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Worldbuilders AMA ()
#202 Copy

Lucadaw

If someone used Hemalurgy to take someones Feruchemical abilities would they be able to use that persons personal metalminds? Most relevantly perhaps to take that person's knowledge from their copperminds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Lucadaw

If someone stored their identity in an aluminium metalmind, then had their powers and metalminds stolen via Hemalurgy, then the person who took the powers used the aluminium metalmind to draw out the first persons identity would it permanently overwrite their personality with the original persons ? ( would kind of be a long winded way of stealing someone else's body and becoming immortal )

Brandon Sanderson

All Identity questions are a RAFO until I deal with it more in the books. (Sorry.)

WeiryWriter (in response to the first answer)

If the spike granting Feruchemy were to be reforged/split into two distinct spikes which are then implanted into two different people, could those two people "share" a metalmind (as in actually be able to tap something the other stored and vice versa?).

Brandon Sanderson

It's complicated, but no.

There would be too much of the other person mixed in. Both could use the metalminds of the person the Feruchemy was stolen from, but when they made their own, their own Identity would "muddy" the creation.

Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
#203 Copy

Questioner

Say you have a Feruchemist who pours Identity into a metalmind. Then subsequently loses that mind, and then is later Awakened? Would that mind retain the personality of--

*Everyone laughs, Scottish man says "it's 11 o'clock at night, give the man a break!"*

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so they store Identity—which I haven't told you what it does--

Questioner

Yep. We don't know.

Brandon Sanderson

And then you Awaken it, and then you want to know if it has the personality of the person?

Questioner

Yeah, or if it's able to communicate in any way.

Brandon Sanderson

Um, if-- how much Awakened is it? Is it Nightblood-level Awakened? Or is it just regular Awakened?

Questioner

Sure let's say Nightblood-level.

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood-level. So it's-- so the Investiture has been granted sapience. And it's got Investiture from somebody else stuffed in it. I can foresee a scenario where that has an influence, but it's not going to be the personality of the person who stuffed it in. I can see some circumstances where they can-- where the Investiture of the object can make use of that in some way, but...

Oh boy, that was a weird one.

Prague Signing ()
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Questioner

*translated* In Feruchemy, if someone's existence is being in--stored in it, is it as a whole?

Brandon Sanderson

It is little pieces of Investiture filtered through their mind and their soul. *waiting for translator* You could say it's a little piece of them, but it's not the whole them.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#207 Copy

vorpal_username

I've been rereading alloy of law and I was wondering about a few things related to speed bubbles.

  1. Speed bubbles can't move once they're put up, but what happens if you put one up while you're in a moving train or something? Does it move with the train? What if the train stops/turns while the bubble is up? (This might have happened and I'm forgetting in which case just ignore me...)

  2. Can an allomancer leave their bubble while it is still up (meaning it stays up with them outside of it)?

  3. What happens to things and or people partially inside of the bubble? Like, if I swing a pole through the time bubble, do I feel extra resistance or acceleration on it? If I stick my hand through it does it get all messed up like in that episode of TNG(S6E25)?

  4. Is the magnitude effect that causes bullets to go off course when entering a speed bubble proportional to the slowing/speeding of time in the bubble? For example, could I put up a very slight speed bubble (gaining me an extra second every few minutes) and get the same deflection as the ones used by Wane in the books?

  5. If you change your weight with feruchemy, is momentum conserved? For example, if I am moving while I decrease my weight, do I start going faster?

Brandon Sanderson

You'd be surprised by how many of these questions I answer in the next two Mistborn books. I think I might have addressed every one except number four. (In that case, the deflection is indeed proportional.) This is a RAFO, but more a "I took all this time to explain it in the text, so let's let you read it there." :)

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#209 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.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#211 Copy

mikkomikk

Seeing that Vin and Kelsier was able to absorb Preservation's power due to Connection, is it theoretically possible for a duralumin Compounder to compound Connection so much to the point where they could draw in the mists and 'absorb' some of Harmony's power?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

MisCon 2018 ()
#213 Copy

Brainless

You've always said that your favorite sort of magic was being a Coinshot or being a Windrunner because you really want to fly. So I thought that iron Feruchemy you can fly using just iron Feruchemy. So if you had a paraglider and a place to jump off of, you're paragliding, go downwards, your momentum increases, you increase your weight when you're going downwards. You pull upward and then you decrease your weight. Your velocity will increase and you'll go up--

Brandon Sanderson

We have thought about that. I'm not sure if the math-- Like, we're trying to conserve momentum. We're trying to follow the math of that. So the question is, would that work? It probably would, but I'd have to look at the math. Because I tried to make very clear in the Wax and Wayne books that we conserve momentum...

Really what we're doing is, we're breaking potential energy, right, when we're doing this. Because iron Feruchemy is just the weirdest of all of them. Because we're breaking potential energy, what you just said probably works, doesn't it.

Brainless

That was in context with the thing I was saying yesterday, about Feruchemical savants. If you did that every day for years, would you potentially get to the point where you could potentially make one side of your body heavier than the other side?

Brandon Sanderson

...There are many people in the cosmere who would think this idea has merit and they would want to test it.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#214 Copy

f***yeahdiomedes

What limits are there on how fast someone with steel Feruchemy can go? Like is it more based on the limits of what the body can survive?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I will dig into that eventually because I actually have to run the math and just decide. It’s certainly, *pause* there are hard, very hard limits, let’s just say that. But the body generally is...I fudge Feruchemy a little bit, where I allow the body to adapt to what it’s doing for most Feruchemy. Otherwise I just couldn’t use it for very much.

Calamity Austin signing ()
#215 Copy

Questioner

If Feruchemists can store warmth, and you can Compound if you have the dual... Could they harm themselves by drawing too much warmth?

Questioner

Could they draw it out of their body and therefore kill themselves by freezing themselves?

Questioner

Either way. Either that, or burn and Compound too much...

Brandon Sanderson

This is harder to do that you think it [is], because built into Feruchemy is the natural body's resistance to the things you're doing, but it is possible.

Prague Signing ()
#216 Copy

Paleo

Do you actually store something related to...do you store the actual attribute or do you only store like an Investiture representation of an amount...

Brandon Sanderson

You store the Investiture representation.

Paleo

So the metal is just the focus that says this will turn into this.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Prague Signing ()
#217 Copy

Paleo

We tried to develop a theory of what a metalmind actually is, and we know that splitting a metalmind can halve the charge effectively or divide the charge.

Brandon Sanderson

It can divide the charge although it makes it much harder to, yeah.

Paleo

But is it actually physical... is the charge concentrated physically at one point or is it more like a gas so it diffuses?

Brandon Sanderson

It diffuses.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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Thoughtful Spurts

If tapping heat means your own body gets hotter, does it also mean you become immune to hot temperatures so long as you're tapping it, or should you fill heat and grow colder for that to happen?

Brandon Sanderson

As everything in Feruchemy, you become immune to the effects of the ability only. Like weight doesn't crush you, but at the same time doesn't have a net gain in strength. Growing colder, however, would be more helpful in this regard.

Prague Signing ()
#219 Copy

Paleo

Then we also talked about, theorized about unkeyed metalminds - that is Identity-less ones that anybody can that has the power can tap.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Paleo

We also were wondering is it like, we compared it to cryptography and encryption, stuff like that. Is it just that like, your Identity is sort of this unique encryption key.

Brandon Sanderson

And you need a key to you getting it. That's a valid line of theorizing. It is not exactly but it's close enough to be a good model.

Paleo

And would an unkeyed metalmind theoretically be capable of storing a little more than a keyed one.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, because of yeah.

Paleo

Because it has to... Is it inherent to the Investiture or is it like an extra bit?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that, mostly because I haven't considered that yet.

Prague Signing ()
#221 Copy

Paleo

When you store multiple memories in a coppermind is it still technically one large coppermind or could you say it's more like a ton of "virtual" metalminds, because you're technically tapping individual ones?

Brandon Sanderson

More like the second. I would say that's accurate. I mean I'm not sure that really aligns one to one but it is another good model, though.

Prague Signing ()
#223 Copy

Paleo

In Allomancy, bad alloys can be detrimental to you, can make you sick and stuff like that. Does it also apply in Feruchemy or generally impurities, do they apply?

Brandon Sanderson

Not as strongly.

Paleo

How would they apply? Is it more like a smaller charge or?

Brandon Sanderson

It would just take less of a charge. It wouldn't make you sick.

Steelheart Chicago signing ()
#224 Copy

Argent (paraphrased)

Feruchemy is the "balance" between Ruin and Preservation. Would any combination of Shards create a "balance" magic, so to speak, or are only certain Shards compatible?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Feruchemy ended up being a balance system, because of how polar Ruin and Preservation were. Any world with at least two Shards will result in a similar phenomenon. 

Argent (paraphrased)

Like Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Like Roshar. There is something like that going on there.

Skyward release party ()
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Questioner

Can a coppermind be Awakened?

Brandon Sanderson

This is possible.

Questioner

With the memories already in it?

Brandon Sanderson

This is going to be harder because those memories are going to be keyed to someone else, who, by nature, would not be the individual that it was made into. You would have to key those memories to who the metalmind was becoming. There would be an extra step in there; It wouldn't just naturally be that way. We're talking wild, wild, these are possible, but far out, stuff. Possible, but there is an extra step in there.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#229 Copy

Truthwatcher_17.5

Are we ever gonna see more names for specific types of Twinborns?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I intend to do more of those as the Eras progress. There are so many to name that I don't know that I'll ever release a chart of all of them, and partially I don't want to canonize names because I might decide something sounds cooler for when I actually use that person's powers in a book.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#230 Copy

Truthwatcher_17.5

Are we ever gonna see a Twinborn who has Feruchemical iron and Allomantic pewter, and he's pretty much-- sort of like how Ham was training Vin about how to use her body, and we just gonna see this amazing martial artist on a massive scale?

Brandon Sanderson

It is totally possible. I'm not gonna promise any given combination, 'cause the-- I've changed several times the powersets of characters while I'm planning, so.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
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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.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#232 Copy

Questioner

What is Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard in specific? Yes, they talk about that in the books.

Questioner

Ok, it's like, of Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could say that.

Brandon Sanderson

Because it seems like one Shard, one magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, it's more that-- They, in their philosophy, say that it's kind of a hybrid between the two, but you could kind of feel that it's more--

Questioner

It seems more Preservation.

Brandon Sanderson

It seems more Preservation, but in-world they think it's kind of a hybrid. The philosophy says that one was kind of net-positive, one was kind of net-negative and one was a hybrid. That's their in-world philosophy. I personally would place it more with Preservation.

Questioner

Ok so more than one magic system can be tied to one Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Questioner

Ok, that's what I wanted to know.

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, the definition of magic system can be, is so fluid. Like you can look at this book and say "how many magic systems are there?". Is Surgebinding one or is it ten?

Questioner

Allomancy's 16--

Brandon Sanderson

Is Allomancy 16 or one, and things like that. So yes multiple magic systems can be tied to a Shard.

Calamity release party ()
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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.

Oathbringer release party ()
#234 Copy

TheFulgid

Could you Invest... Could you use a nicrosil metalmind to Invest the sort of Investiture enough that you could open a Perpendicularity up to the Cognitive Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I'll just say it this way. Enough concentrated Investiture in one point is going to pierce the Realms, no matter what form it takes. 

TheFulgid

...So, it doesn't have to be a nicrosil metalmind.

Brandon Sanderson

No. 

TheFulgid

Okay... But it could be?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. That is theoretically possible. 

JordanCon 2014 ()
#236 Copy

Trae Cooper (paraphrased)

Suppose you had a Feruchemist that was also skilled in Forgery. If they Soulstamped themselves, would they normally be able to still use Feruchemy, and if they were able to use Feruchemy after a Soulstamp would they be able to access their own metalminds?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You could do so, but it would require jerry-rigging in order to make it work, since the Soulstamp overwrites the current Spiritual aspect of a person. He then said that the accessing the metalminds would also require some amount of jerry-rigging. 

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
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Kurkistan

Could Miles heal back his Allomancy if it was spiked out of him?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he could not. He would no longer be an Allomancer. Also, he'd probably be dead. :)

Kurkistan

Thanks!

I'd thought maybe he could just do some super-tapping from his existing Health in his goldminds (since he'd still have his Feruchemy)...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, I see what you're asking. Using Feruchemy to heal the removed portion of soul. That's actually plausible, not so different from healing other kinds of soul-wounds. If he survived, then yes, this actually might work. (That's why I get for reading the questions so quickly.)

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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AltF4WillHelp

Sorry if this has been asked before; I haven't been able to find a direct answer anywhere. It came up while playing the Mistborn Adventure Game (which has been very fun, btw!).

A Feruchemist can easily determine whether any metal is a metalmind, regardless of whether it's theirs, simply by touching it. And a Ferring can definitely determine the same, but for their own metal.

But, a question came up: can a Ferring also—perhaps with practice—tell whether any piece of metal has been stored in/is a metalmind? Would this be easier for certain kinds of Ferrings? (Ones that are more directly in tune with Investiture, perhaps?) And, if they can determine that a piece of metal is Invested, would they feel something similar to what Vin did when she was examining Sazed's metalmind? Would they be able to tell what the metal it is based on how that power feels? (That last bit might be infringing on what skilled/savant bronze Mistings might be able to do).

Brandon Sanderson

So, bronze Mistings are really good at reading investiture that is being used--it's harder to simply "detect investiture" as all things are made out of investiture in the cosmere. That said, I could see your game allowing this, as it's a natural extrapolation of the magic--and it could make for some good gameplay. Don't be afraid to extrapolate the magic for your own uses, even if it doesn't fall right in line with the way I do things.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#241 Copy

Questioner

What is the experience of Steelrunning? ...It doesn't speed up your mind, so how do you control yourself?

Brandon Sanderson

Most forms of Allomancy give a small boost to any attributes you would need in order to survive and use and manipulate it,  just like atium. So it's going to give you a slight ability-- might speed you up just enough to get some reactions and things, otherwise you just can't do it. What I don't have it doing is cancelling friction. I did that intentionally, so you can burn yourself up with that. But you have to use it measuredly and carefully.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#248 Copy

XMikethetrikeX

A question regaurding Feruchemical iron:

So, while Sazed was guarding one of the gates to Luthadel, he tapped weight to compensate, he had to tap pewter as well. Also, when he was climbing a tree, his strength to weght ratio rised, making it easier for him to climb it. Wax doesn't have to do this- when fighting Miles on the train, he's fine without any sort of muscular enhancement, and when he is climbing in the sets base, he notes that he does not make himself lighter because it would simply decrease his weight and strength equally (in contrast to Sazed climbing the tree).

So, is this difference for the same reason people can push/ pull on atium, being the you hadn't fully developed your idea for the cosmere yet? Or is it some other reason?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. I think the mistake is more on me writing the Wax scene than in the original. (For him climbing, specifically.) I'll put Peter on this and see if it's a continuity error we want to fix.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
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Sporkify

This is more towards the whole physics stuff, but is Feruchemy really balanced? If it gives diminishing returns, wouldn't this end up as a net loss of power?

Brandon Sanderson

It doesn't diminish. Or, well, it does—but only if you compound it. You get 1 for 1 back, but compounding the power requires an expenditure of the power itself. For instance, if you are weak for one hour, you can gain the lost strength for one hour. But that's not really that much strength. After all, you probably weren't as weak as zero people during that time. So if you want to be as strong as two men, you couldn't do it for a full hour. You'd have to spend some energy to compound, then spend the compounded energy itself.

In more mathematical terms, let's say you spend one hour at 50% strength. You could then spend one hour at 150% strength, or perhaps 25 min at 200% strength, or maybe 10min at 250% strength. Each increment is harder, and therefore 'strains' you more and burns your energy more quickly. And since most Feruchemists don't store at 50% strength, but instead at something like 80% strength (it feels like much more when they do it, but you can't really push the body to that much forced weakness without risking death) you can burn through a few day's strength in a very short time if you aren't careful.

Footnote: This question was asked when fueling Feruchemy with Allomancy had only been seen in Rashek. As such, the term compounding is used purely to reference tapping at a higher rate than can be stored.