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Salt Lake City signing ()
#3 Copy

Chaos

Is atium Invested?

Brandon Sanderson

Is atium Invested? Atium is Investiture distilled into the Physical Realm, right? So is electricity electric? Or is it--

Chaos

Well I think the question Sharders had was if it's Invested, how can people Push and Pull on it. That was the struggle.

Brandon Sanderson

Atium breaks a lot of rules, in the same way that you will see other things break rules. Atium plays weirdly. When you get distilled Investiture, you're starting like-- My kind of rule for myself is it's kind of like when you start going on the quantum level, the rules just start playing weirdly. Because it's like, what Realm does atium exist in-- is another thing. Because-- Pure Investiture like that is like a mini black hole, right? It's like existing in three Realms at once. Kind of, and things like that... There's lots of weirdness.

The writerly answer is there is lots of weirdness because when I built atium, I didn't have the rest of the cosmere built, right? And so it breaks a lot of rules that I later set up that everything else has to follow, right? So the writerly answer is we just have to accept that atium and lerasium and some of these other distilled Investiture things are going to play very weirdly with the magic systems. But that's okay. Nightblood will too, and some of these things that were built even after the cosmere was coming together.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

I was also wondering if... I just finished reading the Ars Arcanum in the back of Bands of Mourning and I heard it mention that god metals could be alloyed to give different abilities or traits.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Could you give an example of one?

Brandon Sanderson

So, you could alloy lerasium with certain metals of the sixteen in the table and get, if you had just enough lerasium, it would make them a misting of those powers.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#5 Copy

SageOfTheWise

In allomancy, normal metals are simply a tool that channels allomancers already existing connection to the power of preservation, which is why non allomancers don't get powers from digesting metal. But if I understand it correctly, god metals are an exception, since they are a form of a shards power, burning them directly uses the power stored within.

If I have this right, how come a normal person can burn Lerasium, but not Atium? Or could they, and no ones thought to try? But if that was true why are there Atium mistings?

Brandon Sanderson

Suffice it to say that what people both in the books and out think about the god metals has some holes in it.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#6 Copy

Overlord Jebus

All the physical manifestations--solid physical manifestations we've seen of Investiture has been metallic. It's been atium, lerasium, Shardblades. Is that just a coincidence?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it's intentional.

Overlord Jebus

It's intentional so we're not going to see Investiture wood or Investiture plastic?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, I mean technically, like, what do you call the Aethers? Those are not metal. But I do it as metal intentionally.

Questioner

They could be a metal with very low boiling point.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the vine ones are--

Overlord Jebus

Well we've had liquid, we've had gas, the solids all seem to be metallic, so.

Brandon Sanderson

That is intentional, it's just one of those little laws of the cosmere, that's not meant to mean anything

Shadows of Self release party ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

Before Preservation locked up Ruin, or whatever, or if Ruin had won. Would atium exist?

Brandon Sanderson

...There are timelines where there would be no atium.

Questioner

...So if Harmony exists, does atium exist?

Brandon Sanderson

Atium does not exist because there is no Ati. Well there is atium left over from before, but--

Questioner

So it was only part of Ati's body and not part of Harmony's body.

Brandon Sanderson

There is no atium, there is no Preservation any longer, there is no Ati.

Questioner

So does harmonium exist?

Brandon Sanderson

...There's no Leras and there's no Ati, there's no Ruin--

Questioner

Does harmonium exist then?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

Atium and lerasium are their own special ways of Investiture, of using it. Do the other Shards have those, that even within their magic systems are unique just to that one Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Can you tell me anything about any of that?

Brandon Sanderson

You might see some of them some day? I think, I know you've seen at least one, but people don't know what it is? One person's asked me a question about it, so somebody's figured it out but, yeah, there are things like that in other worlds. Kind of, distilled essence of Shard, yeah.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner 1

Are you ever going to release the other 16 alloys with the god metals? Did you decide?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe.

Questioner 2

Are you not releasing them because you're still trying to-- you don't want to pin yourself down just in case?

Brandon Sanderson

It's part that, but part I know. The more I release, the more distracting it is from the stories and it also prevents me from using them in the stories as reveals.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#20 Copy

yulerule

*Written:* If an Allomancer Worldhopper really wanted to hack the magic system and knew what they were doing, could they get their hands on some tanavastium, rayseium, or egdlium? Basically make god metals from the other Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

*Reading question:* If an Allomancer worldhopper really wanted to hack the magic system.. *mumble*

Uh, yes. This is possible.

*Writes:* Yes.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

How do states of matter affect how things look in the Cognitive and Spiritual Realms?

Brandon Sanderson

So, generally, how people perceive something is very important to the reflection in the Cognitive Realm, and so the physical state of matter is going to be involved in that, but generally, it flows the other direction from the Spiritual Realm.

Questioner

Do the forms of Investiture that we've seen, Stormlight, metals, Shardpools, do the fact that those happen in general the same types of states of matter, all physical, solid, is kinda going to be like metal for Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that is generally the way it will be.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#24 Copy

Alpharho

The metal of Shardblades. Cultivationspren versus honorspren, for example. Are they different metals?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but good question.

Alpharho

Are all orders the same alloy, essentially?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There's a little asterisk on there, but not in the way you're asking... You could call those all the same alloy. Because the mixture to different spren is different, I think that you could argue that each one is its own alloy.

Alpharho

So, different proportions of tanavastium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but it doesn't quite work that way with these magics, right? I'm going to say that's up to the individual cosmerologist who is in the world, the arcanist, defining it. You would be able to find enough differences to legitimately call them different alloys if you wanted to.

Alpharho

Would you say different ratios of the same two metals?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. They are not going to have a third one in them, if that's what you're asking. But it doesn't quite work that way. Like, if you were going to take brass, you could measure the exact percentage. In this case, it is a thing; it's not like you could divide it up and split them apart, because they are a thing. And that thing would be called one thing.

Alpharho

But you won't say what that thing is called?

Brandon Sanderson

No, I won't say what that thing is called. But I think you and the 17th Sharders and folks that are dividing them would prefer to call them ten different things, and I think their nomenclature would be relevant.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

I'm curious. Are any of those rare metals from Mistborn on any other world?

Brandon Sanderson

So, not those exact metals, unless they've been taken off-world. But there are other metals like them that you could find.

Questioner

So they could have Allomantic lore?

Brandon Sanderson

They theoretically could...

Let's just say it's not a coincidence that you find Investiture manifesting as metal on other places. Such as Shardblades, as well.