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The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#253 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Six

The fight in the ballroom

From the early days of the Mistborn books, I'd been planning how an Allomantic gunfight would go down. I felt it the next evolution in what has been stylistically a big part of these books.

There is a fine line to walk in a lot of these sequences. I've made something of a name for myself in the fantasy world by attempting to mix some scientific reasoning with my magic systems. At the same time, Allomancy was designed precisely with action sequences in mind. I wanted them to be powerful and cinematic—and a cinematic fight sequence is often at odds with realism. (Watch two people who really know what they're doing fight with swords sometime, then watch any fight sequence in a film. Most of the time, the film sequences stray far from what would really happen.)

So, as I said, I walk a line. Sometimes, there are things I just can't do because they violate what I've set up as the rules of the world. Other times, I design the setting and nature of the fight specifically to allow for certain types of cinematic sequences. One thing I like a lot about Wax’s abilities is the power he has to manipulate his weight. There's some realism to what he does—for example, increasing his weight doesn't make him fall more quickly, but it allows him to do some powerful things while falling. Destroying the chandeliers is an example.

At the same time, I acknowledge that the weight manipulation aspect of Feruchemy is one of its more baffling powers, scientifically. Is he changing his mass? If so, he should become more dense, which I don't actually make the case when it plays out in fights. (Otherwise, increasing his weight enough would make him impervious to bullets.) So, if it's not mass manipulation, is it gravity manipulation, like Szeth and Kaladin do? Well, again, not really—as when his weight increases, his strength and ability to uphold that weight increase as well. Beyond that, Wax can't make himself so light that he has no weight at all.

So . . . well, at this point, the ability to explain it scientifically breaks down. I do like what it does, but I have to set its boundaries and stick to them—and accept that some of what's going on is irrational. (And don't get me started on what should really be happening scientifically when Wayne speeds up time.)

Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
#254 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.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#255 Copy

Questioner

Is there any real difference between Steelrunners and Sliders? It seems like that could be sort of similar class--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But different.

--Sliders have the bubble around them, but...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. They work similarly, the big difference is you're seeing the limitations of Allomancy versus Feruchemy. Where Feruchemy there upper limit is unbounded, but you have really much more distinct cost and that can be stored up. You see that these have a different kind of cost to them, but I would call them the same category of thing, it's just the Feruchemy can be way more powerful. Except its limited by how much you store up.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#258 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.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#259 Copy

mcase19

Could someone Feruchemically storing connection in an Aonic nation become an Elantrian?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a little tougher than that, but it would be a start. And for some people, it would be enough.

yahasgaruna

Is it tougher because of some inherent difficultly with the selection process of Elantrians? Or because of something to do with using connection?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm getting a few too many 17th Shard style questions on the thread. I'm going to start curtailing them, as waking up to an hour' or two's worth of detailed cosmere questions each day is going to seriously impact my ability to actually write. So I'm going to liberally apply RAFO from here out.

So RAFO. :)

Kraków signing ()
#260 Copy

Oversleep

Could you write [sign] the Alcatraz like Alcatraz?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He signs upside down.

Oversleep

Would tapping Connection increase the steelsight?

Brandon Sanderson

No, probably not, there are arrangements that could make that happen but just tapping it, no.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#261 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.