Valoweth

What is Allomancy really?

10 posts in this topic

So the obvious answer is the ability to burn specific metals or alloys to gain temporary powers. But I'm asking what IS it? Mistborn can burn metals to gain amazing powers like physical strength, but how? Cause later in the mistborn books we see that on Scadrial the links to the spiritual realm are metals, so much so that Scadrians (which aren't really humans, they were made after the shards were a thing) have tiny metal spikes in their bodies just naturally. Metal in Scadrial works much the same as stormlight works in Roshar (which brings up the question of whether a coinshot in Roshar would still push metal or would change to things infused with storm/voidlight but that's for another time). Anyway does that mean that allomancy is the act of digesting investiture? (It's unclear if it's a purely Preservation based power as burning Lersium grants allomancy or if scadrians' Ruin investment mixed with the burning grants the power). It could work in a way similar to the way Lift can turn food into stomlight (investiture) through the boon granted to her by Culivation. Anyway I'm rambling way too long and I'm sure I've missed some stuff but I wanna hear other people's theories.

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Metal and Stormlight actually act very differently in their respective magic systems, but it's understandably confusing. On Roshar, Stormlight is investiture and it powers the Surebinding. On Scadrial, the metal isn't powering Allomancy, it's like a key that unlocks the ability to draw on Preservation's investiture directly. Different metals act like different keys, unlocking different powers. The metal itself isn't unique or invested on Scadrial, an Allomancer could go to any other planet and with the proper metals still use Allomancy.

Basically Scadrians, because they were both created by Pres and Ruin, but also have an extra bit of Pres in them, are especially Connected to Preservation. Certain genes allow them, after snapping, to use that Connection to allow the investiture to flow into them. Lerasium rewrites the Spiritweb of any person who burns it to become Connected to Preservation.

Let me know if that helps!

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Despite being created by Ruin and Preservation Scadrians are still human, just a different kind of human compared to those found on other worlds. Where did you read them naturally having pieces of metal in them?

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Posted (edited)

The fundamental misunderstanding you're having here is that Scadrian metal is Invested. It is not, as Brandon has said repeatedly. It's a focusing agent which means that it tells Preservation's power what form to take when an allomancer uses their power; there is literally nothing special about the metal itself and metal from anywhere in the Cosmere will work in the Metallic Arts. With the exception of atium all of the power an allomancer uses comes directly from Preservation.

Quote

Zmann966

Is the metal on Scadrial specially Invested? Can an Allomancer use metals from other planets?

Brandon Sanderson (Part 1/Part 2)

Metal is a key, not the source of power itself. Most is not specially Invested. It glows because of the power seeking to come through it, not because of the power within it.

source

And Scadrians are human, Khriss even points out in Arcanum Unbounded that they were literally created based on the template of the Cosmere's original humans from Yolen. For a while they were distinctly different in some internal ways due to the changes Rashek made to help them survive the changes he'd caused with the Well of Ascension but no more so than, say, Rosharans with the way their hair colors work.

Edited by Weltall
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Posted (edited)

In allomancy, the metals function as gateways to Preservation. Think of those child games with the shapes and holes. The triangle shape goes through the triangle hole and so on. That's how allomancy works, the specific composition of the metal acts both as the door to preservation, and the instruction how what the power does. When that metal is inside the body, the allomancer can sense preservation's power on the other side of the "door" so to speak. Then they pull the power through the door, which also consumes the door. So the metal isn't special, it doesn't have any power. It just forms a doorway, and is then consumed as the power flows through it. The shape of the door also determines what the power will do. That's why allomancer metal has to be so specific, change the shape of the door too much and it either won't work, or the form the power takes after coming through will be wrong, with bad results. So metal isn't raw investiture, unlike stormlight. The godmetals are exceptions, in those instances the metal is the power, and it forms no gateway to preservation.

As for the metal in people, I assume you're talking about Mistborn: Secret History? The investiture inside of people's souls is what is shining, not any metal. As for why metal glows, that's still unclear. It could be that the metal is still acting as gateways to the spiritiual realm, and the light shines through them. Or it might be a function of the zone Scadrial occupies in the cosmere. Or maybe since Ruin and Preservation created Scadrial, when their power took the forms of metal it was concentrated. You'd have to bring in some metal from another world to test that last one. Nazh had metal that didn't glow, but it was physically in the cognitive, it may glow when brought into the physical realm.

Edited by Wandering Investor
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Okay, thanks for clearing that up

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Belatedly because I missed seeing your post count the first time, welcome to the Shard!

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Aw man me too! Welcome to the Shard and a good first post!

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Where did it say Scadrians naturally had tiny spikes within them? 

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I think the "metal inside of everybody" concept you're thinking of comes from Marsh's POV about how Inquisitors could see the world around them with extremely detailed Steelsight, seeing even the trace metals in people's bodies - which I took to refer to iron and other minerals literally present in people's blood and bones.

Not that Scadrialites are partly made of a blend of god metals or anything like that.

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