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/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#201 Copy

Yata

If a Ferring creates a metalmind and then loses his power (for example through Hemalurgy), could he still use his previous-made metalmind ?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he could not. And, unfortunately, the person who stole a bit of his soul would probably be keyed with enough Identity to use his metalmind. :( (This is uncertain, though, based on how much of the soul got ripped off, and how much the spike has decayed.)

DragonCon 2019 ()
#202 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.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#203 Copy

Argent

Can tapping enough Feruchemical zinc allow one to match Taravangian's intellect on the day he created the Diagram? Or are the effects different somehow?

Brandon Sanderson

The effects are similar, but not exactly the same. Zinc is speed of thought specifically--while what happens to Taravangian increases multiple types of intelligence, not just raw 'processing power' so to speak.

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#206 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.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
#207 Copy

Questioner

You have this technical approach to Allomantic powers. But Feruchemy seems to me very different. So it's not very logical that you can store up health. What is health?

Brandon Sanderson

Well. I feel that it is. But it has its own definitions. In the Cosmere perception - I don't know if you know...

Questioner

Yeah.

Brandon Sanderson

... it really affects... It's kind of more like a concept of heallth. The idea of your body's ability to recuperate quickly. The magic system translates to your body's ability to match your spiritual self. When that is depleted, your body in the Cosmere starts to stray (? a bit indistinctive in the recording). Foreign things can get into it, diseases get into you, and your spirit can get a little more corrupted. Your body getting corrupted, your spirit's not getting corrupted. You get it, and it makes you extra connected to your spiritual sense. Your body moves to match it closely and better.

Questioner

So the same about speed and ...

Brandon Sanderson

Those are a little different. But each has their little behind the scenes explanation for myself. The problem is... The physics of it is very Cosmere-physics for Feruchemy, whereas for Allomancy it's a lot more out world physics with a different power source. We're changing that. But the physics do work for me. But obviously it's magic, so I'm breaking them anyway.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#208 Copy

Alteroden

With [Feruchemical] zinc, you get mental speed. How is that any different from [Feruchemical] steel, except without [physical] speed?

Brandon Sanderson

I think of the mental speed actually turning you into... Let's say you sped up your body, and you wanted to figure out some really complex equations.

Alteroden

So it lets you have intuitive leaps.

Brandon Sanderson

Right. It basically turns you into Ken Jennings. That's how I imagine it.

Kurkistan

So it's not like bullet time?

Brandon Sanderson

No... It'll bullet time a little bit, it certainly will, because you're thinking faster than everyone else, but it has applications beyond bullet timing. Bullet time is really--

Kurkistan

That’s steel’s thing?

Brandon Sanderson

That’s kind of steel's thing. They kind of overlap on that one, because the steel thing... But yeah. It's more like "I think fast, but my reaction speed is not sped up".

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#209 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.

Miscellaneous 2014 ()
#211 Copy

aeromancer (paraphrased)

So would it be possible to use Steelrunning + compounding to travel FTL?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No, it would not. You could get close, though.

aeromancer (paraphrased)

Kind of like Zemo's Paradox, than? You keep halving the distance, never quite making it?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*gleam in his eye* Trying to crack Allomatic FTL?

aeromancer (paraphrased)

*guilty* Maybe.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You can't.

aeromancer (paraphrased)

I don't know, there are alot of good theories out there.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It involves Allomantic abilities which we don't know about yet.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#213 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.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#214 Copy

Mac

If one Feruchemist Keeper, a full Feruchemist, spiked another Feruchemist and got one Hemalurgic imbue from that person, would the first one now have enough of the second Keeper's Identity to use all of their metalminds? Or would it just be--

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh, that's a good one. I'm gonna say "yes," but it's a hesitant yes, because it's actually a question I haven't worked out yet. So you can have that as a yes, unless I hit it in the books and am looking at the notes and decide that it wouldn't work. I think that it would.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#216 Copy

Questioner

I had a question about [steel] Ferrings. So, I saw that you had mentioned in a previous talk that you could only move so fast with air resistance, like eventually you'd start burning up. If you were to become an Edgedancer as well?

Brandon Sanderson

If you can combine those two powers, Edgedancing and [steel] Ferring, then you are able to do things that would circumvent that restriction. Yes, indeed.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#217 Copy

Questioner

What happens if there was a Feruchemist who was an Elantrian? Could they store Elantrian abilities into a nicrosil metalmind?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm RAFOing most of the stuff, but that one's a RAFO just because I am leaving nicrosil Feruchemy far away until I get there... I'm basically RAFOing everything about Investiture and Connection metalminds and things like that...

Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A ()
#221 Copy

Chaos (paraphrased)

We asked if it was possible to use bronze to Seek Feruchemy.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He said it could be possible. If it were to happen, it was very hard, because the Inquisitors would desperately like to be able to find Feruchemists that way, and it was implied they had not discovered this power. So, it is a freaking hard technique to learn, if possible at all.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#222 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Twenty-Two

The Last Feruchemist?

Sazed is likely not the last Feruchemist. The Lord Ruler tried for a long time to breed Feruchemy out of the population, and it's highly unlikely that now the power would simply vanish because the living Feruchemists were killed. The genetic trait is still there, suppressed in the population, but it would eventually resurface.

That's not to say that the loss of the Synod wasn't a blow. That many living Feruchemists suddenly killed would wipe out a large segment of the population who could have bred Feruchemy true. However, the fact that many of the Synod were eunuchs made their usefulness in that regard less important.

Remember, however, that Sazed is struggling with depression. It's easier for him to see things in a depressing light than it is to see them in a positive light.

GenCon 2017 ()
#223 Copy

AugustDream

If you made a sword-shaped nicrosil metalmind, and dumped a lot of unkeyed Investiture into it, could you make a Nightblood-esque Shardblade? And if you actually didn't go to the trouble and just dumped a lot of keyed Investiture into it, would that change the outcome?

Brandon Sanderson

You're getting close to how this type of thing works but you're missing a few things. Keep working on it.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#227 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.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#228 Copy

NutiketAiel

For Feruchemy, can you only inherit that? Or is there another way to get it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you could obviously get it through a Hemalurgic spike.

NutiketAiel

Yeah, but that’s kind of a different thing.

Brandon Sanderson

It is hereditary, but it came from somewhere. Which is a RAFO, but it’s not a big RAFO. There’s not something you missed in the books, or anything like that. It originally came from Preservation long ago. And there are other ways to get it, but you have not missed any major plot points regarding that. Good question.

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

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.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#232 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.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#233 Copy

Lightning

If you have a metalmind, you have, like, weight stored in it, and you want to transfer it to a different metalmind, can you just transfer it directly? Or does it pass into you, and then you lose some of the power, and then it goes...

Brandon Sanderson

You don't have to draw it completely out. You are gonna lose a little in the transfer. But it's not as much as you probably think. You can kind of do a little hack thing where it goes through.

YouTube Livestream 32 ()
#235 Copy

Yoonseo Chang

Looking at Allomancy, you've mentioned that over time the power dilutes and each ability becomes less powerful. (for example a Tineye in Era 2 will generally be less powerful than one in Era 1) Does the same effect happen in Feruchemy as well? How would Feruchemy become less pure or diluted (other than Ferrings appearing)?

Brandon Sanderson

I have not gone as far with Feruchemy in that regard. I would say that if you're going to get a weakening of Feruchemy, which you're asking about, is the amount of stored attribute you get for lost attribute. There is decay there, you don't get a 1:1. Feruchemy generally I would say is not much weaker than it was before, a little bit but not much. This was done partially for narrative reasons. I wanted Allomancy... I wanted to back off a little on Allomancy and tell stories with it a little bit weaker. Again, mostly narrative reasons at this point. At this point on Scadrial, it's weakened about as much as it's going to because by this point people are having children that are more powerful because of the certain mixing. I'm not saying it's going up, I'm saying they have hit an equilibrium on Scadrial for the most part, at least in the Basin.

General Reddit 2020 ()
#236 Copy

Yoitsthew

Would a Lerasium/Atium alloy create a Feruchemist, rather than an atium misting?? What with the way that it’s an alloy of god metals, and the way that lerasium can be used to acquire other magics? As far as I know there is no lerasium left currently, so this one is also just for my curiosity!!

Brandon Sanderson

You can use the god metals from Scadrial to make a Feruchemist, but I have to RAFO the actual means.

Kraków signing ()
#238 Copy

Oversleep

What if a Connector tried to store his Connection to his time of birth? Because I understand that’s how spiritual age works.

Brandon Sanderson

Right, Connection to his time of birth. I’m not sure exactly how he would manage that.

I don’t think that would work, I’m not sure how you would manage it. There are other ways to make, you’re along the right path, but that’s not exactly what, the terminology it's just not working right there.

Oversleep

By the way Shadows of Self was my favourite Mistborn book. That ending was just emotional trainwreck for me. It was awesome.

Brandon Sanderson

It's weird because I think that the weakest Mistborn novel is actually Alloy of Law but I think Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning are among the strongest.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#239 Copy

yurisses

If Miles stored a very tiny bit of health into a gold bead and then burned it, what would happen? Would he see goldshadows for a time and then obtain Compounded health when reaching the charged part of the bead? Would the bead be evenly charged and deliver only health, no gold shadows, but at a very low rate since only little health was loaded in it? Would the bead be evenly charged and deliver only health, but at a standard rate the user would always get when compounding?

Brandon Sanderson

He'd hack the system to deliver health for a short time instead of doing what it was supposed to do, but only until the small portion of gold Invested with his Investiture ran out.

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
#241 Copy

Maru Nui

What happens when you break a Hemalurgic spike or metalmind? What happens to that power?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgic power can be split among multiple spikes and reforged, but remember that the longer a spike is outside of a person, the more the power is going to decay. Things like splitting it will decay it even further. Metalminds can also be broken and still be accessed

Prague Signing ()
#243 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.

Calamity Austin signing ()
#247 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?

Brandon Sanderson

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.

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

Thoughtful Spurts

If there's really no upper limit to Feruchemy for practical reasons* , why didn't Sazed just fill steel at ridiculous levels for a few minutes in [Well of Ascension], and then go back to running instead of leaving his steelminds there? Say, being some 100,000 times slower than he would normally be for about a minute. Meaning that a Feruchemist should be able to fill a given metalmind in very short periods of time if you fill at a high enough rate.

*(yes, you have the limit of how much you can store in a given metalmind and for how many metalminds you can carry on your person, but those are probably too high to really be taken into account in more "normal" circumstances)

Brandon Sanderson

The low end is bounded. You can pull out tons--but in filling, you can only go so far. I didn't ever explicitly talk about this in the series, but the implications are there. Not all have the same bounds, but in your example, the body just can't slow beyond a certain point. Think of it this way--you can only fill a weight metalmind with as much weight as you have to give. So you can become very, very light--but you only add to a time for doubling your weight. You can't make yourself 100,000 times slower and gain 100,000 times multiplication. You can give up all of your normal speed, and so when you tap that speed out you are at 200% for an equal period. (And that's a theoretical maximum; realistically, you can only go to down around 75% slower or the like.)

MisCon 2018 ()
#250 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.