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/r/books AMA 2015 () Copy
#1

vorpal_username

In mistborn you can't access someone else's feruchemical stores. However, what if feruchemist A stores something, and then hemalurgy is used to take A's ability and put into person B. Can person B use A's stores?

Also, what happens when someone burns metal with a hemalurgic charge? Or stores/retrieves something in a spike using feruchemy?

Brandon Sanderson

All RAFOs here, I'm afraid.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 () Copy
#2

Questioner

Could Nightblood theoretically be turned into a Hemalurgic spike?

Brandon Sanderson

The problem with that is that Nightblood is already invested, so it depends on your version of ' Hemalurgic spikes'. Piercing someone's body with Invested metal can have weird effects all through the Cosmere, but ripping off a piece of a person's soul using an un-Invested spike to Invest it and create one is different... we're talking about two different things, right. So there's the.... so what is a Hemalurgic spike? For instance if you've got a spike that's Invested and you stick it into a Kandra on Scadrial it will still work as an Invested Hemalurgic spike. Making a new Invested spike by ripping off a person's soul, that's a different process and a little more difficult to accomplish and requires some specialized knowledge.

Worldbuilders AMA () Copy
#3

Lucadaw

If someone used Hemalurgy to take someones Feruchemical abilities would they be able to use that persons personal metalminds? Most relevantly perhaps to take that person's knowledge from their copperminds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Lucadaw

If someone stored their identity in an aluminium metalmind, then had their powers and metalminds stolen via Hemalurgy, then the person who took the powers used the aluminium metalmind to draw out the first persons identity would it permanently overwrite their personality with the original persons ? ( would kind of be a long winded way of stealing someone else's body and becoming immortal )

Brandon Sanderson

All Identity questions are a RAFO until I deal with it more in the books. (Sorry.)

WeiryWriter (in response to the first answer)

If the spike granting Feruchemy were to be reforged/split into two distinct spikes which are then implanted into two different people, could those two people "share" a metalmind (as in actually be able to tap something the other stored and vice versa?).

Brandon Sanderson

It's complicated, but no.

There would be too much of the other person mixed in. Both could use the metalminds of the person the Feruchemy was stolen from, but when they made their own, their own Identity would "muddy" the creation.

Orem signing 2014 () Copy
#5

mail-mi (paraphrased)

Could you spike Elantrian-ness? Like, could you Hemalurgically spike Elantrian-ness?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Theoretically, yes.

mail-mi (paraphrased)

Could you out of a Reod Elantrian? The zombie ones?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Um, yes you could.

mail-mi (paraphrased)

You could?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

So what you would be spiking there is their Connection to...to the planet, first. That's gonna be the big important thing. So you're going to overwrite your Connection. Um, and then you're going to....it's going to be a complicated process because you're going to have to spike the actual ability to have been transformed, that's gonna be harder.

mail-mi (paraphrased)

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Does that make sense?

mail-mi (paraphrased)

Yeah, so it's gonna take two spikes.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It's gonna take two spikes.

mail-mi (paraphrased)

Alright.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

And you gonna have to get the right Connection to the right place. Let's say you spike somebody from MaiPon, and then you spike an Elantrian, you're not going to be able to use it, you're not connected to the right area.

The Hero of Ages Annotations () Copy
#6

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.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A () Copy
#7

Chaos2651

Is there a rationale to how Hemalurgic powers are distributed? I tried to look for a system, but they seem rather randomly distributed. For example, the spike which steals Allomantic powers for a particular quadrant is not always in one particular spot.

Brandon Sanderson

That is correct, it's not always in one particular spot. None of them are. I used as my model on this magic system the concept of acupuncture and pressure points. Placing a Hemalurgic spike is a very delicate and specific art. Imagine there being a different overlay on a human body, like a new network of nerves, representing lines, points, and 'veins' of the soul's spiritual makeup.

What is happening with Hemalurgy, essentially, is that you're driving a spike through a specific point on a person's body and ripping off a piece of their soul. It sticks to the spike on the Spiritual Realm. Then, you place that spike on someone else in a specific place (not exactly the same place, but on the right spiritual pressure point) and 'hot wire' the spirit to give it Hemalurgy or Feruchemy. It's like you're fooling the spiritual DNA, creating a work-around. Or, in some cases, changing the spirit to look like something else, which has the immediate effect of distorting the body and transforming it into a new creature.

Hemalurgy is a very brutal way of making changes like this, though, so it often has monstrous effects. (Like with the koloss.) And in most cases, it leaves a kind of 'hole' in the spirit's natural defenses, which is how Ruin was able to touch the souls of Hemalurgists directly.

Firefight Chicago signing () Copy
#8

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.

Superstars Writing Seminar 2018 () Copy
#9

MiToRo94 [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

This is a question about both The Stormlight Archive and the Mistborn series. Does The Thrill have anything to do with zinc, Rioters, or Allomancy in general?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

"They work on very similar principles." Their magic is based on similar ideas, and they do have a lot in common. A specific example would be that, "they both can affect different people to different extents and in slightly different ways. You can see that in how the Thrill affects Dalinar, and how burning zinc affects kandra differently than others on Scadrial. That is because kandra have pierced souls, so Allomancy affects them differently."

Shadows of Self release party () Copy
#10

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.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A () Copy
#11

Kurkistan

Could Miles heal back his Allomancy if it was spiked out of him?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he could not. He would no longer be an Allomancer. Also, he'd probably be dead. :)

Kurkistan

Thanks!

I'd thought maybe he could just do some super-tapping from his existing Health in his goldminds (since he'd still have his Feruchemy)...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, I see what you're asking. Using Feruchemy to heal the removed portion of soul. That's actually plausible, not so different from healing other kinds of soul-wounds. If he survived, then yes, this actually might work. (That's why I get for reading the questions so quickly.)

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing () Copy
#12

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.

Firefight Chicago signing () Copy
#14

Kurkistan

So you've said that healing is like the Spiritual wants to heal and then it filters through the Cognitive, but how's that work with healing wounds to the soul like Hemalurgy or Shardblades? What do you refer to to heal the soul at that point?

Brandon Sanderson

You need to make a patch on the soul with Investiture.

Kurkistan

So how's the Investiture know where to go, what to look like?

Brandon Sanderson

Well your soul is an ideal. So if you can get it up there, there are ways to do-- to recreate that with um... See I'm getting into stuff for later books.

Argent

No, that's okay.

Kurkistan

So when Hemalurgy rips something off the soul, is that the ideal soul or some sub-soul?

Brandon Sanderson

That is off of your soul, and it can be healed; but what it's going to be doing is creating a patch of new soul. So it will not be your original soul. Does that make sense?

Kurkistan

Okay, that- well, not completely, but I think that's your intention.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Bystander

If you do that, is that like Frankenstein's monster, or is it like a graft that's absorb--

Brandon Sanderson

Less horrifying- Less horrifying than Frankenstein's monster, but it is a graft that is like-- It is not your original soul.

Bystander

Yeah, but in modern medicine stuff like that is absorbed-

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, in this you will always have a scar on your soul that something else has patched over.

Kurkistan

So Kaladin shouldn't just keep getting his arm chopped?

Brandon Sanderson

*ignoring/not-hearing Kurkistan just now* But that is what happens with most forms of investiture in the first place.

Leipzig Book Fair () Copy
#19

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.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing () Copy
#20

Questioner

If you Stamp yourself, to have another, overwritten spiritweb, and you get Spiked-- *laughter* What would happen?

Brandon Sanderson

We actually worked this out. *laughter*

Questioner

Well, you'd die, or very close to it, but would it revert when the Stamp reverts?

Brandon Sanderson

So what’s probably going to happen here is that you’re going to rip off the Investiture you’ve put on your soul, and your own soul will have less damage. Now, the spike is only gonna get the-- the spike, you're like "What will it do?" It will do what you've been overwritten with, but again remember, becoming an Allomancer takes so much energy, and things like-- But it is theoretically possible in the cosmere to rewrite yourself "You're an allomancer", someone spikes you to get this. The Investiture doesn't care that it was fake on you, you have managed to get that Investiture to work. Uhh, this is really tough. And really, like, you need Connection, and you need, like, the right kind of Investiture, but then it rips off and yes you have made a spike that makes you an Allomancer, even though the person was a Forger. So yes, okay? But this is the kind of stuff that is like the thought experiments for physicists in the cosmere as opposed to, y'know--

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A () Copy
#21

Chaos2651

Hemalurgically, atium steals Allomantic Temporal Powers. But, that seems unlikely, since atium is a god metal. It wouldn't fit in with the rest of the magic system. Did Preservation, in addition to switching Cadmium and Bendalloy for Atium and Malatium, also switch atium's Feruchemical and Hemalurgic powers with Cadmium? Because it seems to me there's not a lot of atium Marsh can use to live for hundreds of years into the next Mistborn trilogy.

Brandon Sanderson

Preservation wanted Atium and Malatium to be of use to the people, as he recognized that it would be a very powerful tool—and that using it up could help defeat Ruin. But he also recognized that sixteen was a mythological important number, and felt it would make the best sign for his followers. So he took out the most unlikely (difficult to make and use) metals for his sign to his followers. But that doesn't have much to do with Hemalurgy's use here.

Remember that the tables—and the ars Arcanum—are 'in world' creations. (Or, at least, in-universe.) The knowledge represented in them is as people understand it, and can always have flaws. That was the case with having atium on the table in the first place, and that was the case with people (specifically the Inquisitors) trying to figure out what atium did Hemalurgically.

Their experiments (very expensive ones) are what determined that atium (which they thought was just one of the sixteen metals) granted the Allomantic Temporal powers. What they didn't realize is that atium (used correctly) could steal ANY of the powers. Think of it as a wild card. With the right knowledge, you could use it to mimic any other spike. It works far better than other spikes as well.

As for Marsh, he's got a whole bag of atium (taken off of the Kandra who was going to try to sell it.) So he's all right for quite a while. A small bead used right can reverse age someone back to their childhood.

But this was a little beyond their magical understanding at the time.

Shadows of Self release party () Copy
#23

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.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 () Copy
#30

Silasary [PENDING REVIEW]

Is there a difference between spikes from someone who is say, an eight year old versus someone who is in their forties?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I've never been asked this before. My instinctual answer is no, but that's not written in the notes, that's just how I would answer right now.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing () Copy
#32

Questioner

I was wondering if a Hemalurgic spike would take surges, or if it could take a spren bond? Would it interact at all for that?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgy can interact with every one of the magics. I designed it specifically in writing Mistborn for future use. Because some of the magics are so limited by their planet I wanted one that transcended all of them and Hemalurgy is very important to the entire cosmere. Its invention is a thing of great power and great danger to the entire cosmere.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing () Copy
#34

Questioner

You’ve spoken before how DNA exists on multiple different levels in your magic systems. I was curious about something else that I think I read that that the Hemalurgy system actually splices something into the DNA - so what does that imply for heritability of those?

Brandon Sanderson

So, it is not inheritable when it's Hemalurgic because it's splicing. It's basically ripping off a piece of the soul and spiking it on someone else's. So, it would not transfer.

The Hero of Ages Annotations () Copy
#35

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Thirty-Seven - Part Two

Human Tries to Make a New Koloss

Yes, koloss are people. I assume that many of you guessed this. Then, again, many of you probably didn't. The clues are there, if you care to look—including the fact that small spikes were found in the koloss bodies after the siege of Luthadel. (It's mentioned at the end of book two.)

Unfortunately, the heroes just don't know enough about Hemalurgy to make the connection until this dramatic reveal by Human. There are only three magic systems in this book—all related, all dealing with metal. It's mentioned in book two that koloss, Inquisitors, and—yes, even kandra—are related in some way. All were created by the Lord Ruler during his Ascension.

And all were created from existing material, one might say. There's a little more depth to the kandra, since they're a race that (kind of) breeds true. You'll see as the book progresses. However, all were created through Hemalurgy, and the spikes are very, very important.

/r/books AMA 2015 () Copy
#36

Wigginns

What would a Hemalurgic spike granting atium do for an Allomancer already able to burn atium? Does it function similarly to bronze, granting enhanced atium-ing? Along this line of thought, would enhancing electrum burning via spike be of any advantage?

Brandon Sanderson

A spike of something you have would enhance your ability, giving your more strength. With atium, more strength makes for a minimal edge--the length you can push out the atium shadows. However, there's a certain breaking point where you kind of crack the whole system, peer straight into the [Spiritual Realm], and kind of have a "It's full of stars" moment.

Electrum could reach this same moment, potentially, though there's more interference to fight through. Extra strength in electrum isn't going to be terribly useful up to that point.

Alsadius

Is that what happened when atium was burned with duralumin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

/r/books AMA 2015 () Copy
#38

focoma

We've seen Kandra True Bodies made of crystal, stone, or wood. Can a kandra use a True Body made of metal? If so, what happens if each metal "bone" had a Hemalurgic charge, and each one is touching an appropriate bind point?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. And that would work, better than you think, because Kandra have fluid bind points. But too many spikes can be dangerous to the psyche, even with Ati not messing things up.

General Reddit 2016 () Copy
#42

Evilkill78

While rereading HoA I decided to do a bit of research on an informant. But I also found another interesting tidbit on Theoryland.

http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=727#35

This WoB. It implies TenSoon is eventually going to be able to reconnect with Vin, or at least, someone with Hemalurgic spikes is going to be able to communicate with someone that's departed to "The Beyond" (or the Spiritual Realm)...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, this looks like one where I was tired from answering a lot of questions, and was thinking about Kelsier--I was really excited to write Secret History back then. I realize that it wouldn't make sense for Kelsier to want to talk to TenSoon, but you'd be surprised the things that you say sometimes when you're trying to write in someone's book, keep yourself from giving too many spoilers, but also answer questions. You can go on auto-pilot sometimes for a minute or two, answering questions that my brain THINKS someone asks, when it's not one they actually asked. Or mashing together two questions, and having a kind of crossed-wires brain moment. You can see me do this on Reddit sometimes too, if you look back through my history. I often catch it and edit to explain myself, but not always This was during the era when I was heavily laying foreshadowing to fans for Kelsier's return, so it wouldn't feel like a cheat when I eventually got to Secret History. So I was looking for opportunities to talk about people with spikes communicating with the Cognitive Realm. I can't remember. There's also a possibility that I was still contemplating Vin staying, which she could have done, as someone who'd carried one of the powers. Either way, I made the call that even bringing Kelsier back was dangerous for undermining consequences, and having Vin hang around would be counter to her character arc and the arc of the stories. So Vin and TenSoon won't be talking any time soon. Sorry to shut down conversation on this one, and sorry to lead you on.

TWG Posts () Copy
#43

Elladan259

I have a questions. I read in the book that under the Lord Ruler, the Steel Inquisitors had 9 spikes. So they had 8 spikes for the normal allomantic abilities, and only one left. But they needed one more. One would be a feruchemical spike which granted the user healing abilities. And the other one would be an atium spike. In the book they burned it often, but how? But then, how could they burn Atium? They would have needed an Atium spike (extremely expensive) and an mistborn (because atium mistings weren't discovered).

Somehow, the number of the spike just don't make sense. There should be 10. Do you have some ideas, or is it just an mistake by Brandon Sanderson? 

Peter Ahlstrom

The official answer is that the number varies depending on how many Mistings they can find and sacrifice. Not all Inquisitors will have all the same powers.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 () Copy
#46

Questioner

Can Kandra blessings be any spikes or just the four.

Brandon Sanderson

They were created specifically to do what they do.

Questioner

So you couldn't have a Kandra with, for instance, Allomantic powers?

Brandon Sanderson

I wouldn't go that far, I will say the Kandra spikes are specifically created to do what they do and the Kandra don't know how to make ones that do other things.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing () Copy
#47

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Okay, next question. The Hemalurgic bind points for the right and left eyes - are they the same?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

In terms of...?

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Like, the Inquisitor spikes, is it the exact same process for either eye? Is it interchangeable?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They're slightly different.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

And on bind points... are these something that we could figure out ourselves one day, through analysis and guessing? Or is it something we'll just have to wait and see?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They're... it would be a lot of trial and error, but it's... possible? And you need Intent, so... it would be a lot of trial and error. It wouldn't be easy. Probably not.

Calamity release party () Copy
#48

Questioner

Hoid has said that what he does, when he heals or comes back to life or whatever, heals the soul

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

But Hemalurgy is like ripping off a piece of the soul. Could he heal that?

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible. Well, his particular brand of healing is very Spiritual Realm based. And so, it would-- he could. Not all brands of healing are capable. It depends on what's happening, and things like that. But yes, he would. Most Shardbearers [Surgebinders?] when they're in the throes of their powers would heal spiritually. *brief pause* Not all of them. Not all healing will do that, though.

Questioner

Yeah. Because I was thinking that maybe you could spike him multiple times and compound his power.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Spiking him could do some weird things though. But spiking can do weird things to anyone.

JordanCon 2016 () Copy
#50

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.