Could aluminum act as a sort of shield from other forms of Investiture? As in, could an aluminum Misting lashed to something burn aluminum and dispel the Stormlight?
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
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Could aluminum act as a sort of shield from other forms of Investiture? As in, could an aluminum Misting lashed to something burn aluminum and dispel the Stormlight?
Was it a deliberate move on your part to make it such that on Scadrial, people who wear aluminum foil hats actually are safe from mind control?
Yeah, yeah that was a big inside joke. *laughter* When I realized it would work, I had to put it in. *pause* I’m doing some fun things. The gun thing is another one I’m very fond of.
Are the Shardblade practice guards... Are they made of aluminum?
Good question! RAFO!
What's the deal with silver? Why does it not fit cleanly into the Allomantic metals, why is aluminum a special one and not silver. Why is it silver powder and not aluminum powder on Threnody? These kinds of questions.
Do you want the in-world answer... or the writerly answer?
Well really I want the in-world answer.
...The in-world answer is that people are not sure yet.
Well, that's not the in-world answer. That's the in world answer from Khriss, right? What about the in-world answer from--
That's the in-world answer--they're not sure yet...
The writerly answer is that we started with silver in place of tin. And by the time I swapped it out, aluminum was already its thing. If I had to do it over again, I might make silver aluminum, but I wanted what aluminum does to be rare, and silver isn't. So I might not have. I love what aluminum does because it's super-rare pre-industrial, but you hit industrial and it's everywhere.
So it allowed me to do, when we get to modern era, to have real checks on Allomancy as Allomancy gets more powerful.
Is silver in Shadows for Silence similar in any way to aluminum in the rest of the cosmere?
*hesitantly* Yes, but not really. Silver is like silver, and aluminum is like aluminum.
Does aluminum have any specific use in Shadows for Silence?
Yes, you could definitely find a use for it.
Was aluminum weird before the metallic arts were created?
If someone had a Hemalurgic spike and they burned aluminum, would the negation of-- am I going to get RAFO'd?
You're asking if it would destroy the Hemalurgic power? Burning aluminum at that point would not destroy the Hemalurgic power. It would pull the Investiture through whatever you're doing. It would blank your power, but it wouldn't destroy you being an Allomancer with the spike...
I actually considered this in building it and that would be too easy a way to remove Inquisitors, particularly if there were dissension between them.
Can Shardblades cut Aluminum?
You're gonna have to... yes they can, well yeah. They can cut aluminum but... yeah.
The metal used on Shardblades for training, is it made out of aluminum?
*laughing/smiling* That's a very smart question, well done, you're on the right track.
Could you make a (working) stamp out of aluminium?
So, if we switch to Scadrial, and I had lined the inside of my hat with aluminum, I'm protecting myself from emotional Allomancy. What if I was able to use emotional Allomancy? Would that block me?
So, it's going to interfere a little bit. But the issue with that is, a lot of Allomancy is coming from center and going to head. So, you're probably still gonna be okay with the helmet... So, I'm gonna say, you don't want a lot of aluminum around you, but you could probably still make it work.
Aluminum in the cosmere cannot be Invested or generally affected by Investiture processes. The exception to this however is the Metallic Arts where aluminum can be burned, turned into a metalmind, or charged with Hemalurgy. Is this due to an exception in the normally Investiture-proof properties of aluminum specifically for the Metallic Arts? If so, what kind of Connection is there between the Metallic Arts and aluminum which allows this to occur?
Aluminum eventually is going to become more cheap to produce. Is everybody just going to have resistance to...
That is definitely something that's going to affect the future. But do also remember that as the powers become more accessible to people who weren't born with them, you have both more resistance to them and more widespread use of them, which is going to change how things act out.
On the topic of aluminum, will we hear soon about how Rosharans know how to soulcast it? Was it natural on the planet and the source was depleted? Or was it brought over at some point in history?
Those are excellent questions, and a RAFO, unfortunately.
Can a Seeker, standing outside a Coppercloud, that is between them and another Allomancer, can he sense the person standing on the other side of the Coppercloud?
Yes, but he might get some interference.
Would you sense the cloud itself, like "Hey, there's a cloud between me and what I'm looking at"?
If you know what you're doing, you might be able to say something is interfering, but you wouldn't be able to determine what. There are multiple things that could cause that, for instance-- Most of them are only-- That they would be able to-- Yeah, there are multiple things that could cause that. Like, for instance--
If you had aluminum or silver, could someone using Gravitation or Adhesion, could they throw that? Or would they be unable to infuse it with Stormlight?
Yes, they would be unable to.
The meteorite metal that they talk about that blocks Shards, is that aluminum?
Uh, so-- yes.
I wondered how silver would differ from aluminum when it comes to interacting with Shades?
That one's a RAFO for now.
Hi, the community has a [question], we have two WoBs: Shardblades can cut aluminum and Shardblades can't cut it. Which one is true?
Hm. Yes, I wondered last night if I'd ever answered this before. Truth is, the answer is contentious at Team Sanderson.
I've been pushing for one answer, but Peter (whom I trust) is pushing back. We will see what ends up in the books as canon.
Problem with magic like I do is sometimes you have to wait for the scientific consensus... :) Err on "no" for now.
Oh, I think aluminum would stop Shardblades from magical cutting. But if it's too thin like foil, a sword...
...would cut it anyway. What I'm arguing is that something else that Shardblades don't cut doesn't need...
...to necessarily be made of aluminum, for various reasons.
For example Invested objects (metalmind,spike,etc) or polestones (from some SA's Quote) ?
In Allomancy, aluminum won't be able to be pushed or pulled, right?
So if you put a piece of steel like a gun barrel, and then you surround it with aluminum, can you still push the gun barrel?
The aluminum will add some interference, it's gonna depend on how thick the aluminum is. It's probably unfeasible. That is a viable concept, I don't think it's feasible on a gun barrel.
Chapter Sixty - Part One
Silver, the Useless Metal
I've annotated about this before, but I figured I'd mention it again. As you probably know, in book one, tin was originally silver. I swapped it out for various reasons.
However, that left silver having no Allomantic powers. That feels strange to a lot of people because of how common and useful it is in our modern culture. Such an obvious metal doing nothing seems wrong to readers.
I toyed with using it in place of aluminum at the end of book one, but I realized that wouldn't work. It was too common, so if it had any Allomantic powers, people would know about them for certain. Only a metal that was very hard to find—like aluminum—would be believable as a new metal that most people hadn't heard of.
So silver is Allomantically inert. Just one of the quirks of the magic system.
We know aluminum affects mental magic and emotional magic. Would it affect the hole in your soul that’s created by Hemalurgy? If you had an aluminum spike, would that make it easier, less easy, or no difference for Ruin to take control of you?
Aluminum resists Investiture generally, even when it’s not Invested itself.
(Brandon hems and haws a little so Ironeyes clarifies the question) Would an aluminum spike make it harder for a Soother to take control of you?
An aluminum spike would have no effect on a Soother’s ability. They wouldn’t see it there.
Did you make aluminum resistant to Allomancy so that you could do the tinfoil hats?
No, but once I did, I was like that’s a cool idea. I made aluminum resistant to it because I wanted something to be magically inert in the Cosmere. It was a happy accident.
What would happen if you shot a thug with an aluminum bullet or stabbed him with an aluminum knife?
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.
Wait, is that a Bloodmaker, not a Thug?
Oh, you're talking about Thugs?
It would work similarly, but it really wouldn't have a huge effect on them.
Alright, because Peter was implying that there was some weird aluminum interaction with Thugs.
What was he thinking of...?
There is some weird interaction but...
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..."
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.
Is aluminum the godmetal of Adonalsium?
So, I'm intrigued by aluminum, especially the fact that it can only be found by Soulcasting on Roshar. So, how was it discovered in the first place?
...Did I say you can only get it through Soulcasting?
In the Shallan flashbacks, she has the pendant.
Don't take what she says at 100% truth.
Could Aluminum be used to protect a Surgebinder from a larkin?
Would a larkin be able to steal Stormlight from a surgebinder wearing Shardplate? Any comments on whether Shardplate or aluminium would be more effective protection?
Getting through both would be relatively equal--with the problem being that Shardplate is powered by investiture, which the larkin could feed on. So aluminum is better in that specific case.
Would aluminum give an atium shadow? Like if someone threw an aluminum spear?
The aluminum would not give an atium shadow. Good question.
I asked whether aluminum blocking Investiture is simply an on/off situation, or whether different amounts/different alloys would inhibit it in different degree.
It was theoretically possible.
The guards that are used on the Shardblades, that people are able to work with them safely, are those made of aluminum?
[...] This is an excellent question that is well asked, and people are thinking along the right lines. I haven't answered 100%, but people are thinking the right way.
In Mistborn Era 1, they don't...aluminum in real life can only really be refined through the use of electricity.
You can actually get it before that. For instance, Napoleon had a set of aluminum dinnerware that he gave to the really fancy guests. If you weren't fancy enough, you got the gold. So they could get it in elemental form without electrolysis or whatever the process is. You could get it, but you couldn't make it. It was extremely rare till the modern era.
They have started to figure out that process in Mistborn, and it soon is going to become really common.
Once aluminum is dirt cheap like it is--
That changes the world a whole bunch!
Why don't Mistborn use aluminum vials?
Because they are too rare and expensive, though aluminum utilization is increasing in the AOL era.
I asked him to put something about aluminum.
You have seen aluminum in unexpected places...
What would happen--
Imagine I had-- imagine Wayne is standing near the end of an aluminium tube. He tries to set up a speed bubble such that he radius would go through the tube, what would happen?
Okay standing at the end of an aluminum tube, well I don't know--
Oh I see what you're saying. Yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. I think that if it's trying to be set up through aluminum it's gonna' disrupt it, you're gonna' have that sort of the "backlash" that you get when-- yeah.
Oh so you can't even set it, it won't be there *inaudible*--
I don't think you can set it up, I think it's gonna' cause it to collapse the second that it tries to pop up around the aluminum.
Okay that makes sense.
Yeah, it's probably gonna' act like you tried to set up a speed bubble on something that's too small and moving.
Would copper or, like, an aluminum hat influence subliminal messaging and that kind of thing?
*laughs* Only if they are working through cosmere magics. Not if they are just normal... which is of debatable effectiveness anyway.
You know the sparring guards, for the Shardblade training, the guards they put on the Shardblades. Are they made of aluminum?
So, they are not. Peter will not let me make them made out of aluminum. He's my continuity editor, he keeps me honest. I tried to get them to be aluminum, but there are reasons why they can't be. So we had to make them their own weird little thing, unfortunately. But you could make a sheath out of aluminum for a Shardblade that would work.
He keeps me honest, so it's good, but I did try to fit them in that way.
With aluminum resisting Shardblades, could you plate Shardplate with aluminum and have extra resistance, or would that be too thin to really even do anything?
This would probably not be very effective. Maybe in modern times, you could, but honestly you'd be better off just building aluminum armor for someone else. It's not gonna add too much to the Shardplate and to what the Shardplate's already doing and it might just interfere too much with what you're trying to do anyway. It would be worth experimenting with, but I don't think it's gonna end up doing too much.
Can aluminum be used to take liquid from a Shardpool, and will it stay Invested?
That would work.
So this flashlight is made of aluminum. So obviously, I could not affect the flashlight itself with iron or steel. Could I affect the battery inside it?
Could I like, pop the trigger?
Speaking of interfering, if you shot an aluminum bullet through a time bubble, what would happen?
Ooooh, that's a good question. I'm gonna RAFO that one. It's an excellent question.
In Words of Radiance, Shallan's necklace, in her flashback where she saved her brother, was made out of aluminum. Not counting Oathbringer, is that the only time we've seen aluminum on Roshar?
Are we going to see compounding of aluminum?
You'll get a RAFO.
In the spirit of my obsession with Nalthis (please Nalthis novella please) - We know you can store Breath in highly Invested things without Awakening them. Can you store Breath in aluminum?
I'll RAFO Breath and aluminum for now.
At the end of the first Mistborn trilogy it's really significant that 1/16th of the soldiers who got really sick are now atium Mistings.
But we know that there's more than sixteen metals. Wh--
questioner's paraphrase, delete after review: So, were the other remaining group of soldiers that fell sick all still Mistings of the other base metals?
So were there-- were 1/16th of the rest of them just *inaudible* just not significant?
Yes. Sixteen that he-- when Preservation set that all up. He, number one, was not all there. But he was trying to create sixteen as a symbol to say, "Hey, catch this. I've given you a clue-- uh-- help." And so it was devised specifically for that. "*inaudible* Something's going on here."
No, no, they would have been Mistings of other types as well.
Did he bump one of the other types then to make it sixteen?
Okay. Do you have in your head *inaudible*?
Yes, that's right. It would probably have been one of the metals that was difficult to get at that level of technology. It would have been chromium - chromium would be hard gather at that time. Actually, no, it would have been aluminum. *about a minute later, while signing someone else's book* Hold on, there's a caveat to that last answer. Let me finish signing this and expand on that. *pause* So, it would still have been aluminum, but not for the reason your thinking. It would have been aluminum, but there's an asterisk next to that answer.
Hard to get chromium.
I've been thinking about--
Oh no! He bumped aluminum. Yeah, he bumped aluminum. Sorry I had to-- I changed my mind.
*a moment later*
Okay, Chad? I have a <qualification> for you. I'll do this and then we'll...
*a moment later*
On the sixteen or the *inaudible*...
The sixteen. So the answer is "yes," but it's not something-- it's not what you're thinking it is.
Alright, there's an asterisk on it, okay? There's an asterisk on it, it's not what you're thinking. Uh, you're making-- you're making assumptions.
On Nalthis, can aluminum prevent somebody from Returning? So if you kill somebody with aluminum and leave the weapon in them?
I don't think that's going to be enough. I think that…
Different way then?
Yeah there are totally ways. I don’t think that that’s going to be enough. There's a difference between being inert and blocking Investiture, and actually sucking out Investiture. If you stuck Nightblood inside of a corpse; there are certain things… if you had a larkin or whatever sitting there that ingests the Investiture as it was coming in, that would prevent [Returning]. I think with aluminum you would just have somebody that comes alive with a wound, so maybe... But I think it would just heal around [the aluminum] and you'd just have a spike in you, kind of like Hemalurgy—but not like Hemalurgy. It's inert, but you know what I mean.
Which suggests you can't actually Awaken aluminum.
No. It's not going to hold a charge.
I assume you can't Forge it, either.
No. In fact the unForgable metal-
There's an unForgeable metal mentioned.
Could we call it aluminum if we wanted to?
Let's just say that aluminum through most cultures was considered a mythological metal, and when people could actually find some, they considered it more valuable than gold, in our culture. So just sayin'...
I’m wondering about the idea that you can block emotional Allomancy with an aluminum lined hat.
Okay. So I’m wondering how much aluminum is required. So like, an aluminum colander, versus an aluminum headband, versus…
Right. Alright. So, I’ll be honest with you. The idea of a tinfoil hat was so intriguing to me, basically, that I made sure this was part of the magic system. I say it has to be tinfoil, at least. Thicker is probably better, the way these things work. I’ll try not to do spoilers. When Hoid lets somebody use aluminum to block signals, he was going with something that you would be able to bend a little bit by pulling on it, but wouldn’t be able to fold it down. I’d put a bare minimum, if you want to be extra sure, on that, but lining your hat with tinfoil is viable. Particularly in the later eras of Mistborn, when some of the powers are decreasing.
Is there some relation between Investiture and magnetism? It seems like aluminum is always screwing things up, and that's the first thing that came to mind.
There are slight relationships between them, yes.
What was the metal that Hoid gave Vivenna and her crew to use the fabrial?
You're asking, what metal it was that let them use the fabrial without the screamers detecting them? So, should be aluminum. I don't think there's anything sneaky about that. The only thing that I've had to change is, I wanted the sheathes that they use with Shardblades to be aluminum, and Peter tells me I just can't do that. It's not in continuity. So we have to have some sort of aluminum... alloy, or something like that. I'm not sure exactly what I wrote that broke the continuity on that, but he is certain that those can't be aluminum. So, those aren't aluminum, but it was aluminum around that. And Hoid's bag has an aluminum lining, too.
If you had aluminum in your body, say a hip replacement or something, would that interfere with the magic in some way?
It would indeed. It would interface with the magic, how about that?
Was aluminum used in the Shattering of Adonalsium in any way?