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Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

The metals used in Allomancy are they naturally occurring on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

They do.

Brandon Sanderson

And all the alloys as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the magics would...oh, all the alloys in Roshar naturally occurring… The magic of Mistborn is related to the actual metals' structure being the key. So, you can use metals from other worlds, there's no actual power in the metal. The metal is like a password.

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

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.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

Will iron mined-- created and mined on Roshar work to power Allomancy on Scadrial? This is a clarification from earlier session.

Brandon Sanderson

Um, hehe… Okay, so what do you want to have happen, talk to me. Explain to me--

Questioner

…Iron is iron, does it have the same effect if it will be iron that was created on Roshar--

Brandon Sanderosn

Oh, I see what you're saying.

Questioner

--power Allomancy on Scadrial--

Brandon Sanderson

The metals are themselves-- and I've said this before, I think, but-- the metals themselves-- where you get it is not relevant.

Moderator

So if say Wit is drinking flakes on Roshar, then those flakes could be Roshar-derived.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

Does creating unsealed metalmind involve Feruchemical duralumin?

Brandon Sanderson

(hesitating)...Yes. I will write it all out for you eventually. I want to get at least one more book done, then you find out exactly why and how.

Questioner

Because I was pretty confused about the Investiture and Spiritweb...

Brandon Sanderson

Here is the reason I'm kind of hesitant of this, [why not you just RAFO this one right now], but it is not a RAFO, because it is like it's a secret. I want to write it out exactly how it happens, because I have it in my notes in bullet points and it's complicated, right? Cause I want some of the things in the magic system as be as complicated as for instance explaining how a computer works right now. You can do it, but you know...I want the magic to start getting that technical if that makes sense. When you say "involve", right, that's a big word. Why just don't you let me, after lost metal...if I haven't released it, you have permission to come to me and say: "Brandon, you said you would release this, you haven't yet [...]" and I will give to you the bullet point flowchart of how you build the unkeyed metalminds.

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

Questioner

So you said that different Investitures from different worlds can fuel different Investitures, right? Would that mean that you could potentially use Stormlight for Allomancy and/or Feruchemy.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, a little harder with the metallic arts than, for instance, Nightblood is the easiest example. He can just feed on whatever investiture is around.

Questioner

Could he feed on the Dor from...

Brandon Sanderson

He could totally feed on the Dor.

Questioner

Would you need to have a special sheathe to do that or?

Brandon Sanderson

No, what you would have to do for him on Elantris is you would have to open some conduit to the Dor that's persistent, like a light or something, and he will suck through that, he would probably end up sucking the whole aon.

Questioner

Sucking Elantris itself?

Brandon Sanderson

Sucking Elantris itself would work, yeah, but you're gonna be in trouble if he sucks up the whole thing, which is totally possible.

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

Chaos2651

Can you tell us what the rest of the Feruchemical and Hemalurgic powers are? Since, you know, you won't be writing in the Mistborn world for many years, and those Feruchemical and Hemalurgic Tables might not even come into existence if the Allomantic Metals one doesn't sell. Pretty please?

Brandon Sanderson

I will release this eventually. I'm still tweaking the powers—their names, and how they function—and so I'd rather hold off on revealing anything specific right now. We might include them in the RPG, though.

Chaos2651

When is the Table of Allomantic Metals coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

Printer emailed me today for final confirmation. Should be very soon now.

Kraków signing ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

I was thinking, was there <inaudible> Allomantic metals <inaudible> random or was there something behind it?

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted the metals that had an alloy, that was commonly used and is easily accessible to people in a pre-industrial society.

Questioner

When they go and discover more of the periodic table, is there a chance they’ll discover <inaudible>

Brandon Sanderson

There is a chance, yes.

Calamity release party ()
#17 Copy

Questioner

So what is the, like, actual density of metalborns born in Elendel?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh boy, I have this in my notes somewhere. Um...

Questioner

*inaudible* I guess?

Brandon Sanderson

Roughly. All metalborn? One out of every couple thousands. Little more common than you would probably think, based on... I don't know. People usually assume they're a little more rare than they are. But, yeah...

Questioner

Yeah. It just-- As I was reading I kept finding people saying, "Oh yeah, it's so rare. It's so insanely rare." I was like, "I feel like it's not that rare," like...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, but still. One every couple thousand. Like, you're going to know somebody, but the chances of you actually being one are pretty rare.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

Allomancy is of Preservation, correct?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes...

Questioner

What are Feruchemy and Hemalurgy of?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgy is definitely of Ruin.

Questioner

Is it of pure Ruin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. That's a very Ruin thing. And Feruchemy is more of a blend. Though… there is more philosophy to that and human construct—like the Allomantic table—than I think I’ve made clear before.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner

Is there any real difference between Steelrunners and Sliders? It seems like that could be sort of similar class--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But different.

--Sliders have the bubble around them, but...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. They work similarly, the big difference is you're seeing the limitations of Allomancy versus Feruchemy. Where Feruchemy there upper limit is unbounded, but you have really much more distinct cost and that can be stored up. You see that these have a different kind of cost to them, but I would call them the same category of thing, it's just the Feruchemy can be way more powerful. Except its limited by how much you store up.

Calamity release party ()
#20 Copy

Questioner

So... that's "[Aon] Ire"...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it is.

Questioner

...and that's the symbol for Ire in Secret History.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

I was wondering if-- Is this just an in-world depiction of an out-world symbol, or does this actually have some kind of metalurgic value?

Brandon Sanderson

Isaac?

Isaac Stewart

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

<I may> refer to Sir Isaac.

Questioner

Alright, thank you very much.

So the question is...

Isaac Stewart

Okay.

Questioner

So this is the symbol for "[Aon] Ire".

Isaac Stewart

Mhm.

Questioner

And this is the symbol in Secret History for the part called "Ire". And what I'm wondering is... Is this just an in-world representation of an off-world symbol, or is there some kind of metalurgic... in-world meaning to the symbol outside of it. They're just too close to be coincidence.

Isaac Stewart

There is a... Obviously there's a relation between the two. I would say that, as far as we know, there is no <metalurgic> connection.

Questioner

So as far as we know there is no metalurgic connection, but that could change in a future book. Potentially. Or not. That's all you got for me?

Isaac Stewart

Um... I'm trying to figure out what I should say <about it>. And I think... The first thing is obviously they aren't on the planet that they ought to be on.

Questioner

Obviously. I mean, not even in the Realm that they ought to be in.

Isaac Stewart

Right. And so... It's more symbolic of "this is not in the Realm that it ought to be, but it's taking on attributes of the Realm that it's in."

Questioner

So the Realm that it's in is Shadesmar. But it's more near the Scadrial...

Isaac Stewart

It's the Scadrial edge of Shadesmar.

Questioner

And so it's taking on attributes of that area that it's not supposed to be in but it is in.

Isaac Stewart

Right.

Questioner

Okay. 

Isaac Stewart

There may or may not be intersignificance *inaudible*.

Questioner

I will pay attention to that.

Isaac Stewart

Pay attention. We may-- we may do something with that. It may just be a fun little thing.

Questioner

A fun little thing just there, right. So for now it's at least an interesting in-world representation of an off-world thing, but it might at some day be *inaudible*. Cool!

Steelheart Seattle signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Do you have in your mind all, like, 150 different metallic effects?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, but I haven't named them yet. I approached that and thought, "This is just mind-numbing". So, yes; one of the things I'd like to be doing and you may see more of this... each combination has a slightly different effect than what you'd anticipate.

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

BenFoley

You have stated in your blog that Mistborn had three magic systems (Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalurgy) and also that The Way of Kings will have upwards of 20. For comparison, how many magic systems would you say the Wheel of Time series has? Two (One Power and the True Power)? How do you classify other abilities (not necessarily related to the One Power or True Power) such as Dreamwalking, viewing the Pattern, Wolfbrother-hoodness, and changing 'luck' or chance? Would you classify these abilities as a magic system in and of themselves? Has your chance to see the background material Robert Jordan left changed how you view these abilities?

Brandon Sanderson

This kind of gets sticky, as it's all up to semantics. Really, you could say that Mistborn had a different magic system for each type of Misting. But at the same time, you could argue that something like X-Men—with huge numbers of powers—all falls under the same blanked 'magic system.' And take Hemalurgy in Mistborn 3—is it a new magic system, or just a reinterpretation of Allomancy and Feruchemy?

So what do I mean by twenty or thirty magic systems in Kings? Hard to say, as I don't want to give spoilers. I have groupings of abilities that have to deal with a certain theme. Transformation, Travel, Pressure and Gravity, that sort of thing. By one way of counting, there are thirty of these—though by another way of grouping them together, there are closer to ten.

Anyway, I'd say that the Wheel of Time has a fair number of Magic systems. The biggest one would be the One Power/True Power, which is more of a blanket "Large" magic system kind of like Allomancy being a blanket for sixteen powers—only the WoT magic system is far larger. I'd count what Perrin/Egwene do in Tel'aran'rhiod as a different magic system. What Mat does as something else, the Talents one can have with the Power something else. Though I'd group all of the Foretelling/Viewing powers into one.

Sounds like a topic for a paper, actually. Any of you academics out there feel like writing one?

Let's just say that The Wheel of Time has a smaller number of larger magic systems, and I tend to use a larger number of smaller magic systems. Confusing enough? ;)