Wax increases his weight he said that he didn't.

Brandon Sanderson

So, Sazed is just making a mistake. He's mistaking the fact when he increases his weight his musculature changes to be able to handle the new weight and that was what he was talking about. Strength and muscle tone and things like that. I might have just gotten it wrong in the original one [scene], I can't honestly remember, but this is what we kinda decided it needs to be. 

 

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#110 Copy

Questioner

So, you know when Feruchemists increase their weight or strength, something like that, [...] like when they're increasing their strength their muscles literally grow bigger, why does that not happen with Allomancy?

Brandon Sanderson

So, the idea with Feruchemy, in Feruchemy you're storing like your own physical strength. So, when you're filling the metalmind, you kind of shrink *inaudible* and you get it back. With Allomancy, you are drawing on the strength magically from something else and so the power and strength you're getting is actually not related to your muscles, it's related to the magical power, you're pulling directly from another place. So, that's why.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#112 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.

Chris King interview ()
#115 Copy

Chris King

Does mechanical Feruchemy draw from the user or the machine?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's see if I can phrase this correctly. Feruchemy-- I don't want you to guess everything I'm going to do, then the books won't be interesting for you in the future. When I'm approaching using them mechanically I'm trying to keep to the core principles of the magic as much as possible.

Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
#116 Copy

Questioner

Who was the first Feruchemist?

Brandon Sanderson

Who was the first Feruchemist? I don't have their name written down. It's fairly ancient of date.

Questioner

Were they born or were they created?

Brandon Sanderson

The first Feruchemist, were they born or created? Both. I don't see those two as mutually exclusive. See how good I am at dodging questions, now? I've been dealing with the Wheel of Time fans long enough. They've really whipped me into shape for dodging questions.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#122 Copy

Questioner

If you were a Twinborn with both steel, would you be able to move faster than people could use atium to see what you were going to do?

Brandon Sanderson

So you couldn't move faster than their atium, but you could move potentially faster than their mind's ability to process what they're seeing. You might be able to-- but the atium does lend a certain ability of natural reaction, but you are still limited by your muscles, and things like that. So I think you could probably beat atium that way. That would be a valid way.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#123 Copy

Questioner

Is there a comparable way-- like you can become a Misting by burning an alloy of lerasium and some other metal--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is there a comparable way of becoming a Ferring?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh… *carefully* Comparable within certain limits of the definition of that word, then yes.

Questioner

Just meaning, is there some in-world way--

Brandon Sanderson

There is some in-world procedure yes.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#126 Copy

Questioner

If a coppermind was to be split in half, would the contents of it be destroyed? Or would there be, in the two separate halves, <of different contents?>?

Brandon Sanderson

You should err on the side of being destroyed, though not permanently, is what I would say on that. There are ways to approach it that wouldn't, but generally if you're ruining a metalmind, the Investiture will stay in it, and if you know what you're doing you can make use of that, but in most cases, it's not gonna fare well.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#127 Copy

Argent

Why is it that Allomancers and Feruchemists get either one or all of the powers? Radiants / Surgebinders being limited to two Surges makes sense, because it depends on the type of spren they bond with, but Allomancers?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not ready to answer this one yet, I'm afraid. So it's a RAFO.

Argent

Fair enough. Is this something we'll see explored in future (far future?) books, or will we need to bug you about it during signings / AMAs every few years?

Brandon Sanderson

It will explored in far future books, most likely.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#128 Copy

wiresegal

In post-medallion-tech Scadrial, (i.e. Era 3) is there any cultural awareness of transgender people? Since for some, their biological state would be affected by Feruchemical gold healing, and that would probably be a documented effect.

Brandon Sanderson

The different cultures and subcultures are going to look at this differently, but I'd say yes, there is awareness. And the more they experiment with the metallic arts being available outside of genetic lines, the more this will be understood for reasons you point out.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#129 Copy

Calderis

I recently got the opportunity to ask you a question about Feruchemical steel and if it was a temporal effect and you told me to define that better. When tapping steel, the mind of the Feruchemist is sped up and physics affects their actions normally. When storing, their mind is not slowed and the effect seems tortuously difficult to amass. Storing generally seems to be the more dangerous/difficult option in Feruchemy, so does [Feruchemical steel] alter a person's personal relationship to the flow of time, with the disconnect between the Physical and Cognitive as a drawback of storing?

Brandon Sanderson

I see what you're asking. The mind-altering effects of [Feruchemical steel] are similar to the slight strength you gain from [Feruchemical iron]--it is your Spiritual nature adapting to the new influx of an attribute that it's not really expecting, and siphoning some of that investiture to make you capable of actually using it. So there is a slight temporal effect here, but nothing as big as I think you're looking for.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#132 Copy

Questioner

How is a new Feruchemist made?

Brandon Sanderson

What do you mean?

Questioner

Well you can make a new Mistborn by lerasium--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, okay.  Other than through birth? That’s a RAFO, good question though.  Right now, as far as anyone knows, it’s by birth only.  But--  Well we’ll leave it there.  You know that the extra Preservation instead of Ruin had some effects on people on Scadrial.

Calamity Austin signing ()
#135 Copy

Questioner

What were your inspiration when you wrote the [Mistborn] series, or for particular characters--

Brandon Sanderson

Well, Mistborn-- I passed, honestly, through a fog bank at 70 mph driving from my mom's house, and I'm like, "This looks cool, I've got to use this." That's the first thought I can think of. Feruchemy goes back to being in high school and being an insomniac, being really tired and wishing I could store up my sleep, so I'd be sleepy when I wanted to be sleepy. Kelsier's inspiration was a guy who had been only out for himself, who realized the greater import of doing something.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#136 Copy

clyguy

If Wax were to go to Roshar, and--he's a Skimmer, right? So he can change his weight--if he got Lashed in a different direction if he Stored his weight would that nullify some of the Lashing?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, you're going to make me think through this. *laughter* So Wax actually changes mass. And the Lashing only affects gravitational pull. So the answer is no because different things with different masses fall at the same speed.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#137 Copy

Questioner

Okay I had a question for you about that. You make a point about talking about that in your books but we know that air resistance and other things has an effect--

Brandon Sanderson

Air resistance does.

Questioner

--for instance a feather and a bowling ball dropped from the top of the Empire State Building are not going to hit the ground at the same time.

Brandon Sanderson

Right.

Questioner

Even though when in a vacuum they would.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

...In the books Wax is affecting his weight a lot.

Brandon Sanderson

But he's also still wearing clothing, so he's never going to get light enough that-- Like Sazed getting light enough to drift down was pretty hard for him, you'll see how much work he had to go through. Wax could get that light but he's going to have guns and his metal belt and his mistcoat and things like that. And so when Wax is talking you're just going to assume that he's talking in his general experience. Air resistance does matter but that's not how he perceives it.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#139 Copy

Kurkistan

Is there such a thing as a Feruchemical savant?

Brandon Sanderson

I did not write Feruchemical savants into the original outline. Whether or not I will do them- it’s highly unlikely because it’s not there and Mistborn is getting trickier and trickier in that regard. But I didn’t write them in, so… that’s a “probably not”.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#143 Copy

Tehdren

For instance, a person's spiritual component knows how old they are.

Wow. Has this been talked about before? This kind of seems like a big tidbit. Now we have some idea of how Hoid changes his age?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't said if this is a method Hoid uses or not, but it's part of the reason the Lord Ruler turned to dust when he lost his metalminds. (His body tried to match the age his spirit said he was.)

Phantine

If they somehow killed the Lord Ruler in a conventional manner, would he still have turned to dust?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. The metalminds would have stopped being tapped, and the spirit of the matter would probably still have had this strange effect. Not it didn't happen to the bodies of the shard vessels who died.

Phantine

Would koloss spikes turn off when they die too, so dead ones shrivel up like raisins?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgy changes the spirit. So not necessarily.

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#144 Copy

DrogaKrolow

We have this one bizarre question, that actually was really, really weird but we have to know it.

There was a question about Siamese twins. If they were born gold Feruchemists, and they they were split apart, would they like, form together again?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhhhnn... It depends on how they view themselves

DrogaKrolow

That's the answer to every question like that!

Brandon Sanderson

Right! But that's the whole point of the cosmere is that-- Spiritual Realm is filtered through the Cognitive Realm to the Physical Realm, right? And this lens is going to filter how things work. Perception is really important in the cosmere. That's where most of these things come from, and so-- Yeah that is the answer to everything. But that's the point of the answer to everything, is that there aren't a lot of hard and fast rules when it comes to a lot of these things, with Identity and whatnot is going be filtered through perception.

DrogaKrolow

So it is technically possible for them, if they are seeing each other as one.

Brandon Sanderson

Right.

DrogaKrolow

So we can--

Brandon Sanderson

Now the big hard question is, what if one of them views them as one and one of them doesn't?

DrogaKrolow

Oh.

Brandon Sanderson

Aaaaoooohhh! Then it depends on who's using the magic.

DrogaKrolow

What if both of them are?

Brandon Sanderson

Both of them what? Are gold? If both of them are healing and one doesn't want to and one does, magic's gonna cancel each other out and nothing will happen.

DrogaKrolow

Ok.

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm. Yeah I made your question harder and weirder.

DrogaKrolow

Well it was a very logical answer to a very unlogical question.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I've had to answer a lot of these. My feeling is that if I can make the fundamental magic principles work then you can answer those questions rationally but really what you would have to do is-- Even I'm not the expert on these things. Like I'm the ultimate word in some ways but in another ways the answer would be "I don't know, let's have a thought experiment and if it ever comes up, try it out and see what happens". But yeah, there you go. There is my best answer to you.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#146 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.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
#148 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Those of you who have read to the end might wonder where the Lord Ruler got his fantastic healing powers. Well, it has to do with Feruchemy. See, the ability to heal one's body is one of the things a Feruchemist can store up. And, the Lord Ruler's power–by being both Allomancer and Feruchemist–is to draw near-infinite power from his Feruchemical storages by burning them. He can be any age he wants. He can live as long as he wants. And, he can heal as quickly and much as he wants. More on this in book two.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#149 Copy

Questioner

Has a Hemalurgic Feruchemist ever used a Hemalurgic spike to tap power into it? Have they ever done that yet?

Brandon Sanderson

So a Hemalurgic spike is already Invested, so it's going to resist sticking anything else in it, particularly a magic like that.

Questioner

So if there's a pewter spike then a Feruchemist couldn't store strength in it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. It would be difficult.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#150 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

My friend wants to know how fast steel Compounders could possibly go, can they run up walls or over water like the Flash?

Blightsong (paraphrased)

*jokingly* Can they run through time?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Steelrunners can resist a lot things due to the power, like they can withstand the Gs they are out through, but they can't ignore wind resistance and friction. They will burn up if they start running too quickly.