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Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#2 Copy

Kythis

Would the spike that has all four charges, could you actually reuse it and give a different person a different power, or even the same person a different power?  

Brandon Sanderson

No.  When you first spike. . .

Kythis

It loses all the other ones?

Brandon Sanderson

No.  Where you place the spike.  

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

So, the fan page wanted to know. Would it be possible for Hemalurgy to steal a living Shardblade? That was the top voted question.

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, so you're bonded to a Shardblade. You get spiked, then they spike off the bond so that the Shardblade is bonded to someone else.

Questioner

I assume so...

Brandon Sanderson

But can they do it with a living Shardblade? You can definitely do it with a dead Shardblade because its just stealing the Connection. With a living Shardblade, yes you could do that 'though the spren could break the bond at will.

Questioner

So the spren would survive? That was the second-- the corollary--

Brandon Sanderson

Ehhh. Would the spren survive? The spren would survive as long as the oaths were--

Questioner

Intact?

Brandon Sanderson

--the person didn't break the oaths. But you could theoretically steal the bond, break the oaths, and kill the spren. If you wanted to. Its a very convoluted to kill a spren, they are easier to kill than that, but yes. You could do that. That is a viable but twisted route that you can do. You would end up with a dead spren and a Shardblade, so there is that. But there are easier ways to accomplish that...

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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Maru Nui

What does aluminum do in Feruchemy? What does malatium do in Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. We'll be releasing a chart eventually that includes all of the powers. I don't want to speak until I have everything nailed down exactly the way I want.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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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.

Orem signing ()
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Questioner

So, Miles Hundredlives. If you were to spike his Allomantic gold out of him, would that change his Identity such that he could no longer access his metalminds?

Brandon Sanderson

That would not necessarily change his Identity, but it would change his Investiture. So if you took off the piece of his soul that could do Allomancy, and then gave him his metalminds. Well, no... No, this is more complicated than I was assuming. So you're saying if someone took away his ability to do Allomancy, could he still access his Feruchemy metalminds. Yes he could. He could still do that. That should work just fine. 

Questioner

Do the metalminds kind of have a pointer to his Identity, they don't have a copy of his Identity that they're keyed to? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah... he is still him unless you spike him and do something with the Identity specifically. 

Questioner

So you could potentially steal his Identity.

Brandon Sanderson

That strays into RAFO territory, so we'll go ahead and give you a RAFO card. But simply taking it away would not change his Identity to the point that it would prevent-- Good question. Very detailed.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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Oversleep

What does count for Hemalurgic control? The total Hemalurgic charge or number of the spikes? If we let four spikes decay for a few years and then pierce a human with it, would that person be controllable? Does that work the same for all Hemalurgic constructs?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question to be asking, as there are spikes that come in sets that only count as a single one... I'd say you're getting close, but not quite there.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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Questioner (on behalf of Yata)

When someone is spiked, and dies, does that affect the time they spend in the Cognitive?

Brandon Sanderson

If they are spiked, yes because if you are extra Invested, which spiking technically does, if you have a spike stapling a bit of someone else's soul to yours--

Questioner

The other way. Someone spikes through you and you die--

Brandon Sanderson

Ohhhhh, oh okay, no, that might make you go faster.

Questioner

Is that why Harmony doesn’t know who's spiking people? Or--

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. Yeah. Okay. I had not considered that. But yeah, sure. *laughter* Suuureee. You added to the canon. I mean, the actual answer was, when you're spiking somebody, you're ripping of the soul, so kind of, there's not enough left to talk. I mean, you're ripping off enough of the soul, so it's a bad thing. It's a very bad thing. So you go "Who killed you?" and it's just somebody who is essentially-- But yes, they would go faster too.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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Kurkistan

If you spiked out Miles' Feruchemical gold, would he be able to burn his Allomantic reserves [read: Feruchemical reserves using Allomancy] and heal it back?

Brandon Sanderson

If you spiked out his ability to heal gold and somehow left him alive?

Kurkistan

Yeah, but still having Allomancy.

Brandon Sanderson

Still has Allomancy...

Kurkistan

And he’s like in the middle of burning a goldmind.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that would still work. It'd still have a Spiritual Connection to him.

Kurkistan

So if you're a Coinshot and you get [spiked] to have Feruchemical steel, and then you lose the spike after making a store, you can still Compound that for speed?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes... Yeah, that should still work.

Kurkistan

Was Paalm doing that?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
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Mason Wheeler

We’re told that anyone pierced by metal is vulnerable to the influence of Ruin and Harmony, but in every case that we actually see it’s not just pierced by metal but an active Hemalurgical spike.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is what they mean. So “Anyone pierced by metal can’t be trusted” means “That might be a spike”.

Mason Wheeler

So why does the Path say “everyone wear an earring when you pray” if it’s not...

Brandon Sanderson

It’s tradition. Just in the same reason that you wear a cross when you’re Christian and things like this. Like this has become part of the religion.

General Reddit 2020 ()
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HazelCharm47

Let's say we have a hypothetical situation with Miles Hundredlives. In this scenario, he is wearing a gold metalmind filled to the brim with stored healing power. He is then spiked with a cadmium spike and loses his gold allomancy.

Now, if I recall from various WoBs, he would be able to heal using the gold metalmind and regain his gold allomancy. I could be misremembering and he cannot heal it, but I believe he would be able to since it is part of his Identity.

However, one question I have never seen the answer to is this: what happens to the ability in the spike? Is the allomantic ability still contained in the spike, leading to a duplicate? Or is the spike's ability lost? Or maybe I have this whole thing wrong and Miles could never have regained the ability in the first place.

If the ability duplicates (which I doubt), that could lead to some crazy things. Also, this applies to any Twinborn with gold Feruchemy, I just thought Miles was a good example I guess :)

Brandon Sanderson

I'd like to see the exact WoB's here to make sure I'm being consistent, as I don't know that I confirmed you could regain lost powers--only that you could heal from hemalurgic soul damage. Most likely, what you'd end up with is a person who has been healed and can remove the spike from their body without damage, and without needing it to hold their soul together--but who has lost the ability in the spike.

Regardless, though, what you want here (the mass production of spikes charged and even blanked) is possible with the right levels of investiture. It's an energy, like things in our world. The difficulty is finding out how to 1) get enough investiture and 2) key it to the right people and/or magic.

Hope that's a little more clear.

That said, a lot of times people just ask me if something is possible--and a lot of things are possible, but just very difficult. And with the right boost of investiture, in the right circumstances, it WOULD be possible to regrow lost (to spikes) powers. It's just highly unlikely.

I'm not sure if the questions people are asking me are ones I've qualified, or not, in these instances. Also, this is all something I'm playing with still behind the scenes as we enter the modern age of Mistborn.

HazelCharm47

As requested, here are the WoBs I believe are related. They might be obsolete, however. And I assume things will get changed a lot before Era 4, but hey, it's fun to ask anyways :)

WoB #1:

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/331/#e9434

This one states that as long as Miles still has his Identity, he would be able to use his Feruchemical metalminds after being spiked and would be able to heal.

WoB #2:

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/102/#e983

This one says that Miles would be able to heal his soul using Feruchemical healing and regain his gold Allomancy (assuming he survives the spiking). I think this is the most essential one!

WoB #3:

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/76/#e6335

This one is only somewhat related - implies that the Feruchemical and Allomantic powers are spiritually part of him.

WoB #4:

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/7/#e6435

Also tangentially related - damage to the soul from Hemalurgy can be healed (Although this might just be a Hoid thing). I guess the question could be expanded to include non-Feruchemical healing as a way to repair the soul after being spiked.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, I don't think any of those are specifically inaccurate. I just didn't quite understand what people were trying to get out of me. A lot of times, I don't know quite what people are trying to get out of me. I can see now they're trying to figure out.

I see now, and I appreciate you putting this all together for me so I can see what the fans are trying to figure out. So the answer is a cautious yes. The problem here is that he'd need to compound a TON of healing first--but yes, it would work. You could theoretically turn someone like Miles into an invested spike factory.

If he didn't have enough healing stored, though, he'd end up with a healed soul but a gap (like a scar on his soul) where his spiked-out abilities were. That could theoretically be healed with application of more investiture, depending on things like how he views himself, and if you could get the right type of investiture.

Shadows of Self release party ()
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Nethseäar

If you were to Hemalurgically give a fallen Elantrian Feruchemic gold, would they be able to store Health?

Brandon Sanderson

A fallen Elantrian store Health-- And you gave them a Hemalurgic spike-- That’s a good question, I would think-- *long pause* You know I think they would not be able to, that’s an excellent question.

Nethseäar

Would it suddenly store up the moment they were restored?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it would not suddenly recover everything. Unless you wanted to channel-- You could do some goofy things but it would kinda ruin their connection to the Dor. But I don’t think it would suddenly-- Y’know. You might be able to do something where you steal it away from them, that could possibly happen. If they were spiked while they were full Elantrian you could probably get more out of them than your average person.

Shadows of Self release party ()
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Questioner 1

What would happen if you used lerasium as a spike for Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh lerasium as a spike for Hemalurgy? Um lerasium as a spike for Hemalurgy--

Questioner 1

Would it work or would it just not work?

Brandon Sanderson

No I mean it would work--

Questioner 1

If you were to place a lerasium spike would you transform into a full Mistborn as opposed to--

Questioner 2

Well it can also steal powers, not just grant them, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, right. The thing about it is you're trying to Invest something that is already very Invested, which always has weird effects. So while you could do it, it would be a gross waste of the potential. It's like using a nuclear bomb as a paperweight. It is functional but--

Questioner 1

Does that mean it would be hard, for example, to make Nightblood stick something? Because--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it would be very hard to make Nightblood stick to something. The amount of Investiture in Nightblood is--

Bystander

Astronomical?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Larger than most things you've seen. So Pushing on Nightblood, really hard.

Shadows of Self release party ()
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Questioner

Hemalurgy spikes lose power after they are taken out of a body, right?  So why did Vin’s spike still give her power after being so long out of her ear?

Brandon Sanderson

They decay, but it's not a really fast decay. And it also kind of works like a half-life thing. Does that make sense?  So you get an initial just "that's bad" but that had happened to hers long ago when she had taken it out for the first time, right? And then over time, like if that had sat out for hundreds of years you're going to end up with something like Wax's earring that's like-- it gives a bit, but it barely gives anything. But as long as you're kind of keeping it in and out you're going to be a lot better off.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
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Chaos

Allomancy provides many very dramatic effects, which some have noted is not very much like Preservation. Could you walk me through how Allomancy is of Preservation, though it does dramatic, dynamic things?

Brandon Sanderson

One of the 'basics' of the magic in all of the worlds is that the energy of Shards can fuel all kinds of interactions, not just interactions based on their personality/role. I did this because otherwise, the Magics would all be extremely limited.

The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do. So, in Preservation's case, the magic is a gift--allowing a person to preserve their own strength, and rely upon the strength granted by the magic. While Hemalurgy has a huge cost, ending in net entropy.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
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Questioner

Could you spike a hordeling?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Spike means getting something out, spike means get(ting?) something in? I think that both is viable. I think you can, yeah.

Questioner

If you would spike something in, would the whole Aimian get maybe an Allomantic ability?

Brandon Sanderson

Mostly, this would probably change the hordeling. And they may lose contact to it. It could fiddle with the Connection to the point that they can no longer link. That's gonna be my answer right now, that spiking a hordeling would separate it from the group mind.

Waterstones RoW Release Event ()
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Questioner

Can Shardblades, dead or alive, be used as Hemalurgic spikes? And if attempted, what would the result be?

Brandon Sanderson

Technically yes, but in practicality no.

To use something as a Hemalurgic spike, it basically just needs to be able to already have a charge of Investiture, or be able to adopt one. Technically, Shardblades are made from a god metal. You could do this. But the Blade is gonna be big and unwieldy, and the form it’s in right now, it’s going to slice the soul rather than rip pieces off. You would have to jump through a bunch of hoops that wouldn’t be worth it in order to use one.

It would basically mean that you’d have to separate the metal of the Shardblade from the concept of a Shardblade itself, is what’s going on there.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

Does Hemalurgy require intent to steal the stuff? Or could somebody in theory just stab through in the exact-- I understand the chances are extremely slim, it's like accupuncture ...happen by accident?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, you've seen it happen without the intent of the person holding the spike.

Questioner

But I think it's commonly accepted that Ruin was sort of manipulating some-- I'm specifically taking the Spook example off the table, I'm just saying, someone by accident stab - whoops! stab - whoops! and have a power?

Brandon Sanderson

Again, Ruin was involved in that. Every spike-- spiking that you saw had Ruin's intent behind it. I'm not going to answer your question, RAFO. You tried, you got me to admit that I was trying to wiggle around it, and I will tell you, today I wiggled around one question that none of you saw me wiggle around, really well, today. Today. I'm not going to tell you which one it is but there is one here that you all thought, you're all like "woo!" but you didn't realize you'd given me so much wiggle room.

Moderator

So about that space station.

Brandon Sanderson

It's not that one.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
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Questioner

Can someone be sacrificed for both Hemalurgy and the magics of Dakhor simultaneously?

Brandon Sanderson

So this is going to require the soul being ripped apart, so it depends on what pieces of the soul are left and how easily you can capture them. That's a theoretical possible-- possibility... Know that most of the horrors of Dakhor are twisting a soul not stealing a soul.

Legion Release Party ()
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Questioner

Would it be possible to make Hemalurgic dental fillings? If there were a mad-scientist dentist?

Brandon Sanderson

I've thought about this. I think that would be possible, but for Hemalurgy to really work I need it to...it doesn't actually have to be touching the blood, despite what they think. But I think your average dental filling is not going deep enough...

Questioner

Root canal!

Brandon Sanderson

*Continues* But yeah, you could make it work.

Idaho Falls signing ()
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Questioner

My question was about Hemalurgy. There was a disagreement on the last Shardcast. When spiking a Mistborn to charge a Hemalurgic spike, does it matter how the Mistborn is killed or is what power is stolen based only on the metal?

Brandon Sanderson

So you want to place the spike in a specific place.

Questioner

In the donor. In the recipient, not the donor.

Brandon Sanderson

In the recipient. And you want to use the specific metal and so basically if you aren't precise about how you spike, you risk taking the wrong thing within the same family. Some of those, that's not as big a deal, but for some it is kind of a big deal. And so you want to be very precise, you'll get something, but if you're not placing the spike in the right place and going into the right place, then you risk it.

Questioner

You risk stealing the wrong thing.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Now if you're going off of somebody who's not a Mistborn, you can be a little more flexible, but you still have the danger that you're not going to end up stealing the power, you're going to steal something else. So, precision is advisable, how about that?

Questioner

Yeah. Because the question was kind of specifically about, like, we know that atium spikes can kill-- can steal pretty much any power.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You want to be super precise with your atium spike.

Questioner

So, part of the question was like, exactly, if you just killed a Mistborn, you stab a Mistborn in the heart with an atium spike, and you're not placing it immediately--

Brandon Sanderson

What do you end up with? You are rolling the dice, let's say. Not as big a roll of the dice as you might think, but you still are. You might not get what you want.

Questioner

And then when you place the spike on the recipient, if you like tore that spike out again and put it in someone else, you're not going to be able to get more than one power out of it?

Brandon Sanderson

No. No, and if you place the spike in the wrong place, then you're going to end up with interference and things like this where the spike might just not work the way you want it to. Taking a spike and putting it in the wrong place in someone is not going to make them have a different power, in other words.

Oathbringer release party ()
#36 Copy

Questioner

I got my ears pierced recently and it got me thinking about Vin's earring. It's a Hemalurgic spike, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

Questioner

And the Inquisitors don't have to worry about infection or anything with their eye spikes. So when Vin got her ear pierced as a baby, she also didn't have to worry about infection?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably.

Questioner

That is an awesome gig!

Brandon Sanderson

...It comes with some terrible side effects, but it is a pretty nice gig.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Eight

Killer Mists

The mists kill now. That was a major plot point from book two, so I hope you haven't forgotten it.

Not only was it necessary for the mythology of the world—as will be explained—it was a necessary shift for Vin's personality. This series is about, as I've stated before, the concepts of trust, betrayal, and faith. The mists are the one thing Vin thought she could trust, but now they have turned against her. How she deals with that is a big part of this book.

If you watch throughout the book, Vin has a stronger reaction against the mists than other characters. True, they're worried about the way it's killing people, but Vin is bitter—almost hateful. This is partially because she feels betrayed, but another factor is the taint of Hemalurgy—and therefore Ruin's touch—in her blood.

JordanCon 2018 ()
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yulerule

Can you reuse a spike?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Uh, yes, technically, but not as easily as that question makes it sound.

yulerule

Can you re-use it if it's for the same exact thing or for a different thing? Will that change?

Brandon Sanderson

Spikes are going to get keyed by Identity--

yulerule

So you can't already spike that person. But if you spike and don't kill them can you spike the same person again?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah and if you can somehow strip the identity of the person or the spike-- So yes you can use them again but it comes into a sort of-- Like, you can't just take that spike and spike somebody else.

GenCon 2017 ()
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Questioner (paraphrased)

If I wanted to Hemalurgically acquire a power from First of the Sun, which metal would the spike need to be?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

This is going to be pretty complicated, but several metals would work.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Would it involve Connection between the person being spiked and the bird?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well it would be even harder than on Roshar, where you need to somehow spike the spren and also the Radiant. You would need to spike the bird and steal the power, but also spike the person and steal Connection.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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Odium's_Shard

Lastly, less pressingly, do Spirit Points (Hemalurgic spots) apply to ever magic system, and through the cosmere at large? Ie. could Hemalurgy be used to take any other magic systems aspects, and do other magic systems also have these 'Points', such as Body Focuses, that work in similar ways?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgy crosses magic systems. You could steal things from people on other worlds, if you knew the right places for the spikes.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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WeiryWriter

Hemalurgic spikes lose power unless they are in a person’s body (or immersed in blood), does that body need to be living, or would a corpse suffice? If so, at what point in the decomposition process would the spikes cease to be protected? When they are no longer encased in flesh, before, after?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't put a specific number or date on it, but I'd say as long as the blood itself would be viable if moved to a living body, it will work.

Orem signing ()
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ElephantEarwax

Are there any Hemalurgic bind points in the mouth or digestive tract?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh. *laughs* Why do you want to know this? 

ElephantEarwax

...We're trying to make sure we're doing it right.

Brandon Sanderson

The Hemalurgic table will be released later this year. I have not planned any bind points inside the mouth. But the Hemalurgic table that we will release will comprise the knowledge of the people in-world at a specific point, and it's entirely possible that new bind points could be discovered.

ElephantEarwax

At what point will they be known? Like, when, in-world?

Brandon Sanderson

When will we know what's smaller than a quark and how gravity interacts with subatomic particles?

ElephantEarwax

No, I mean what time in-world, like what knowledge era, for the chart.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, okay, I get what you are saying. I was answering the wrong question. What technology era. I believe we are setting the table-- Wax and Wayne era, is what I told Isaac. But it's weird because it's going in the third Mistborn [leatherbound]. But I think our intent is it's what they know by that era. 

ElephantEarwax

So it's what Spook found out?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, basically it's what Spook found out. But you can't count that quite as canon until it comes out, because Isaac's going to be in charge of setting that date.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
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katkov

How important is Intent to Hemalurgy? If two people who didn't know about Hemalurgy were running and tripped, falling perfectly onto a spike, would Hemalurgy occur? What about if it was a sick psychopath who liked stabbing people with spikes instead of an accident?

Would the planet these events occurred on matter?

Brandon Sanderson

Location is not relevant to most of the magics.

As for those specifics of Hemalurgy, I will RAFO for now.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

The Resolution

TenSoon and the other kandra resist Ruin and are able to pull the spikes from their shoulders. There are a couple of reasons why they can do this.

The power that Allomancers have to take control of them is the same power Ruin has. That control is exerted in the form of mental pressure through emotional Allomancy. As can be seen from Marsh's viewpoint, it is more than simply forcing the body to act as Ruin wishes. The extreme pressure on emotions changes the very way the mind thinks, tricking it into doing exactly what Ruin wants. The flaw in Hemalurgists leaves them open to this kind of manipulation.

Kandra, who only have two spikes, are far more difficult to control than koloss or Inquisitors. Vin is able to control TenSoon with ease in book two, but that's partially because he wanted her to do so. He would have been able to resist her. If she'd continued to push, she could have broken him, but it would have taken time.

Even Ruin's pressure wasn't enough to take control immediately. The kandra had a few moments during which they could overcome him and maintain their free will. Beyond that, they were in a cavern surrounded by metal ore in the walls, making it very difficult for Ruin to see what was going on and interfering with his ability to control them.

Prague Signing ()
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Oversleep

So if you spiked a Soulbearer...

Brandon Sanderson

A what?

Oversleep

The nicrosil Ferring.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay.

Oversleep

And he stored the ability he got from the spike what happens to the charge in it.

Brandon Sanderson

In the spike if he stores the ability?

Oversleep

Yeah, in the spike.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.