Returned

Is Harmony Right About Which Metallic Arts Come from Each Shard?

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Hi everyone, I'm new here and so I apologize if his has already been discussed to death (I didn't find threads in a search, but there are a lot so I could easily have missed some).

But I've long wondered if Harmony is right when he describes the connections of Metallic Arts to Ruin, Preservation, and an interaction between them. His connection of Hemalurgy to Ruin seems clear enough: you have to kill a person to use it, and the amount of power in the resulting spike is less than the victim had. Ruinous.

But Feruchemy always seemed more like Preservation to me than an interaction between Preservation and Ruin both. Nothing is gained or lost when an attribute is stored or withdrawn, it is just maintained almost perfectly until some time in the future. Where is the Ruin in that? (The only example I can think of with imperfect storage is Ruin's manipulation of copperminds).

Conversely, Allomancy requires serious physical damage to awaken, destroys the metals used to catalyze its effects, and is described as producing a net gain by Harmony. None of those are very Preservation-like. In a similar vein, Preservation couldn't create dynamic individuals by itself and required cooperation from Ruin to create the humans on Scadrial-- the ability to choose to Preserve at some times and Ruin at others was more than was present in the other animals implied to be within Preservation's ability to create. That sounds more like the Allomantic net gain to me.

 

My mind reaches for explanations and finds unsatisfying scraps. Allomancy existed before anyone swallowed lerasium, albeit in a weaker form, and Preservation was already a critical component of Scadrial's people, so maybe their Allomancy came from that and the huge dose of Connection from lerasium beads creates the otherwise impossibly rare Mistborn. But then the Connection to Preservation from burning lerasium doesn't grant them anything like Feruchemy, so that idea starts falling apart...

All of this is pretty pointless speculation since we have so much information suggesting that Allomancy goes with Preservation: the mists swirl around people using Allomancy but not Feruchemy, swallowing a bead of lerasium is what grants super-Allomancy (in the form of Mistborn) in the first place, and Harmony (who holds both relevant Shards and would presumably know everything on the topic) explicitly says so. But outside of those, is there any discussion, here, in-text, or in a WoS that addresses my confusion?

 

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Posted (edited)

46 minutes ago, Returned said:

Feruchemy always seemed more like Preservation to me than an interaction between Preservation and Ruin both. Nothing is gained or lost when an attribute is stored or withdrawn, it is just maintained almost perfectly until some time in the future. Where is the Ruin in that? (The only example I can think of with imperfect storage is Ruin's manipulation of copperminds).

Brandon has stated that he would personally place Feruchemy more with Preservation and that it is mostly in-world cultural belief that it comes from both Shards. Also that Feruchemy originally did come from Preservation.

the "Ruin" in Feruchemy could just also be metal degradation. just like anything else, metal degrades, and with it, whatever is stored should also degrade ever so slightly with it. it really is slight, but as Brandon said, he would place Feruchemy more with Preservation

Brandon's explanation for Allomancy being Preservation, is that the Allomancer gets to preserve their own strength by relying on the power provided by Preservation 

 

Feruchemy coming from Preservation:

Spoiler

NutiketAiel

For Feruchemy, can you only inherit that? Or is there another way to get it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you could obviously get it through a Hemalurgic spike.

NutiketAiel

Yeah, but that’s kind of a different thing.

Brandon Sanderson

It is hereditary, but it came from somewhere. Which is a RAFO, but it’s not a big RAFO. There’s not something you missed in the books, or anything like that. It originally came from Preservation long ago. And there are other ways to get it, but you have not missed any major plot points regarding that. Good question.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing (March 21, 2014)

Feruchemy leaning more towards Preservation:

Spoiler

Questioner

What is Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard in specific? Yes, they talk about that in the books.

Questioner

Ok, it's like, of Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could say that.

Brandon Sanderson

Because it seems like one Shard, one magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, it's more that-- They, in their philosophy, say that it's kind of a hybrid between the two, but you could kind of feel that it's more--

Questioner

It seems more Preservation.

Brandon Sanderson

It seems more Preservation, but in-world they think it's kind of a hybrid. The philosophy says that one was kind of net-positive, one was kind of net-negative and one was a hybrid. That's their in-world philosophy. I personally would place it more with Preservation.

Questioner

Ok so more than one magic system can be tied to one Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Questioner

Ok, that's what I wanted to know.

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, the definition of magic system can be, is so fluid. Like you can look at this book and say "how many magic systems are there?". Is Surgebinding one or is it ten?

Questioner

Allomancy's 16--

Brandon Sanderson

Is Allomancy 16 or one, and things like that. So yes multiple magic systems can be tied to a Shard.

Firefight San Francisco signing (Jan. 17, 2015)

Allomancy preserving strength:

Spoiler

Chaos

Allomancy provides many very dramatic effects, which some have noted is not very much like Preservation. Could you walk me through how Allomancy is of Preservation, though it does dramatic, dynamic things?

Brandon Sanderson

One of the 'basics' of the magic in all of the worlds is that the energy of Shards can fuel all kinds of interactions, not just interactions based on their personality/role. I did this because otherwise, the Magics would all be extremely limited.

The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do. So, in Preservation's case, the magic is a gift--allowing a person to preserve their own strength, and rely upon the strength granted by the magic. While Hemalurgy has a huge cost, ending in net entropy.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 (Aug. 31, 2011)

 

Hope this helps!!!

Edited by Eternal Khol
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Perfect, this is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much!

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5 hours ago, Returned said:

But Feruchemy always seemed more like Preservation to me than an interaction between Preservation and Ruin both. Nothing is gained or lost when an attribute is stored or withdrawn, it is just maintained almost perfectly until some time in the future. Where is the Ruin in that? (The only example I can think of with imperfect storage is Ruin's manipulation of copperminds).

Conversely, Allomancy requires serious physical damage to awaken, destroys the metals used to catalyze its effects, and is described as producing a net gain by Harmony. None of those are very Preservation-like. In a similar vein, Preservation couldn't create dynamic individuals by itself and required cooperation from Ruin to create the humans on Scadrial-- the ability to choose to Preserve at some times and Ruin at others was more than was present in the other animals implied to be within Preservation's ability to create. That sounds more like the Allomantic net gain to me.

Welcome to the forums. I don't know how many books you have read or if you are avoiding spoilers, so I will be fairly generic and just say:

What is called "Snapping" on Scadrial isn't just an Allomancy thing. . .so I would not take that portion into account as a deterministic feature.

4 hours ago, Eternal Khol said:

the "Ruin" in Feruchemy could just also be metal degradation. just like anything else, metal degrades, and with it, whatever is stored should also degrade ever so slightly with it. it really is slight, but as Brandon said, he would place Feruchemy more with Preservation

Keep in mind that Ruin isn't just destruction - it is also entropy and change. In my "headcanon" the "Ruin" part of Feruchemy is that you must weaken yourself to get benefits later; and if you increase those benefits, Feruchemy has a rule of diminishing returns.

e.g. Feruchemical Steel is not 1 hour slow = 1 hour fast = 30 minutes double-fast = 15 minutes triple fast

The more you Tap, the faster you go through the storage:

Spoiler

Sporkify

This is more towards the whole physics stuff, but is Feruchemy really balanced? If it gives diminishing returns, wouldn't this end up as a net loss of power?

Brandon Sanderson

It doesn't diminish. Or, well, it does—but only if you compound it. You get 1 for 1 back, but compounding the power requires an expenditure of the power itself. For instance, if you are weak for one hour, you can gain the lost strength for one hour. But that's not really that much strength. After all, you probably weren't as weak as zero people during that time. So if you want to be as strong as two men, you couldn't do it for a full hour. You'd have to spend some energy to compound, then spend the compounded energy itself.

In more mathematical terms, let's say you spend one hour at 50% strength. You could then spend one hour at 150% strength, or perhaps 25 min at 200% strength, or maybe 10min at 250% strength. Each increment is harder, and therefore 'strains' you more and burns your energy more quickly. And since most Feruchemists don't store at 50% strength, but instead at something like 80% strength (it feels like much more when they do it, but you can't really push the body to that much forced weakness without risking death) you can burn through a few day's strength in a very short time if you aren't careful.

 

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On 3/25/2022 at 9:05 PM, Treamayne said:

Welcome to the forums. I don't know how many books you have read or if you are avoiding spoilers, so I will be fairly generic and just say:

What is called "Snapping" on Scadrial isn't just an Allomancy thing. . .so I would not take that portion into account as a deterministic feature.

Thanks! I should have mentioned, I've read everything but White Sand and don't mind spoilers (at least about any published items). When in doubt, don't worry about spoiling anything for me. I agree that Scadrial-style snapping isn't deterministic, only a feature more ruinous than preservation themed (and one which Feruchemists don't need). But I agree, it seems clearly more of a Cosmere path to magic thing than a specific manifestation of the Shards on Scadrial-- that's a good observation.

 

On 3/25/2022 at 9:05 PM, Treamayne said:

Keep in mind that Ruin isn't just destruction - it is also entropy and change. In my "headcanon" the "Ruin" part of Feruchemy is that you must weaken yourself to get benefits later; and if you increase those benefits, Feruchemy has a rule of diminishing returns.

e.g. Feruchemical Steel is not 1 hour slow = 1 hour fast = 30 minutes double-fast = 15 minutes triple fast

The more you Tap, the faster you go through the storage:

  Reveal hidden contents

The degradation due to compounding is an interesting angle I hadn't considered in this context. I don't think it's conclusive on its own, but it definitely would unsettle the "Allomancy requires metal to be consumed" point.

 

In any event, the direct comment from Harmony and the second Sanderson quote from Eternal Kohl are pretty decisive, I think. Harmony knows the complete history of both Shards' power, and seeking an exact 1:1 of Shard to magic style is probably too reductive.

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Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, Returned said:

In any event, the direct comment from Harmony and the second Sanderson quote from Eternal Kohl are pretty decisive, I think. Harmony knows the complete history of both Shards' power, and seeking an exact 1:1 of Shard to magic style is probably too reductive.

Agreed.

Also, [theory] I think Scadrial-style snapping is "of preservation." More specifically:

- We know that investiture requires cracks in the spirit web into which it can Connect

- We know humans on Scadrial were created by Ruin and Preservation (in imitation of Yolen Humans)

- We know humans on Scadrial have an extra "bit" of Preservation (which allowed sapience)

- We know Preservation could hear thoughts, but not speak to people without a direct connection (Kelsier > Spook / Vin > Eland); and that Ati said that was because Preservation's power always tries to "fix the cracks" instead of using them to communicate

*Therefore, if the power of Preservation naturally "shores up" the cracks investiture needs to take hold; so in TFE Snapping needed to be even more violent to get passed this effect; which is why the mists (Preservation's power) caused a violent mist sickness when trying to snap people.

Edited by Treamayne
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On 3/25/2022 at 4:20 PM, Returned said:

But Feruchemy always seemed more like Preservation to me than an interaction between Preservation and Ruin both. Nothing is gained or lost when an attribute is stored or withdrawn, it is just maintained almost perfectly until some time in the future. Where is the Ruin in that? (The only example I can think of with imperfect storage is Ruin's manipulation of copperminds).

I alway interpreted it as being a power of balance because the power input matches the power output.  Yes, you lose efficiency if you use the stored power up faster, but that increased level of power is the benefit you get, balancing things out.  

I agree that Feruchemy feels more of Preservation than of Ruin, but then again, just because two things balance each other, doesn't mean the two things are equal in amount. If two metals were weighed against each other, but one was much less dense, and therefore lighter, than the other, then you'd need a lot more of the lighter metal to balance the scales. This is just an idea, but maybe Ruin's power is more dense than Preservation's.

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