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?
Do you want the in-world answer or the writerly answer?
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.
Was aluminum weird before the metallic arts were created?
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.
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.
The meteorite metal that they talk about that blocks Shards, is that aluminum?
Uh, so-- yes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I asked him to put something about aluminum.
You have seen aluminum in unexpected places...
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.
Why don't Mistborn use aluminum vials?
Because they are too rare and expensive, though aluminum utilization is increasing in the AOL era.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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."
But we know that there's more than sixteen metals. Wh--
Did he bump one of the other types then to make it sixteen?
No, no, they would have been Mistings of other types as well.
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'...
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.
Was aluminum used in the Shattering of Adonalsium in any way?
Is it possible to Compound aluminum, or will it all just poof away the second you start trying it?
I have actually been asked that. And I RAFO'd them, so I'm going to RAFO you.
I asked if he could give me a new hint on aluminium's special properties/interactions with the metallic arts.
So, Kaladin obviously draws Stormlight from a pouch, all the time... If the pouch was coated in, say aluminum, would he still be able to draw the Stormlight?
No. Good question.
What about if it was coated in silver?
Yes, he probably still could.
In other worlds, are we seeing any magics already? Like, if Allomancy might be on Roshar?
You've seen people using Allomancy in Roshar before.
[...] I remember reading in in Words of Radiance you said that the only way to get aluminum [on Roshar] was to Soulcast it, right? I think you said something like that... maybe? I thought I read that. I was wondering how that would work, if an Allomancer were to--
Aluminum has some weird properties on all of the magic systems, not just Allomancy. It does not have the same effect, but aluminum has some bizarre effects.
What metal is Nightblood's sheath made out of?
Nightblood's sheath is aluminum.
If you're burning atium, can you predict the trajectory of an atium (atium, not aluminum) bullet?
Atium? Yes. But aluminum... Maybe not so much. *sly smile*
Are there non-Invested (or at least not heavily Invested) objects that cannot be cut by Shardblades, or that offer more resistance than what we see in The Stormlight Archive?
You're unlikely to find anything without high investiture that can resist a Shardblade. By definition, to stop one, you're going to need something with a powerful spiritual component to it.
Would Ralcolist (the unforgeable metal) be at all resistant to a sharblade given its proven resistance to other forms of investiture?
That's a RAFO, but is a question you should be asking.
What would happen if you tried to cut aluminum with a shardblade?
A shardblade would not cut aluminum.
Is aluminum shielding from emotional Allomancy strictly line of sight? So, can someone in the basement bypass somebody’s aluminum hat on the first floor
No, they could not. You just put enough aluminum there and it disrupts.
So it disrupts like a field.
Had a hemalurgic spike been encased in aluminium, would it still decay?
Nobody has tried that! (It might work.)
And then is there a connection between Aviars, copperclouds, aluminum, and the yellow spren, life sense, seeking?
Yeah, yeah all that, there are some relationships there.
So they all pretty much would affect each other?
Ummm, yes, yes.
So, we know that things can be Soulcast into aluminum. But can aluminum itself be Soulcast into something else?
It resists all forms of Investiture trying to change it to things.
Can you soulcast aluminum into other materials?
Aluminum would strongly resist any sort of soulcasting.
Would that resistance be overcome? Could be overcome?
This is the question. Everything can be, right? Aluminum, in the cosmere, was created. And can be created. So, people ask me this, "Can? Cannot?" Like, with a powerful enough magnet in our world, what can you do? Like, is water magnetic? *stammers* But, could you make water respond to a magnet? Yes! You can make anything if you really try hard enough. It's, like, this idea, that when people are like, "Can you, yes or no?" Well... yes! Would it take the power of six Shards of Adonalsium working together? Maybe! Can you? Yes, you probably can. Like, we're talking about a fantasy universe where almost anything is possible, and the impossibilities are contradictions, it's "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" sort of questions when you get into "can you?"
Now, could you soulcast aluminum using a reasonable amount of energy that an individual could conceivably have in a normal setting and situation? No. If that's what for.