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  1. Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a new "Letters from the Cosmere" they added a whole new Form to post to! Several months ago I lost my Hard Drive which gave out from overwork. With it, I lost my Thumbnails, notes, and Cosmere Art. This setback required and lengthy recovery but we are finally done! Look forward to the return of Letters from the Cosmere! Forgery is by far the most interesting of the Cosmere's magic systems. it does something that no other Investiture (currently known) can do, alter the past. These changes are temporary and require an intimate understanding of the person or object that is to be affected. So what exactly is happening when a Forger applies a seal? Here is the full transcript: Of the many wonders of the Cosmere, Forgery is by far the most fascinating that I have ever come across. Forgers by the nature of their craft must reach a heightened understanding of realmic theory and the fundamental nature of the Cosmere. I suspect that Forgers can be numbered as some of the earliest metaphysical scholars in the post Yolan Cosmere. Forgery is the expense of Sel Investiture into the Spiritual Nature of an intelligent entity, changing its connection and Spiritual History. This change cascades into the Cognitive Intelligence of the object and subsequently changes the nature of the Objects Cognitive form. This change is then reflected in the Physical realm. As you are likely aware, cognitive and physical changes are relatively common in the Cosmere, especially on Roshar where Soul casting provides the clearest example of this quantum relationship. However, the ability to affect the Spirit Web of an intelligence is far rarer, especially in such specific and dramatic ways. I appreciate that the mechanics of Forgery can be complex so I will attempt to break them down in the simplest way I can manage. I have read your most current studies into the Spiritual Aspects of Ferrochemy and your understanding of these arts will be the cornerstone of this letter. In Ferrocheme the practitioner can store up the spiritual manifestation of concepts like Fortune, Identity, and Connection. With the storage and pulling of these aspects, the Ferrochemist twists their spirit web, which changes the way intelligent beings interact with them. (Note: intelligences are a reference to both animate and inanimate objects that have a cognitive presence.) This alters the flow of Investiture, power, and even pluck at the strings of fate. Yes, I was surprised to discover that fate is essentially a reality of the Cosmere. When we have Slivers, who can see the future it can be nearly impossible to outmaneuver their plans. Yet Investiture by its nature can change fate by altering the paths taken, dispelling the idea of absolute fate in favor of a dynamic collection of branching conductor fields of existence. But I am getting ahead of myself. While the ability to manipulate the Spirit Web through Ferrochemy holds incredible potential, these changes are situational and are typically time-locked. While a metal mind does effectively shuttle attributes and investiture through time, they can only store at one point, to then be used at a future time. A Ferrochemist may be able to influence his luck through storage of or drawing out of fortune, they cannot change the events of the past. Forgery takes this into the realm of Quantum entanglement, and actually pushed an objects spirit web into a parallel potentiality of the past, accessing metaphysical information that is beyond the barrier of time dilation. By all accounts this should be impossible. In fact, I haven’t come across any accounts of Shards actively altering reality by manipulating the Spirit Web backward in time. This is a disturbing and fascinating discovery that I feel many of my fellow scholars have overlooked. It can be easy to overlook considering the Cosmere is filled with apparent exceptions to the rules. But Reaching back against the flow of time opens the doors to staggering implications in the realm of Physics and Realmac Theory. Even with my extensive years of study I feel I can barely brush against the momentous truths that this revelation brings. Naturally, this process is temporary in the best of times, often these changes cannot maintain themselves longer than a day without needing to apply another crafted stamp. The process likely devours investiture at an incredible rate to maintain an effective bubble of altered time along the object’s or person’s past. Despite the incredible powers that I will sound be outlining, keep in mind that the physical limitation of Selian magic and the likely persistent need for Investiture limits the long-term effects of these powers. Perhaps there are work arounds but as of now, I am unaware of any practical methods of changing the current status quo. As for the mechanics of this miraculous transformation, they are fairly straight forward. Ironic considering the implications of what this power is actually doing to the Cosmere. The Forger creates what is called a stamp out of a stable material. The best materials are those that can be shaped with delicate patterns but then be baked or locked into a ridged shape that is unlikely to break. Often a template is created for stamps that are intended to be maintained over a length of time so new stamps can be crafted and imprinted routinely. Understanding the culminated history of the person or object that is to be forged is critical in the development of a stamp that is stable enough. Forgers remark on the need of believability for such changes to be made with any sense of stability. I feel that the underlying issue is a result of the instability inherent in the creation and sustaining of time opposing attractor fields. The closer such realities are to the tangible timeline the less investiture the time/space warping costs. By extension, the more likely a history of an object is to the Forger’s desired form, the more stable the stamps can be. For instance, it is nearly impossible to stamp iron into gold by trying to change the metals physical nature. Rather the Forger should learn about the mine where the iron was collected and alter the mines location or change the nature of the trade service that provided the metal. These changes work off an understanding that a mistaken delivery or a production order being placed with a different mine in the same region is far more likely that altering the planets metallic formation. Even so, these changes are likely too unstable to be useful. Intense study and reasoning is required to make any changes. This is why stamps that restore an object rather than replace it are far more common. Once a stamp has been completed, an individual simply applies the stamp to the surface of the object (usually in an inconspicuous location) where the stamp begins to activate. A properly crafted stamp will resonate with the identity of the object it has been crafted for and will start to bond with it. From my studies, it can be assumed that the stamp at this point begins to bond through all three realms simultaneously which is why it seems to meld into the surface of the object without physically altering or damaging it. The stamp is then locked into place and activated. If crafted properly the stamp will take and the alterations will take hold almost immediately. Forgery has perhaps the most boundless of practical and fantastical uses of all the Investiture based magic that I have ever seen. However, it also has some of the harshest limitations. Firstly, it is one of the Selian magics which is locked to the geographical location of its native continent. The farther away from its homeland the weaker these stamps become. Perhaps with artificial identity and connection methods, this barrier could be overcome much like how the Ire must exist. Yet there are other issues. Often the practitioner needs an intimate knowledge of an objects or person’s history. This would be difficult for a worldhopper who hasn’t spent decades living on worlds like Roshar or Taldain which have very different geological and physical histories as planets let alone their cultures and technology. Furthermore, the need for a consistent source of Investiture is a large issue. Perhaps a scholar far cleverer than I will find a way to let a stamp feed off a local source of investiture like Rosharian Stormlight, but such knowledge eludes me for the moment. Not to say that it’s impossible but using stamps off of Sel seems unlikely to me given Sels unusual Investiture situation. I trust this letter finds you well, considering everything that is going on. The Cosmere continues to be a realm of conflict and struggle for both men and gods. Yet as we continue to peel back the layers of mysticism surrounding the Shards I feel we will eventually see wonders beyond our current reckoning. Give my best to Harmony. Elsric P.S. I just acquired some new books in one of the trading posts I passed through on my way to visit Roshar, look forward to a real treat when I return.
  2. The Cognitive Realm is one of the best-kept secrets of the Cosmere. Sometimes it almost feels crowded considering how little people know about it. Between the Physical and Spiritual Realms, the thoughts and ideas of intelligent beings take shape in this dimension. Worldhoppers use Perpindicularities to enter this realm physically and take shortcuts to other worlds. It is also the home of the spren of Roshar. In this Letters from the Cosmere Elsric takes a solid look at the Realmatic Theory about the Cognitive Realm and how its rules work for a Worldhopper. Here is this episode's transcript: I wonder if writing two letters back to back for the same person makes me conceded, or desperate. It seems haughty that I would already have something apparently so important to inform you about. Yet I waste your time with frivolous sentences about what I happen to be thinking at any given moment. The fact that I am enjoying the thought of you forcing yourself to read this right now seems to establish the point quite nicely. Well now that we have that out of the way, you must understand that the scholar in me cannot simply let my first letter be whisked away with only a generalized version of “The Cosmere.” I mean the fact that you found me in my little Manor on Nalthis proves that you understand that much about the Cosmere already. But I needed to start somewhere and I cannot help but think that someday someone will be reading these words who has never learned Realmatic Theory before. So, to you my future reader, turn back now before the insatiable curiosity grabs you by the throat and drags you away screaming. It will be easier for you to just move on, living your life. Now that I have your attention, dear reader, and your annoyance dear recipient, I wish to better define the Cognitive Realm and its import on my life. I first discovered a perpendicularity by accident. I had been delving into the secrets my rivals were trying very hard to keep. Let me remind you that a perpendicularity is a location or event where concentrated investiture creates a hole between dimentions. I like to think of them as Shard Pools. Call me simple minded, but they are places where investiture pools together all at once. I have thought long and hard about this. We exist in three (known) levels of existance simultaneously. We are very familure with the physical nature of our existance for it is the one we we are born interacting with directly. We are also existant in the spiritual realm where our essence is at it’s most pure. Somewhere between these two realms exists the Cognitive realm. This realm exists as a smoky mirror of it’s more substantial counterparts. The Cognitive realm reflects the physical realm in general shape, but is maluble and easily changed with investiture, which essentially is energy from the Spiritual Realm. The three realms exist in states that are fundamentally different from each other, despit the fact that they are intertwined. The physical worlds upon which we live are large planets suspended in around suns. We live on globes where if we travel in a strait line for long enough, we will end up right where we started. These spheres are the separated from others like them by vast distances in space. The Cognitive realm follows a different set of ruls. Everything there essentially exists on a 2 dimentional plane. Now it’s not literally two dimentional, for when you visit it will feel similar to the surface of your homeland. If you think of a planet as a globe, then the cognitive realm is like a map of the globe. Essentially they are same in shape, but the Cognitive Version of the world has edges that extend into the beyond. When you move off the cognitive world, you step into a dark zone where little to nothing exists. This essentially is leaving the planet. In fact, all cognitive realms are connected to every other world populated with intelligent beings. Because the landscape is created and maintained by intelligent, cognitive thought, it means that the gaps between worlds is relatively small. This two-dimensional existence and connection between the various worlds is what allows worldhoppers like myself to travel across the void and into other nations and cultures. One of the great secrets of the Cosmere is not just the fact that there are other worlds with people on them, but that there are more than can currently be visited. In my travels, I have passed over worlds with populations that are isolated from the rest of the Cosmere. Worlds where there are no natural perpendicularities. Someday I hope to visit these worlds somehow, perhaps discover how humans came to live there without the intervention of a Shard. I’d even assume that they have no access to investiture, but that would be presumptuous of me. I also need to note something that I forgot last time. Each world looks different in the Cognitive Realm. Now there are consistencies, like how bodies of water tend to be represented as stable landmasses in the Cognitive Realm while typical landmasses are large churning oceans of thought that can be quite deadly to a worldhopper who is not careful. However, each world’s cognitive realm has it’s own flavor. For instance, much of Scadrial’s Cognitive Realm is made up of massive seas of mist, whereas on Roshar the ocean seems to be made up of tiny glass beads. Naturally I will be able to tell you more about the Rosharian landscape and Cognitive Realm once I get there. Now you need to remember that these oceans are not a natural phenomenon like a lake or river. These swirling depths are manifestations of the millions of minds that live in the Physical Realm. All things that have a name, a concept, or dream are manifested as tiny intelligences in the Cognitive Realm. The more personification or sentimental value that people give their objects in their world create larger, and more powerful cognitive minds. It is the use of these cognitive minds that, make living in this Realm possible for these cognitions can often be enlisted to help you, especially when you have investiture to offer. Lastly, I wish to comment on the freaky pale sun that hangs ever present over the Cognitive realm. Here there is no night or day, it’s just constantly a dull grey. The ball of light that you can see is the Spiritual realm. Honestly I’m not sure how that works but the other worldhoppers I have run into have mentioned that fact. Somehow that is what connects us all together. It’s strange, and I am sure I will have more to say on that eventually. I know I come off bitter in these letters, but you must understand my reluctance to getting involved. I don’t think I am any better at sharing information that you and your kind must be. Yet, your master’s proposal was intriguing to say the least. Besides, I owe him for saving my life. Don’t get too comfortable back there, you’ve reawakened the scholar in me. Once I get to Roshar I will locate and use a perpendicularity to return to the Physical realm. I hear it is quite a place to visit, although the rumors coming from that direction do not bode well. Until the next letter, Elsric
  3. It's been a while but we are finally back on track with "Letters From the Cosmere!" Scadrial is a world with a dark past. Of all the known worlds, the people of this planet have come face to face with their local Shard wielders more than any other. As Ruin and Preservation battled over the fate of the planet, the people suffered until the end came. Now Elsric has published his essays about this world's Investiture and how these powers are connected to the Intents from which they came. Here Elsric describes the secrets of Pewter and Tin, the Internal Physical Metals. Transcript: Essay Number 2 The Secrets and Investitures of Pewter and Tin – The Internal Physical Metals My lifetimes of study and observation have lead me to a fascination about Shards, specifically the Intent of a Shard. This is one of many reasons why Scadrial is a major focus of my studies. It a system whose history and people have seen a great amount of direct interaction between Shard entities and the mortals who live on the planet. The fall of the World of Ash also taught us about the simplistic dynamic of shardic intent, and how the actions of the shard holders are guided along a track until they themselves are less of an individual and more a force of will. They become a hyper intelligent concept. In fact, the bonded spren of Roshar are approximate examples of what I feel a Shard Bearer becomes. It is a blending of the Cognitive and Spiritual essence into something far greater. The Intent of a shard can be extrapolated based on the shape their investitures take. These powers follow laws much like the laws that govern the physical universe. This essay is at the heart of my arguments in this matter. It is imperative that the reader understands that the purpose of these essays is to examine the internal nature of the powers found on Scadrial. Within these pages are my measurements and diagrams, but this is more a dialog intended to uphold my claims that investiture is patterned after intent. This is a fact that is highlighted in all the magic systems of the Cosmere. In this essay I will show how the Allomantic powers of Pewter and Tin are nearly perfect examples of this manifest intent. These powers are the personification of Preservation, which was the Intent that was carried by Leras until the Catasandra. Pewter is the Pushing Internal Physical Metal. It seems an apt description considering Pewter pushes the physical body to its peak and beyond. While burning the metal, the allomancer will experience and enhancement of all physical aspects of their body. The physical strength and speed are increased by magnitudes, although no muscle mass is actually added. The bones also are reinforced, becoming resilient to severe punishment. Once again, this extra strength does not come from an increase in bone mass or density. There is also an increase in the allomancers balance which compensates for the improved physical abilities, often resulting in a lithe almost cat-like grace that comes to a Pewter Arm. This heightened balance and increased speed means that at peak efficiency, a allomancer burning pewter can maintain a sprint at nearly the speed of a galloping horse. This means that a pewter runner can be clocked at over 60 kilometers an hour. Pewter is the fastest burning metal of the original 8 metals. It’s pure allomantic alloy is a casting of ninety-one percent tin and nine percent lead. A Pewuter Savant, or a pewter allomancer who has adapted to burning pewter over long periods of time, is hard to make and even harder to recognize. The benefits of long term Pewter flaring are often dwarfed by the physical dangers that come with doing so. A Pewter savant will consume Pewter more efficiently, and can start healing from wounds at an accelerated rate compared to other Pewter arms. However, this constant flaring drives a need for the metal, and if the allomancer ever runs out of metal to flair, they can die quite suddenly from the shock. This makes study of Pewter Savants difficult for most people are too wary to attempt and it would be unethical to perform tests on the unwilling. Of specific interest to me is the infamous Pewter drag. This is an instance where an allomancer consumes massive amounts of Pewter at a consistently high rate in order to maintain a prolonged and intense burn of the metal. This pushes the boundaries of what we know are the limits of Pewter. Allomancers have been known to run for days on one of these burns, moving at a break neck speed. The longer this allomantic burn goes, the underlying consequences grow steadily more severe. The body seems to understands on a primal level that pewter-dragging is unnatural. Many Mistings report an overwhelming fatigue and mental sluggishness that accompanies a pewter drag. When the drag is finished, the allomancer must continue to burn pewter for the next several hours. If not, the allomancer may slip into a coma which can be lethal. They also must maintain a high water volume and calorie intake so their bodies can continue to function. Pewter dragging is highly dangerous and should be overseen by other experienced allomancers in order to help train the mind for the incredible physical strain. My studies have led me to the conclusion that Pewter is the greatest example of Preservation’s Shardic Intent, and why I felt this should be the foundation for my claims. Experience and observation indicate that the Intents of the Shards direct the application of their endowed Investiture. In fact, I postulate that by studying the manifestations and laws that govern an observed Investiture, that you could determine from observation alone what the Shard’s core intent is. For example, I wish you to reflect upon the fundamentals of Pewter. Pewter brings incredible physical enhancements to the allomancer. This effect has a limit or cap, but these powers come with little to no consequence to the allomancer. Pewter isn’t necessarily making you stronger, but rather that strength is a consequence for what it is doing. I have observed that Pewter instead produces the effect of freezing an allomancer’s state of existence. While burning pewter, the physical body resists changes down to the microscopic level. The bones don’t get larger and tougher, they simple resist change making them harder to break. The body can sprint at speed for long periods of time because Pewter prevents the body from suffering the ill effects of motion and muscle degradation. The pewter is acting as a barrier, preserving the allomancer’s body by expelling the energy that would normally create these physical changes and dissipating it into the spiritual realm. This is speculation on my part, but the differences that we see in the physical Ferrochemical arts displays this discrepancy perfectly. As you will see in my future essays, alomancy uses investiture to effect the world around the alomancer, all the while preserving the allomancer. The other metallic arts require great physical sacrifice in order to obtain their power. Allomancies complete dependence on metals fits the observed intent of Preservation. Despite this drive for Preservation, any interaction with Investiture comes with risks as stated above. Just because a Pewter Allomancer resists changes, doesn’t mean that they are unharmed or changed from this process. In fact, quite the opposite. But it is apparent to me that the intent behind pewter’s power clearly follows the pattern of its shard. This can also be observed in Pewter’s metallic counterpart, Tin. Tin is the Internal Physical Pulling metal. This power creates a heightening in the allomancer’s perceptions of the physical world by pulling on the capabilities of the allomancer’s mind. This enhancement is unilateral, greatly increasing the sensitivity of all the senses all at once. Normally this information would be overwhelming and possibly damaging to the psyche. However, it is apparent that Tin’s abilities change the way the mind works, increasing its capabilities. I believe that this is actually the only true change that Tin proves. Reports indicate that a Tin eye, or a Tin misting, does not see anything that wasn’t already observable. Instead they become hyper aware of all the sensory input that their bodies are receiving and enhances the minds ability to interoperate the information. Tin also provides an ability to see through the mists of Scadrial. The Mists are a gaseous manifestation of Preservation/Harmonies power in the physical world, and thus Preservation’s Arcane abilities are granted an advantage in the Mists, most noticeably with the Tin eyes. This ability does come with many downsides. With such a sensitivity to stimuli, the allomancer is susceptible to any dramatic changes in sensory input. Unexpected loud noises or bright lights can stun and even incapacitate a Tin eye. Even with the mental enhancement, the mind can only handle so much data at once. Another cost is the enhancement of pain receptors which can also overwhelm a tin eye. In fact, the tin eye often avoids confrontation for this very reason for while burning tin they can be easily incapacitated. Tin Savants are some of the strangest invested entities in the Cosmere. The extended Tin flair causes the mind of the Allomancer to permanently change. With this enhancement, the mind becomes incredibly capable of filtering out unwanted sensations, allowing for… strange abilities. Before the Catasandra, the Lord Mistborn was a Tin-eye Misting who became the only documented Tin Savant on record. He was capable of seeing through cloth, could see stars on cloudy nights, and was even able to hear a man’s heartbeat from over thirty yards away. However, if the Savant ever runs out of Tin, his natural senses are dulled into almost nothing. This is a frightening medical condition that if left untreated runs a high risk of accidental death due to a lack of sensory data. In is my opinion that such Savants be discourage, although it must be admitted that the supernatural senses it creates fascinating and the effects of such abilities are powerful if executed properly. Tin also reflects Preservation’s intent. With the exception of the Savant, Tin does enhance an allomancer without altering the individual. Again we can see that Tin does not make the individual’s eyes better, or change the physical characteristics of the Tin-eye’s ears. Instead the changes are all about the capabilities of the mind and the ability to intemperate incoming data. This preserves the allomancer while also increasing the allomancer’s ability to survive. Savants challenge this assertion but I believe that the metaphysical changes observed in the Lord Mistborn’s life were caused by a fundamental law of investiture, rather than by the intent of Preservation. I have observed in my years of travel that those who channel large amounts of investiture for long periods of time are physically altered by the power. This is a study outside of my focus but such examples of metaphysical changes have been seen in the Soulcasters of Roshar, or the Dakhor of Sel. Prolonged and persistent Investiture creates changes in individuals even when the intent was never to produce such changes. In conclusion, the manifestation of Pewter and Tin are perfect examples of the manifestation of Preservation’s Intent, the guiding nature of the Shard. The other abilities of Allomancy also reflect this, but none as starkly as the internal physical metals. Following this article are my estimations of Pewters limitations and flared capabilities as well as personal annotations made in the Words of Founding concerning the effects of a Tin savant. Postscript: This essay is of particular note, perhaps we have been looking at these metals in the wrong light all along. If we can, I desire to conduct more tests of this nature on Kandra blessings, I am curious to see if Kandra can become Savants. Until the next letter, Elsric
  4. Hello my fellow theorist! So this letter is a little different. From the start I have wanted to make this series something that newer fans of the Cosmere can access so they can learn about the Cosmere without being overwhelmed or drenched in Spoilers. However most my videos still need a warning for those who watch so they don't accidentally learn too much. This video is the first of my in-debts examination of Allomancy, and I wanted it to be set about the ground work. Although there is some information about Elsric in here, most this information is very basic. However I hope you see this as a resource to share with your friends and family who have questions or are just starting out in the Mistborn series. I hope you enjoy: Here is the transcript for this episode. I apologies for the capitalization errors: It has been a long time since I have written one of these letters. I feel that I have slowed in my… old age and found less time to report my findings. As I stated last time we spoke, I have found myself drawn to continue my studies as an Archanist with an emphasis on Shards and Intents. This is the Abstract of my first essay submission to the Universities here. I wish to send you this summary until I can deliver a physical copy for your safekeeping. Title Page: Allomancy of the Final Empire As part of my application to the Universities and Establishments of Silverlight, I, Elsric Demorous humbly submit this analytical essay. This essay is the first in a series that will outline the interaction of the Investitures found on Scadrial through the ages, as well as conceptualization of the powers, intents, and consequences of the abilities native to Scarial. The documentation of the Scadrian system has been sporadic in nearly all cases. As far as I know, the publications of Khrissala are the only comprehensive examination of the early Scadrian system that exists in the library. The following essays will define the various investitures as well as document theorized physical, cognitive, and spiritual effects of native Scadrian powers. This first essay will primarily be a historical examination of Alloymancy, the backbone of the Final Empire and the World of Ash. The political, economic, and military bearing of allomancy will be brought to light. I will also explore the physical limitations and capabilities of the 8 basic metals and 2 high metals as they were known at the time. My original transcripts will also contain diagrams and physical calculations as I can best determine. It is said that the Mists of Sacadrial gave birth to the first of the Mistborn, hence the name. It is oddly fitting, even if the majority of these claims are apocryphal at best. The history of Allomancy in the Final Empire is brutal and succinct. The Lord Ruler, the Immortal God of the world of Ash stepped out of the mountains and granted unto his chosen servants the power of Allomancy. These founders then passed their gifts to their children and their children’s children through the ages. These family lines would form the backbone of the Empire and the nobility. Because of the heavy legal emphasis on breeding, the lines of succession remained relatively stable, although time eventually saw a steady blending between the nobility and the enslaved Skaa peasant populations. This duel cast system pervaded the Empire completely with the only effective middle class being an anomaly made up of lawless con men and thieves. This social structure and the iron fist of the Lord Ruler ensured that this political structure remained stable and mostly unchanged for a millennium. Allomancers came in two forms. The Mistings were the majority of Investiture users in the Final Empire, each person having access to just one allomantic ability. These individuals were highly desired and were greedily sought by the noble houses. Mistborn were the far rarer manifestation. With the ability to use any of the allomantic metals these individuals were nearly priceless for their utility as spies and assassins. Mistborn were far from invincible, but one Mistborn was often more effective than a small army. During the final empire there were 10 metals that were used by those gifted as allomancers. The basic 8 were grouped into two separate categories, physical and mental allomancy. In turn each classification had two allomantic pairs, a pure element and a companion alloy. The pairings often reflected each other in effect or cause. A continuation of classifications includes external and internal metals, external having an effect beyond the allomancer, while internal cause the allomancer to be altered in some way. This distinction is much clearer than the pushing and pulling classifications. I feel the terms of push and pull became part of the diction of the people of scadrial based on the effects of iron pulls and steel pushes which perform dramatic visual effects of pushing and pulling on physical metals. However, I feel this distinction begins to break down when applied to the other metals but that may be a personal idiosyncrasy. As far as the specific details of the metals and how they fall into these sub catagories will be continued in future essays. For now I wish to outline the elements and alloys that make up the core 10. Of the eight basic metals we will look at the distinction between physical metals and mental metals. The four physical metals are Iron, Steel, Tin, and Pewter. Iron and Steel exert a physical force on sources of metal that are outside of a physical body and that are within range of the allomancers reach. The distance where a metal can be affected is determined by physical size of the manipulated object as well as the distance between the allomancer and the object being pushed or pulled. Steel pushes outward while Iron pulls inward. Large metal objects are more accessible from farther away. The allomancer can see his or her connection to the metals around them via blue lines which connect them from their center of gravity to the metals themselves. Pewter and Tin are internal metals that change the physical body of the alomancer. Pewter grants greater physical strength and endurance. This additional strength does not come for an increase in muscle mass or bone density. Instead it seems to be strength lent by the actual burning process. Upon closer study I became very excited by the implications of this as you will see in my following essays. Tin is the other physical enhancement metal which increases the senses of the allomancer. Allomancers who burn tin receive a burst of sensory information all at once. Everything is noticed in a heightened state. Tin burners or Tin-eyes are susceptible to sudden changes in the environment such as bright lights and loud noises. These changes cause a sensory overload that can stun the allomancer in question. On the other hand, this over-stimulation can be used to clear one’s mind when it becomes clouded or disoriented. I believe that this is an enhancement of the mind. Tin enhances the senses that already exist, and there is no change in the outer organs of the allomancer. Therefore, it seems that it’s the minds ability to comprehend what it senses rather than a change in sensory data. Iron and Steel are the outward physical metals. These metals determine a physical distance relationship between sources of metal and the alomancer. While this has been a simplified look at the physical metals I wish to impress the reader with an understanding that these metals are not simple in the slightest. The changes that these physical metals make are curious and perhaps are unique as a form of investiture. But for the purposes of this opening essay I will move on. My theores and descriptions of these metals will be explained in much greater detail in the following essays which are dedicated to them. This also goes for the mental alomantic powers. The first pairing, Copper and Bronze are understandably complementary. Bronze allows the user to detect when an individual in range is using alomancy. This was often used by members of the policing and religious organizations of the Final Empire to find Skaa mistings who were performing illegal activities with their powers. They were also used in the inner dealings of the Great Noble houses to learn about the abilities and actions of their rivals. Copper is the alternative, which when burned creates a cloud of alomantic interference. The Copper misting or smoker created a field that blocked Bronze alomancers or Seekers from being able to detect alomantic pulses. Smokers were essential in the underworld in order for these skaa mistings to work without as great a fear of discovery. Smokers were also immune to emotional manipulation while burning their metal. The final pairing in the core 8 metals are Zinc and Brass. These are fascination in that they sway the existing emotions of people outside of the allomancer. The allomancer could target a single individual or a small group or congregation. These metals do not allow mind control or even emotional control.* Instead they act as a catalyst or a dilution of emotion, depending on the metal. Zinc allomancers are called rioters because they inflame emotion. Much like how music in a performance can heighten the emotional experience of the audience, rioters provide shortcuts for emotion, causing them to swell powerfully and encouraging emotional responses. Predictable Brass does the opposite. Brass Allomancers or Soothers smother emotions gently, calming and stabilizing the emotions of others. If overdone these soothers tend to make people dull of feeling and potentially lethargic. These two are not as simple as their counterparts. Emotions are complex in sentient beings and thus these abilities are much less effective unless the allomancer can grasp the emotions a person is feeling. Then they can encourage or suppress as they feel is best. Next we will look at the temporal effects of Gold and Atium. Gold is perhaps the most unusual of the metals. When burned, the allomancer has a strange perception switch where they seem to split into two. It is still unclear as to the nature of this splitting, however it is safe to assume that the duplicate is a shadow of who the allomancer could have become had different choices been made. However, this is strangely subjective, for there are limitless possibilities in a person’s past. Yet Gold only shows one alternative. I explore these implications later but I am still very much at a loss as to what this metal really does. My conclusions are more like concepts and will need further investigation. And finally Atium, the literal backbone of Imperial society and economy. Atium was by far the most valuable metal in the final empire. When burned the metal allows the allomancer to see a little into the future. Not only is this an extension of the senses into the future, but an expansion of the mind so that the allomancer can process the information almost by instinct. The metal was incredibly rare and burned very quickly. As long as the allomancer burned this metal they were invincible for all intents and purposes. There are only two confirmed dangers to an allomancer who is burning Atium. Either they need to be maneuvered into a position where there is no possible escape, or they must be confronted with an opponent who could also burn atium. While the powers of Atium are incredible, the effect on the Imperial markets and noble houses might have been even more significant. Despite the alluring power of this metal, it is these additional consequences that created the greatest changes and effects in the Final Empire. This archaic look into the past reminds me of just how far we have come in our understanding of the Cosmere. Like many cultures I’ve stumbled upon, the people of scadrial wield these powers without understanding what they are doing with these Investitures. Thus it is important that we study these and understand where this information started. Although this essay is simplistic in its diction, remember that this is a foundation for the more advanced information to be found in the essays that follow. However I feel that context is imperative for the reader, so I highly encourage that you do not seek out my other publications on the people of Scadrial until you have made yourself familiar with the legend of the Hero of Ages. I will follow up shortly with a continuation of these essays. Until the next time, Elsric
  5. If you have ever been confused about what Shardpools are, this is the Letter for you! This may be once of the fundamental aspects of the Cosmere, and something all of us need to be familiar with. If you would like the physical transcript, here it is: I wish life never prompted me to violence. If a situation has degraded into an all-out brawl, then I believe that all attending parties have failed. Forget achieving a positive result, at that point survival is about the only victory possible. Diplomacy, economics, and policy crumble in the face of open warfare. Sure people will cling to these things, convinced they are protecting their way of life. Yet this is a deception, a lie that one can profit off of fighting. The only victory in war goes to those who win, and those who get on the good side of the winner. I detest the boot licking that follows a powerful military leader. Besides death is a hefty price no matter what is gained. There are far better ways to fight an enemy or shape one’s fortunes. And often the poor or unnoticed are the ones who suffer the most from the wars of nations. I have learned that the keys to victory fit into three distinct locks. First, knowledge is power. Secrets and whispers can be bought from the right ears. In a world of subtly and misdirection, knowing your opponents mind is the single greatest weapon in an arsenal. I always find my sources, and am not afraid of doing my own listening. Next a weapon should never be apparent, but hidden in plain sight. I was trained in the art of the knife, a messy if effective tool. I prefer the quarterstaff or cane. Many will overlook a stick of hardened wood over a sword or knife, yet in my hands I find the hardwood to be more than adequate in a pinch. I believe people should be like that, effective, efficient, and unobtrusive. Subtly is an art, and a deadly one at that. Finally, always have a bolt hole. All plans can fail no matter how well crafted. From Slum Lords to Emperors, the ones who last are the ones who always have a backup plan to their backup plan. A bolt hole or a getaway carriage. This is the greatest advantage to being a… traveler, and might be the reason why we are so hard to kill. We all know there is a way out that practically no one can follow us through. Shard Pools. Obviously you are aware of what I speak about, but I feel a need to clarify my own thoughts. I still know so little beyond speculation. For instance, I know I can use these Shard Pools safely with the proper care, but could never explain how I do this, nor would I dare take another with me. The Cognitive Realm is a very dangerous place, and I don’t know how many can survive the process of traveling there. Shard Pools, as I like to call them, are more commonly known as Perpendicularities. This is the realmatic term most often used to describe the strange phenomena that occurs in these pools. It is apparent that Shard Pools are not lakes of water, but of raw Shardic Investiture in a liquid form. These pools are present on worlds where a shard resides and are a collection point for their power. Why these Pools appear is beyond recorded history, and why they reside where they are physically being yet another enigma. Perpendicularities contain so much raw power that they tear a hole in the universal fabric that usually separates the three realms. The Cognitive and physical realms bleed into one another, and I believe the Spiritual realms is also broken into. I have not ever stepped into that relm, so I can’t be sure. But I am in no hurry. Without knowing what makes up the Spiritual Realm in great detail, I dare not risk it. Perhaps someday, but for now I have a lot more to learn before I attempt such a journey. Shard pools are often caught up in the lore of a people or nation. Surprisingly most cultures that I have discovered don’t seem preoccupied with these strange wellsprings. I wonder if anyone ever notices travelers like me climbing in and out of them from time to time. I try my best to avoid all contact when I emerge. Naturally my lack of language will only hinder me. On that note, I will forever be grateful for my father’s tutelage and my quick wits. I know how to learn and can do so quickly. While I feel I’ll never keep up with a fraction of the languages that I’ve encountered, I make it work where I can. That might be the most difficult aspect of my travels, perhaps only surpassed by the strange foods I have to try. Can you believe that there are people who eat the horns and shells of animals? I was flabbergasted when I first tried the food of the Unkalaki. These pools seem, for the most part, to be locked into a location physically. We know that on Scadreal the Lord Ruler shaped the world, but upon reflection it seems that civilization was moved to the pools, rather than the pools themselves moving. However, this is only conjecture, and I highly doubt we could know for sure ourselves. The only other fact I know for sure is that Shard Pools are not on every world. In the Cognitive Realm you can see that there are other worlds out there. I’ve glanced through the fog of thoughts into their worlds, and yet there was no way to pass into their worlds physically. These Shard Pools, as they are named, seem to be a consequence of a Shard’s presence on a particular planet. It makes me wonder how these other worlds became populated by humans. Is there so form of travel that has been lost to time? Are there ways to reach out and escape our worlds in the physical realm? More importantly I think is the question, if all these worlds have people who are so similar, did they all come from some original home? Why did they have to leave? Ah but I tread into the obscure, more of my personal musing rather than theories based on observation. I just note how odd it is that while each planet has diverse cultures and histories, yet we are still so similar. Perhaps there is something to these thoughts. For now, I will continue to establish myself here. The current state of events on this continent is appalling. Normally integrating myself is a lengthy process, but the current chaos in the nation of Jah Keved has made assimilation almost unnecessary. War is ripping this people apart and there are so many forgotten refugees. It’s the most I can do to organize some few of these people into something productive. Their rulers are off fighting for succession, and those whom I find simply need a little guidance. I will not draw attention to myself, but I cannot leave them to be trampled and forgotten. Despite all of that, there is a breathtaking beauty to this world. I wish I could put into words the sights and smells of Roshar. The crisp air and large open skies are the superlative aspect of this world. Everything here is rock, the massive High Storms blasting away anything that is not protected. These violent storms are dangerous, and somehow majestic. They fling boulders and scatter life into hiding among the rocks. But when the storm passes there is a refreshing scenes of clean renewal. I find myself stopping often to admire the alien beauty. And don’t even get me started on the moons. The three crystalline orbs that arch through the sky at night are impossible to forget. I cannot help but watch them as they glide across a starry canvas. This journey, these years spent away from home, have been filled with wonder and beauty beyond anything I could have imagined. Perhaps the paths through the Shard Pools have been filled with sorrow and failure, but I cannot regret the things I’ve seen. I may never wish to leave Roshar save for the knowledge that there are more wonders to explore, and new peoples to learn about. For now, there is a work to do upon these stones.