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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. Spoiler Alert for Mistborn and Stormlight We are back after a very very long hiatus! This week we will look at an excerpt from Elsric's Allomantic Thesis Papers where he discusses the powers of Allomancy in depth. Today we look at the external emotional allomancy fueled by Zinc and Brass. These metals have yet to be explored to their fullest potential. Perhaps Brandon has some secrets he is keeping to himself for the moment. Let's speculate the majesty and wonder of emotional manipulation. A shout out to the wonderful artists who keep letting me share their work, you guys are the best! Transcript + Bonus Preface Preface: This excerpt is not a part of Elsric’s original publication. Instead, this was a missive that he sent to the other university professors who questioned his status in Silverlight. I’m sure he meant this to be reassuring but as usual, he couldn’t help running his mouth. It’s a trait we share. (You should listen to our dinner conversations) I have decided to submit this to the compendium rather than the officially published essay on Brass and Zinc which are about the length of a novel all on their own. You should see him running about the campus, it's a wonder he finds time to sleep considering how excited he is. I am afraid that I have cheated my way onto the greater Cosmere. Many members of the World hoppers and the citizens of Silverlight must work long and hard to find themselves able to travel and survive in the spaces between worlds. Finding your way into the Cognitive realms is relatively easy, but surviving in this realm? Now that takes a little bit of luck and a lot of tenacity. However, I have found it easy to adapt and even to thrive in this harsh environment. If I had traveled alone I doubt I would have lasted a month. Cooperation and mutual gain are the means to civilization and long-term survival on the frontier. Dear Kassar is quick to point out that my talents in regards to persuasion and manipulation are more or less cheating considering how easily I make people dance to my whims. Such are the effects of properly wielded emotional alomancy. I remember when I first explained to Kassar the art of Brass and Zinc burning. On Scadrial there are many accounts of the inner workings of emotional alomancy, so I find it likely that you dear reader are already intimately familiar with these arts as a concept. The Allomancer burns their metal and creates a field of influence that can be easily directed at a single person or in a general area. If the Allomancer burns Brass they sooth and smother the emotions they desire. This acts like a suppressive blanket, dousing a runaway fire and bringing the atmosphere into a controlled and contained state. Soothers can act as a means of mob control, but one who is skilled at the art learns to sooth the wild emotions so that more desirable emotions can grow and thus the soother sets the stage for his needs. If Brass is a blanket that controls the spread of wild emotions, then Zinc is the bellows that turns the fire of emotion into a forge. By inflaming the desired emotions, the Rioter takes the raw iron of his will and lets the emotional forge shape his blade. By stoking the hearts of men, they can be uplifted, giving them strength in times of desperation or courage against overwhelming odds. Men become agitated, desiring to move and to act as their passions are fueled into a frenzy. Any Rioter can start a commotion, but a gifted allomancer can shape men into weapons of the finest quality. These arts are subtle and beautiful. They craft an environment in which the desired emotions are carefully cultivated and harvested. But this is just the beginning. I believe that the emotional arts are some of the most powerful investitures in the greater Cosmere. The first and most important lesson you must learn about allomantic emotional manipulations is that it is not mind control. I assume that you already know this, but it needed to be said. Yet after all these years of mastering the emotional manipulations powers of Zinc and Brass, I find the concept of mind control is far inferior to what we can do. We don’t shape thoughts, we condition thoughts. To the common man, these might seem nearly interchangeable. Imagine you are asked to perform a surgery on a wounded soldier. If Emotional manipulation can be likened to a surgeon’s scalpel, then mind control would equate to attempting to perform the same surgery with a longsword. A surgeon only cuts where necessary and he sees his patient as a person who needs a little realigning for them to return to the path they must walk. Those who experience my alomancy retain their free will. Obviously, I could not persuade a man to murder another or harm themselves. Besides the fact that such commands would be so obviously unnatural, people don’t think with emotions. Emotions provide the framework that can facilitate actions but the thoughts must originate in the mind of the person being soothed or rioted. A common example in my experience is when I meet with a fellow merchant for a business negotiation. Such meetings are stymie by mistrust and fear of being taken advantage of. By soothing their fear and rioting their excitement I simultaneously brush aside the validity of paranoid thoughts and encourage the desire to make a profitable deal. These thoughts didn’t come from me they were already in their minds. I assessed the situation and manipulated the emotions that were tied to the thoughts I needed to affect. It’s all about predicting the thoughts and emotions of others. Mind control would be making use of men as if they were tools. This point is moot for nearly all people are free in thought and could never be persuaded to go against their inner nature no matter how skilled the rioter or soother. But there is one exception in which men and beasts may be controlled by emotional alomancy. If there is a form of Mind control it would be achieved through Hemalergic Intrusion. Those who are pierced by more than three hemalergic spikes are subject to the manipulations and control of Harmony. This intrusion ability is an inheritance from the shard of Ruin. The more spikes that puncture the spirit web, the easier it is to override an individual’s free will. In fact, it is possible that allomancers who can push hard enough could control such people. In a way, soothers and rioters can control minds, but only the minds of the damaged and spiked. Yet this might only be the start. Hemalergic Spikes are not the only way to damage and alter an individual’s spirit web, they are just the most direct method that I know of. It has been documented that the mentally unstable are also susceptible to exterior manipulation. Perhaps an allomancer that could burn brass hot enough could assume control of those with weakened spirit webs. Once again this is a branch of study that has limited application and troubling implications. Most forms of investiture are only realized in individuals who develop damaged spirit webs such as the broken natures of the Knights Radiant, and the snapping of ancient scadrians. The abilities of Rioters and Soothers have been well documented and accounted for, but I wish to speak of the heightened potential of the Mistborn. In the world of ash, Mistborn were called upon to act as assassin and spies. They mobility and many layer power sets make them perfect instruments of death, especially when they possessed Atium. The flaw of this system was how overlooked the emotional metals became in the training of Mistborn. Why both to manipulate the emotions of men you were going to assassinate? I can see the reasoning but I also know through experience that Mistborn were often short-changed by this specialized training. The power to sooth unwanted emotions and riot others at the same time can turn the hearts of men into putty to shaped. Often this is achieved by teams of Soothers and Rioters working in tandem. But such teams are hard to coordinate and are sluggish to adapt to change. But one individual, one Mistborn can simply enter a room and sway an audience. It is almost enchanting, watching the eyes of others flit to you in awe. To watch hostel men, slip softly into a jovial conversation. To watch as every whim and will work toward my desires and to temper anger before it can set in the mind. I am a gardener, trimming weeds in the garden of the Cosmere. I will not lie, I really am cheating at this. The 17th Shard constantly reminds me of how much I am meddling with people just by walking by them. I reach out to their minds instinctually, without thought. Yet I cannot feel guilty when I know that even in passing I bring something special into their lives. It is easy to be captivated by the flashy abilities of Coin Shots and Learchers, or the practical abilities of Pewter and Tin. But my heart and my talent will always be held by Zinc and Brass. They have kept me alive and provided for all my needed comforts. Even if I find individuals who protect their emotions with Aluminum lined hats, the instinct to understand the emotions and pressure points of those whom I meet continues to light the path before my feet. So, chastise me as you will, call my success a hoax and rebuke me if you so desire. If we ever meet I am sure you will come around to my way of thinking. In fact, I daresay I can guarantee it.
  3. Hello everyone! It has been far too long. Having just moved across several states, this has been the first Letter that I have been able to make since we settled back into our house. But now we should be back into the swing of things. Keep an eye out because I also have some new ideas for Brandon Sanderson content to come! I'm not going to say that there are any particular reasons why the topic of Heightenings might be good to review, but I feel it is good to take a moment and review this aspect of BioChromatic Breath. This is my first look at the Investiture of Nalthis, yet the impact that Breath has on the general Cosmere. Now, this is an introduction to the Heightenings, and won't dive into much theory. I do plan to follow up with a letter about Awakening which will have more conceptual notes. Once again, I hope to remind you all that this series is meant to be targeted for new readers wanting to learn more about the Cosmere rather than deep theories. There are other ways that I plan to share my thoughts and theories. But anyway, I hope you enjoy this latest episode and the beautiful art that others have shared with us: Here is the transcript if you want to see the written form: It is odd to walk through a home that is no longer yours. I have lost several homes up till now. Some were taken from me by ill luck, some by force, and some I fled from in terror. Thankfully today I am walking through the home I have sold off, along with all my holdings and trade ships. It still amazes me how much wealth one can build when he is for all intents and purposes, immortal. Nalthis is the home I never deserved. I washed up upon these shores as a vagabond, cast out from my ruination. I was lower than the beggars, and I knew it. But it was my nature to reach for stability and progress. I worked hard and employed all my varied skills to gain the upper hand on my fellows. It wasn’t long until I had become a supervisor for a small dye mill. It was there that I first tasted of Living Breath. On Nalthis, the stewardship of Endowment, the manifest investiture is known as Biochromatic Breath. When I first was brought to your employ, I was so caught up in the whirlwinds surrounding Roshar that I failed to dictate to you this most important of investment and Shardic intent. I do so know, knowing that my current existence would not have been possible without Breath. All people born on Nalthis is given a single Biochromatic Breath upon their birth. All living things in the Cosmere hold a small amount of investiture inside them, their life force or essence. On Nailthis they are gifted with something more. Alone this Breath is almost unnoticeable. If you were from another world and you walked the streets of T'Telir, the people would not appear to be different. But Breath is like people, one alone can only do so much, but with many together some amazing things can happen. By speaking the right words with the proper intent, the Breath can be endowed unto another. Although the value of a single Breath changes slightly over time, the rule of thumb is that the sale of a single Breath usually equates the value of a year’s salary for a lowly worker. This provides a free infusion of wealth that the poor can rely on during troubled times. The rich and mighty will often spend great fortunes to collect this Breath because of the metaphysical benefits that come along with A collection of Breath. These abilities are described in tiers of power called Heightenings. If one attains about Fifty Breaths you will enter the First Heightening. Besides extending your life about ten years, this gives the user the ability Aura Recognition. In other words, Firsts can discern the general amounts of Breath others carry and some insight into the health of that Breath. Most residents on Nalthis who desire Breath stop at the First Heightening. At around 200 breaths, Breath holders gain the ability to manifest Perfect Pitch spontaneously. This is the Second Heightening. The Third Heightening grants Perfect Color Recognition manifests with about 600 Breaths. This is a curious sensation that feels almost like perfect pitch for your eyes. Some may feel that this ability grants the Breath Holder the ability to see more colors than others, but this is not true. Instead, this allows for the stark distinction of color to be observed. I must admit, Color recognition and the understanding of hue and texture is intoxicating. At an approximate requirement of 1,000 Breaths, the Fourth Heightening is the beginning of the rare Heightenings achieved by everyday people. When one attains the Fourth Heightening, the wielder gains Perfect Life Sense. As one acquires more Breath they instinctually become more aware of the investiture held by the people. This life sense not only lets you feel the people around you but heightens your awareness of others who are observing you even if they are hidden or mixed in with the crowd. This has proved invaluable. With this ability, I find myself in control of most situations before they begin. The exception to this ability comes from Drabs. A Drab is someone who has given up all their Breath, and they are functionally undetectable via Life Sense. As I’ve grown more accustomed to this power, I find the undetectable nature of Drab to be disconcerting. It is here, at the Fith Heightening that one such as I have found the Cosmere shaking ability of Longevity. When you hold about 2,000 Breaths the body becomes functionally perfect. The body becomes immune to most toxins, (including alcohol) most physical ailments (such as disease, headaches, and organ failure) In fact after I attained the Fith Heightening, I no longer age and have become functionally immortal. Now, this is incredible, but by no means does this mean I’m free of danger. While natural causes of death are now eluded I can still fall to the sword like any other man or woman. With this lifestyle comes risks and I must be on my guard considering how often my information brokering I participate in. Thankfully I have been blessed with other talents that grant me far more advantages than mothers of the Fifth Heightening. I find I must pause here and relate to you briefly what inspired me to attain such lofty heights of Breath. I am ashamed to say that my hoarding of BioChromatic Breath was not fueled by a desire to live and experience the Breath and Depth of the Cosmere. I feel so now, but when I began my business on Nalthis it was out of a sense of desperation and addiction. My world had been shattered and it had left me adrift and broken. When I discovered this place I feverishly worked, attempting to drown my past in the frantic world of business and politics. Many government officials are expected to reach the First Heightening in order to access the nation’s civil functions regularly. I remember taking on those first Breaths, and the euphoria that came with it. Each Breath filled me up, making me feel alive in ways I had never felt before. I found myself driven to capture more Breath. Feverously I would claim more and more wealth, using my powers to gain information I should never have know and to take things I had no right to claim. I was worse than a back ally thief but performed my heists on the grand scale. And every bit of profit I made I poured feverously into getting more Breaths. For almost twenty years I gathered my riches in invested souls while building a fanatical empire. And before I knew, I was turning 40 and didn’t look a day over 25. Slowly my work had filled the gaps in my life and given me purpose. I settled down and began to focus on the dye mills and weapons forges that had built my fortune. And there I remained until your messenger arrived, and pulled me from my holdings. But I digress, just because this is where I stopped collecting Breath doesn’t mean There are not more Heightenings to learn about. At the amassed Fortune of 3,500 Breaths, the wielder gains Instinctive Awakening. Breath is not just about hoarding and collecting personal enhancements, but about giving a form of life to normally inanimate objects. By infusing Breath into something, usually something that had once been alive like cloth or corpses, you can give them a measure of automation. This Infusion of Investiture along with a clear command phrase spoken in your native language the object can be given temporary life shaped by the desires of the holder. This investing art is called Awakening, and it is a complex and virtually boundless. The difficulty faced by a wielder of Breath boils down to two things, amount of Breath available and the Commands that you know. The more complex the order of the larger the object in question, the more Breath it will take to animate the material. When an Awakener achieves the Sixth Heightening, they begin to have a natural mastery of Awakening, allowing them to instinctively understand and wield basic Awakening commands without training or practice. This also opens up the pathway for greater command research as this instinct provides a light along the path of discovery. As I write to you today, I find myself temporarily experiencing the Seventh Heightening. Although this is very temporary, I have allowed myself this temporary treat of seeing just how much color there is to observe at this level. I can confirm that the strange ability granted from holding over 5000 Breaths is Awakening Sense. At this level, the nature of Endowment’s Investiture becomes incredibly fine-tuned. Not only am I aware of the people around me, But I can feel the life of the objects that have been awakened. At this level, it is like seeing a ripple of heat encasing all things that hold Breath. Very few have ever held this level of power, and so even with the wealth, I have gathered over hundreds of years, the secrets of the last three known heightenings are based on historical accounts and basic realmic theory. At the Eight Heightening, which reportedly requires at least 10,000 Breaths, comes the ability to Break Commands. While I do not think it is possible to steal Breath from other Awakeners or the objects they infuse, It is possible to tear down their intent and potentially change the commands they are given. While this is possible without the eight heightening, it is so difficult it is rarely attempted. But at the 8th Heightening Awakeners can achieve this by instinct, although I hear it is still an exhausting process. Once we step beyond the Sixth Heightening we are stepping into a level of Awakening and Biochromatic Breath that is hardly observed. The few in history to have attained such levels rarely showed others what they could do, so some of this is guesswork. For instance, at the Ninth Heightening which is achievable at a staggering 20,000 breaths, comes the ability to perform Greater Awakening. Tales of this type of awakening mostly come from the myths and legends of the past. Tales of Stone warriors destroying armies, and of living metal that cuts through armor as if it didn’t exist. Regardless, the awakening of matter that never was alive takes an incredible amount of Breath to Awaken and is impossible to attempt until the Awakener archives this 9th Heightening. The Tenth Heightening is the Highest ranking of Biochromatic Breath that we have. There may be other heightening levels beyond, but if that is the case no one has ever discovered it. Once the threshold of 50,000 Breaths has been attained, all scientific and historical information becomes as useless as blind guesswork. At this point the color surrounding the Awakener cannot be contained and begins to bend the light via Light Distortion. Colors seem to bend inward, almost glowing of their own accord. And anything that appears white will give off a fractured rainbow of light similar to the effects of a prism. When someone uses Breath to Awaken, color is drained from nearby objects, acting as fuel to the investment. At the Tenth Heightening, this draining ability is enhanced to a Perfect Invocation which draws all the color out of an object, turning it white instead of the usual grey. Most impressively this Heightening comes with the ability to Awaken without having to give a verbal command. This Mental Command almost defies the rules of Awakening although it is apparently difficult to learn and master. There could be even more powers and instinctual abilities that come with the Tenth Heightening, but I am not aware of them. While this is a decent summary of the Heightenings, bear in mind, that the art of Awakening is difficult to define. For instance, it is entirely possible to reach a heightening at more or less than the listed amount. The strength of each breath is different from person to person and the small differences of each breath can influence exactly how much is needed to attain a different heightening. I feel there is still much-untapped potential to be discovered in this art. For now, I am content to hold the Seventh Heightening for a few more hours. This additional Breath has cost me everything I own. I will no longer hold a position here on Nalthis, although that may change in the future. It was obvious to me that once we made our way back here, that there was something far more precious to me than my holdings. I can’t wait to finally explain all of this to Kassar. After all, I did this for her sake. After she has been trained in the arts of Awakening, we will be moving forward. I wish this was only a mission of scholarship. Yet the actions of Odium have sealed fear into my very being. I cannot be content unless I can see what is going on. Until the next Letter Elsric
  4. Hello, fellow Cosmernaught! So this is the latest part in the "Letters from the Cosmere" where Elsric talks about the critical role Intent has in the realms of the Cosmere. I also take a moment to share some details about the upcoming Cosmere Charity Drive for Open Books, including some of the fantastic giveaways and activities that will be going on. I hope you take a moment to check out the second half of the video so you can find out all the amazing stuff that's happening! Seriously, guys, we have some Incredible things planned for this! I hope you enjoy the episode, and let me know if you have any questions. Intent is the driving force of Investiture. The Cosmere follows natural laws, and as we understand these laws we can better see the universal consistencies in the system. Intent is twofold. The intent of the wielder both shapes and limits the powers of Investiture. In Magic systems like Awakening or Aon Dor, the understanding of the practitioner often is the greatest limiting factor in the shaping of investiture. And then there is the macro Intent that shapes a Shard's Investiture. Each shard has a characteristic drive that shapes the Intent of the investiture itself. This intent eventually suppresses the Intent of the Shard holder. With this understanding, we can better understand the Cosmere and can begin to see where these events will eventually lead. Transcript: My first step into the Cognitive Realm changed everything. The domain of thought is strange and dangerous for the physical body to traverse. I imagine that there are many who inadvertently found themselves stumbling into the living shadows of Shadesmar, without any idea what they had done or how to survive in such a place. Sometimes the Cosmere seems full of worldhoppers like us, but we really are an elite few who have braved these paths and lived to talk about it. My father had taught me from a young age that the world was never as mysterious as many made it out to be. There were universal laws of nature that could be studied and understood. Once understood they could be predicted. This was the foundation of physical science, and was a passion of my fathers. He taught his children to look for the underlying truths that governed all things. And he was right, despite all that there is out in the Cosmere, so much more than my father ever could have imagined, his lessons have been proven time and time again. I am disappointed when I hear the various members of the Shard worlds refer to their Investitures as Magic. It is an understandable misconjecture. The abilities of those whom are blessed or talented enough to hold and wield investiture can do some great and terrible things. To the lay man, these might seem mystical. But just like the forces of gravitation or momentum, there are predictable rules and laws that govern these forces. Investiture is one of the four Universal Forces, the others being Particle forces, Electromagnetic Forces, and Gravitational forces. These forces all operate in the physical realm. Investiture is unique, for it is not restricted primarily to the Physical realm, but also phases into and interacts with the Cognitive and Spiritual reams. These other Elemental forces may operate to a dree in the other realms, but Investiture seems to interact unilaterally in all three realms. In fact, many realmic theorists like myself agree that Investiture is Primal Spiritual Energy. It manifests in all three realms, but it does not vanish as it is exercised, but rather it cycles back to the spiritual realm until it is recycled back into the other realms. When someone performs apparently mystical abilities like surgbindings, alomancy, awakening, Aon Dor, or any of the unique abilities seen on Shard worlds, you are seeing someone channeling Investiture into the physical realm. This produces metaphysical abilities. While flashy, these abilities are simply an effect following a cause, much like how a horse moves a cart by pulling on it. The powers vary from world to world and person to person, but the source of that power is the same. When someone holds, or is channeling this power, they are considered invested beings. (As a side note, investiture use is not limited to sentient beings. Some animals and cognitive entities can manipulate investiture as well.) But what is it about Investiture that even allows us to take hold, this fundamental force of nature and use it. How do all these metaphysical abilities manifest, and why do living beings seem to be the harbingers of this energy. Well I believe I have uncovered the core nature of Investiture, although Khriss would undoubtedly say I am oversimplifying this topic. The key to understanding the nature of Investiture is understanding Intent. Intent is the sentient will behind Investiture. It is the driving force, the rudder the steers the preverbal ship. We have many examples of the need for an intelligence to guide and channel this power. In fact, the old stories about the Elantrians tell that the power of the Dor was choked, almost eager to find release. This attitude is also apparent in the Rosharian Stormlight, Investiture that burst forth filling those who wield it with a need to act, to use the power, to let it be free. Investiture echoes intelligence and life, clinging to it like dew collecting on grass in the dawn. Each system of investiture manifests differently from world to world. This is an echo of the Shard of which they are attuned. The Investiture then can be drawn out within the restrictions of the system in which it has been imbued to. These systems have their own logic and governing laws that make them appear so alien to one another. Yet the raw power is ultimately the same, and manifests in similar ways as either a metallic solid, liquid, or gas. Usually the system dictates the amount of power that can be drawn, and the limits that power will have. For example, restrictive systems like Allomancy or Surgbinding can manifest in specific and definable amounts. These restrictions often make the abilities more accessible but at the cost of diversity. A Steel push is limited to pushing and only to a measurable limit. Rosharan Surgbinders have access to two of the ten surges, and these surges each have their own limits and applications. Other Investiture systems are more open ended, but are ambiguous in their nature. Using Soul Stamps or Awakening is likely never to be truly understood, for their potential abilities and effects may be to vast to comprehend. This means that practitioners can adapt their methods to match their needs as long as they have the time and training to produce the desired result. The constant I wish to point out here is the need for interpretation and action on the part of the practitioner. No investiture could work without a willful action or thought from the person holding the power, even if that direction is subconscious. This patter holds true even at the levels of Shards, although the power of Intent manifests in much more dramatic ways at the macro level. At times, individuals have encountered and taken in large amounts of pure investiture. This power coalesces inside the being of an individual and seeks to be channeled. If enough raw power is there, the mortal body is not a good enough vessel to maintain that power. The words of Founding speak of this when Vin entered the Well of Ascension. Her mind and body were expanded, her cognitive and spiritual selves growing in order for her being to channel the massive amount of power that sought Intent and intelligent guidance. At this level the power manifests a primal will of its own. This power can still we wielded freely, but it cannot deny its overall nature. These limits may seem minor but it is fascinating to note. For instance, an allomancer wields the power of preservation, but that mistborn can use that power to destroy. This is inconsistent with the source of the power, but in small amounts, Investiture’s desire to be shaped by Intent is greater than the pull of its Shard. As the amount of Investiture grows, the natural intent of the power begins to assert itself, making it harder for the wielder to twist the power away from its original purpose. As for the Shards themselves… this power starts to literally take on a mind of its own. In fact, we have observed that Shards that are splintered or abandoned will eventually develop a rudimentary intelligence of its own. This drive for purpose and direction is as much a part of this power as is its energy. When the 16 first took up the powers of Adonalsium, they commanded the power as they saw fit. However, over the ages, the Intent inherent to each shard began to smother the holders of the power. In the end these beings almost stopped being individuals. They became puppets to the nature of their Shards, still intelligent and with an identity, but their personal Intent was twisted until it perfectly mimicked the Intent that the investiture had been attuned to from the beginning. While investiture seeks to be shaped by intelligence and intent, it has by nature an intent of its own. I believe these drives are echoes of the entity from which they were ripped. It’s very nature upon reflection seems to prove that this power came from a vast intelligence, and because of that it seeks by its own nature to be shaped once again. If we ever truly wish to unravel the greater mysteries of the Cosmere, we much remember the constant that is Intent. No matter how big or heavy an object is, it will fall just as fast as any other object. Likewise, no matter how Investiture is obtained, it will seek to be shaped by a mind. These things are consistent and can be used as a foundation to greater understanding. We have been spending a lot of time at the great crossroads in the Cognitive realm. This city is strange, but I cannot deny that the unique opportunities here are quite alluring. The records and tales gathered here rival that of any library in all the Cosmere. We find ourselves here more and more as we dive deeper into the mysteries. The Shards have been at work in the Cosmere for a long time, and the more I see, the more I am convinced that things will not remain as they are. Perhaps there will be some great war, or the need for Intent will eventually unite the remaining Shards. The way ahead is murky, but we will do our best to help you see things a little more clearly. Until the next time, Elsric Post Script. Kassar would like to ask that the next messenger we see bring her the latest in your local fashion. I promised to take her dancing and she wants to see what modern Scadrians are wearing.
  5. It has become clear that Harmony will become a large player in the Cosmere, and could actually be tied to the eventual fate of the 16 Shards, or what is left of them. It's good to reflect on just what Harmony is and how little we actually know about his motivations, capabilities, or the eventual role that he will play. He is already under attack, and this could only be the beginning. Here is the most recent "Letters from the Cosmere" where Elsric defines what Harmony is and explains his connection to the Shard: Transcript: My Dearest Kassar, By the time you get this, I will be gone. Before we set out for Scadrial I wish to establish two new mine sites. In order to maintain our estate while we are away I plan to reveal the other locations so that the company can continue to grow. I plan to be back within the month when we will depart. Our last conversation has been on my mind as of late. I feel that my inability to speak earlier was a disservice. I am not sure I can share all that I need to tell you. Perhaps after you have read these words I will have mustered the courage necessary to share my inner most turmoil’s. A lot happened to me on Scadrial, and I must admit I at nervous at the realization that we will soon be returning to that place. I fear you will feel lesser of me. I do not want to cast a shadow over us during this trip, but it is time I told you the truth. For years now I have been in the service of a being known as Harmony, a man who took up the power of a God and saved my life. Harmony is a kind of god, much like the beings of Cultivation and Odium. In fact, these three all are fragments of a far older power the came before them. While each piece behaves differently and independently, their power all came from Adonalsium. Harmony is unique, as far as I know, because he is a more recent wielder of Shardic power. More interestingly he is the combination of two formally separated and opposing powers. Ruin and Preservation were a shard pair that founded Scadrial. They worked together to create the life and humanity that lived on the planet. In the end however they were opposed to each other’s Intent which inevitable led to a preverbal deadlock conflict. The planet and the people who lived there were nearly the casualties of this conflict which was only resolved when the Shard bearer of Preservation purposefully ignored her intent and destroyed the mind of Ruin while destroying her own mind. The Hero of Ages, Preservations great gamble, then reached out and took hold of both Ruin and Preservation. I was there that day, watching as the world burned and thousands died. Scadrial was already a brutal and desolate place, and during those final years it was little more than a husk too hostel to live on. Ash choked the ground and the sun baked the planet from above. It was a kind of Desolation, orchestrated by Ruin as he sought to fulfill his driving purpose to break down the Cosmere piece by piece. Even from the Cognitive Realm, the destruction was very real. I had resigned myself to my fate. And then there he was, like a pillar of light that enveloped the planet in an embrace. Harmony shaped the world, returning it to what it had once been. The land was molded and shaped like clay. The three realms seemed to melt together, and suddenly I was standing on a land unrecognizable. He was there with me through it all. Somehow he knew who I was and why I was there. Even though he was creating a new world, he had the time for me. Well, I imagine his existence was not bound by physical location, at least not as we understand it. When I left that world, I assumed that would be the end. Apparently, Harmony kept an eye on me because when he wanted more information, they quickly sought me out. Harmony has servants who he uses to keep tabs on his world and to reach out to others. These are the Kandra, shapeshifters who take the forms of men by using their bones. They are immortal, as far as I know, and can receive direct instruction from Harmony. In fact, the man who stopped by the mansion last year was one such being. That was when I received the call to return to Scadrial. I am not sure why Harmony contacted me to begin with, when he has servants who can spy on the rest of the Cosmere for him, but perhaps it has something to do with the nature of Harmony. It is easy to think that Harmony is simply both Preservation and Ruin, much like how I have a right arm and a left arm that are similar, yet opposites working together. But if my studies into the nature of Shards is correct, then Harmony is actually something else. The Shards are no longer separate powers, but one. They have blended into a new alloy to create something new. This means that Harmony has the abilities and understandings of both Ruin and Preservation, and yet he has his own powers and influences that are independent of the powers from which he is derived. He also is somewhat of a powerhouse, wielding twice as much raw power and energy as the other shards that have been documented. From here we can see the potential orgin of the current conflict. Odium proved to be a vicious and heartless Shard. Granted the mind of the being who took up the shard must be practically obliterated by the Intent of Hatred. If you trace the macro events in the Cosmere, it becomes clear that Odium set his sights on dominating the Cosmere by eliminating those with the power to challenge him. I would be surprised if Harmony is not the manifestation of everything Odium fears. Harmony is most likely the most powerful being in the Cosmere. It is not surprising to hear that things are not all well back on Scadrial. Before the Kandra found us here on Nalthis, I hadn’t heard from them for years already. Considering how often they had been checking in up till that point, I had started wondering if something had happened. Before we were contacted, I had already resigned myself to return to Scadrial. It seems that something has changed and Harmony is under threat by some unknown power. Naturally, the Kandra are worried, and it turns out that I have had the most experience out in the Cosmere with other Shards. They have requested that I make my report and attempt to aid in their investigation. Considering what we have just survived, I feel that we cannot ignore this plea. It is clear to me that the mishandled wielding of godly power can cause untold levels of death an destruction. It is infuriating to see that intelligent beings took up such power for themselves and then turn it against each other and the people of these worlds. Harmony is perhaps the best there is of the Shard holders. His very nature is restraint and balance, and is the only power in the Cosmere I feel I can truly rely upon. Despite my growing mistrust of these Shards, I will not abandon Scadrial to be destroyed yet again. The things I saw over those last years of the old Scadrial… left me scared and broken. If my knowledge can help prevent that from happening again… well… it’s worth the effort. If there is to be a grand future to the Cosmere, Harmony is sure to be a focal point of what will come. Given our potential limitless lifespans, I wonder if we will see the end of the Shard holders. I am not sure what would be best for the Cosmere as a whole, but I am content to work with the servants of the one Shard I feel we can trust. I will do my best to prepare you for our integration with the Skadrian people. Hopefully, we can blend in a little better than I did on Roshar. Until we speak again, Elsric
  6. 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
  7. My friends, it's time for another "Letters from the Cosmere!" Now this one is intended to be a beginners guide to Shardblades and Shardplate. I know I know, nothing super juicy in this one, but this is something you can share with your friend who you are desperately trying to get reading Sanderson for the first time, or for a spouse who is curious about Roshar but you just can't find the words. I hope you like it. Oh, and if you are a fan of Elsric lore, this episode reveals the name of his apprentice on Roshar so keep an ear open for that! Let me know what you thought in the comments and look for a Part 2 of this subject where I will dive into the deep end of the topic! Roshar is one of the most dangerous planets in all the Cosmere. Massive High Storms, Chasemfeinds, and the occasional Desolation make it a pretty inhospitable place to live. The protectors of the world were given great and powerful artifacts in order to provide the needed defense for the people. Shardblades and Shardplate can turn a common man into a juggernaut on the battlefield and a trained soldier into a one-man army. Today Elsric outlines what these mythical artifacts are in their simplest form. Transcript: The Cosmere never ceases to amaze me. I always think that I have seen so many wonders that there couldn’t possibly be something else to see. And yet that ever-distant horizon always yields yet another secret. Although the rolling stone landscapes can appear desolate, the various flora and fauna that have adapted to this environment in fantastic and sometimes bizarre ways. I almost wish I was more interested in botany to truly enjoy this landscape. Yet these wonders seem to pale in comparison to the lives of the people who live on Roshar. I cannot begin to tell you how interesting it is to see an entire culture who’s lives revolve around the massive storms that rage against the land. From architecture to gemstone economics this land is far beyond anything I have seen in my exhaustive journeys. Roshar is home to one of the most terrifying artifacts in the known Cosmere. I wasn’t here long before I started to hear legends of the Shard Blades and Shard Plate of old. These are ancient weapons that were once wielded by the Knights Radiant. Apparently, these Knights were protectors of this world during times of war and invasion. The order of Knights vanished nearly a thousand years ago. In their departure, they left behind these artifacts of incredible power. As of now, I have only seen glimpses of these on passing Lords. Apparently, they are incredibly rare, and the Alethi people with whom I currently reside hold the most of any nation in the world. I will naturally do everything in my power to examine and discern the secrets of these invested objects, but for now I will give you a brief outline. Shard Blades are most curious in their design. The weapons are disproportionally massive, often measuring out at nearly six feet in length. It is said that they are far lighter than any sword should be, especially for their size. This massive reach grants the wielder a distinct advantage in combat especially when the swords other properties are considered. These weapons can cut through all known matter and living flesh. The blades pass straight through rock and stone as if it offered no resistance. I was skeptical of this at first, but I have witnessed this for myself. I watched Lords drop their blades directly into the stone ground, the blade sinking like a hot knife through butter. And yet, these weapons reportedly do far stranger things to the men they strike down. Instead of cutting living flesh, the blade seems to fade into a dense mist, passing directly through the victim. If the blade passes through the spine the victim dies immediately, their eyes smoldering into blackened craters. Of the blade passes through limbs but misses the spine, the afor mentioned limbs are not cut, but instead die, losing all feeling. In this case the victim is crippled. As the blade leaves the body it becomes solid again. Naturally such weapons are incredibly effective on the fields of war, turning a skilled warrior into an army unto themselves. These blades are the most coveted items in Roshar, worth more than most land rights and titles. For the Alethi, wielding one of these blades is essentially a title in and of itself. Apparently any man, even a peasant or dark-eyes as they call them here, can become a Lord by obtaining such a weapon. However, this is nearly impossible to do when the blade must first be taken by force. Fascinatingly the blades have another power that prevents the theft of a shard blade. When one is bonded with a Shard Blade, the weapon can be dismissed out of the physical realm and then called upon by the weapon’s master at will. This means that the blade is always under the control of the wielder. It will even vanish if dropped, most likely a safety to prevent the blade being turned against its master. Clearly these weapons make a trained warrior nearly unstoppable, yet the Shard Plate armor offers protection from these unworldly blades. Shard Plate is miraculous, there is no other word for it. The armor is majestic, perfect in every practical way. The plated armor completely covers the wearer in rigid supernatural metal plates that link together seamlessly. In fact, the only gap in the armor is a small viewing visor in the facemask. The armor is apparently incredibly heavy, but when it is fully charged with Stormlight Investiture the plate seems to support itself. Those who clade the armor are supported and enhanced by the armor which enhances the physical speed and strength of the warrior inside. The armor adapts to its bearer, fitting itself to your physical shape as it is donned. And if that wasn’t enough, the helm apparently is translucent from the inside, allowing the wielder to maintain a blurred version of his peripheral vision. With such perfectly attuned armor it is no wonder that the Shard Plate grants unusual powers to its bearer. These men can leap over chasms, survive large falls, and even deflect a shard blade. Shard Plate provides the ultimate personal defense. However, this armor is not perfect. Shard blade strikes damage the armor greatly, causing it to fracture and eventually shatter. As the armor is weakened it leaks investiture until it runs dry. At that point the armor shuts down and traps the wielder under it’s incredible weight. It is possible for Shard Plate to fall victim to mundane attacks as well. Arrows and typical sword strikes are marginally useless against such a heavy defense. However consistent damage, especially from large hammers and other heavy strikes can lead to plate damage and destruction. However, the level of damage needed to slow down and defeat a Shard Bearer requires the efforts of an army. Even if the shard plate is fractured or even destroyed, the armor is not permanently defeated. The armor apparently can be regrown from a fragment if it is given enough stormlight investiture. Strangely in this regard the Shard Plate seems more alive, behaving more like a plant than metal. I find them incredibly fascination and cannot wait to examine a set for myself. While each type of shard is devastating on its own, together they make a force to be reckoned with. With the enhancements of Shard Plate and the deadly versatility of the Shard Blade, full shard bearers make a mockery of traditional warfare. While they are not immortal, they have little to fear in combat with mundane foes. In fact, most shard bearers only fear the threats of other shard bearers for it is incredibly unlikely that a typical solider would ever pose a serious threat to the wielder. I have made it my mission to get a personal look at one of these shards. I fear it might take me some time to do so since the weapons are so valuable. I am fortunate that I inherited my mother’s grey eyes for in Alethkar, the nobility is set apart by their eye color. It seems strange, but it makes about as much sense as any other social hierarchy. Unfortunately, my apprentice Kassar has already been troubled in her work because of her dark eyes. Perhaps there is some way that I can elevate her or enhance her standing. Her potential far exceeds her social status. For now, we will continue to work for High Prince Dalinar. Give me a month and I shall have the Prince’s confidence. I am leaving on the morrow to begin collecting information for his spy network which I will relay back. It will be nice to put my skills to good use for once. I will write back as soon as I return. Until the next Letter, Elsric
  8. 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