Duxredux

TLR Soothing Hemalurgic Entities Error?

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Rereading Mistborn, and I'm trying to figure this one out, no idea if it's already been brought up, the most recent post that was only semi-related that I found through a quick search was from 5 years ago: https://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/58783-why-cant-kandra-get-near-inquisitors/?do=findComment&comment=553393.

There's a few cases of TLR Soothing and I'm trying to figure out how he didn't take over some of the crew, namely OreSeur directly after the death of Kelsier, and Marsh when TLR hit him and Vin with a massive blast of Soothing at the final confrontation. Was something else going on or was this a plot hole? For OreSeur maybe the Soothing wasn't focused enough to nail him (I assume he had to be close enough to make sure to recover Kelsier's body and couldn't feel TLR coming), but unless Marsh was flaring Copper for all that he was worth, I don't see how he could have resisted TLR. Okay, maybe Marsh had extremely high emotions going, but still, it seems odd.

Am I missing something, or should this not have gone as it did?

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Posted (edited)

I think that your guesses are largely correct in both cases:

The Lord Ruler's mass-soothing is very unfocused, affecting thousands of people at once, which may dilute what he can do to any given individual with it. Breeze has a similar tradeoff to make when he's working with crowds compared with when he's influencing fewer people. This might be enough to protect OreSeur from being casually taken over, especially since his presence unknown to most and he appeared to be just a corpse.

As for Marsh, Vin was flaring her copper to resist the Lord Ruler's soothing, and if she felt the need to do that it's not unreasonable that Marsh would have as well:

Quote

The awesome, full power of the Lord Ruler's fury hit her halfway up. The depression, the anger-fueled asphyxiation of her soul, pushed through her copper, hitting her like a physical force. She flared copper, gasping slightly, but wasn't completely able to push the Lord Ruler off of her emotions. (The Final Empire, page 624)

I don't think we ever see anyone but Ruin directly control Inquisitors with Allomancy. Vin almost does in Hero of Ages, but is rebuffed by Ruin, so all else being equal it was almost certainly possible for the Lord Ruler to have controlled Marsh during his final battle.

We don't know how much influence the copper might have in rebuffing the attempt to take control, but it's plausible, even likely, that the Lord Ruler wouldn't have made the effort anyways. The ability to directly control Inquisitors, Kandra, and Koloss was a very tightly-held secret which would have been revealed to a definite enemy if he'd done so. And why bother, especially given that risk? He was absurdly powerful, well beyond what Marsh or Vin understood at the time, and had no reason to think that the others in the room were any danger to him. Indeed, had Vin not channeled Preservation's power directly to fuel her Allomancy while also suddenly realizing the secret to his immortality, the Lord Ruler would simply have killed her and Marsh like all other opponents over a thousand years.

Edited by Returned
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Posted (edited)

This has bothered me too - when Elend, Vin, etc discuss Hemalurgy right after discovering koloss are made from humans (chapter 40 of HoA, I think) it's said that the control-flaw explains why the Inquisitors were so loyal to TLR, so that seems to imply TLR could and did control Inquisitors - so why not Marsh?

That it would reveal the ability to do so is a possibility, but OTOH TLR surely intended to kill Vin - there shouldn't have been any living witnesses.

Copper blocking it makes more sense, but then, since Inquisitors probably mostly have that power wouldn't it make control of Inquisitors very questionable in general?

Maybe it took TLR's sole focus to control an Inquisitor, at least through flared copper, so he couldn't control Marsh and fight Vin at the same time?

EDIT: or since Vin is burning mist when she tries, and hits Ruin's opposed control, maybe it takes so much power to control an Inquisitor that even TLR needed duralumin to do it, and so it wasn't worth it in that fight (since it would have wiped out the other metals he was using)?

Edited by cometaryorbit
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4 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

This has bothered me too - when Elend, Vin, etc discuss Hemalurgy right after discovering koloss are made from humans (chapter 40 of HoA, I think) it's said that the control-flaw explains why the Inquisitors were so loyal to TLR, so that seems to imply TLR could and did control Inquisitors - so why not Marsh?

That's an assumption that Vin and Elend made, I don't recall anything actually indicating that it's true. The Kandra were (largely) very loyal and devoted to the Lord Ruler even though he wasn't directly controlling them all the time. Given how restive they were and how manipulative they became (like the efforts to discredit Tevidian and take over formal control of the Steel Ministry), it seems that the Lord Ruler was not controlling them even as they tried to serve him (like through a "better" Steel Ministry).

And while Vin and Elend proposed the idea of Allomantic control as a sort of an emergency measure, we as readers know that it's just a property of hemalurgic spiking-- the Lord Ruler didn't "create a weakness" in the nonhumans he made, he made nonhumans who happened to have this property as an inherent effect of what they were. They extrapolated that Inquisitors were controllable, but everything more was just speculation on their part.

 

6 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

That it would reveal the ability to do so is a possibility, but OTOH TLR surely intended to kill Vin - there shouldn't have been any living witnesses.

Sure, but he was certain of his victory and the incipient deaths of Vin and Marsh at his hands anyways. There was just no need to control Marsh, from his perspective, so it would be nonzero risk for zero upside. The only opponent that he felt mattered at all was Ruin; if you were going to step on an ant, would you jump up in the air as high as you could and make the effort to thrust your legs down as hard as you could at just the right moment so that you would maximize the force you apply to crush it? Or would you just step on it casually and then get on with your day?

 

30 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

Maybe it took TLR's sole focus to control an Inquisitor, at least through flared copper, so he couldn't control Marsh and fight Vin at the same time?

EDIT: or since Vin is burning mist when she tries, and hits Ruin's opposed control, maybe it takes so much power to control an Inquisitor that even TLR needed duralumin to do it, and so it wasn't worth it in that fight (since it would have wiped out the other metals he was using)?

Those seem plausible, too. In any case my position is that it's not necessarily an oversight on the author's part, there is more than enough space for these events to be consistent with the book. And I suppose we always have the ultimate cop-out that Ruin was influencing him in ways that would lead to his defeat.

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2 hours ago, Duxredux said:

There's a few cases of TLR Soothing and I'm trying to figure out how he didn't take over some of the crew, namely OreSeur directly after the death of Kelsier, and Marsh when TLR hit him and Vin with a massive blast of Soothing at the final confrontation.

Don't forget that Perception and Intent are very important to most forms of investiture 

Spoiler

Ref the many Words of Brandon like this - as well as in world examples like Shallan needing 10 heartbeats becuase she thought she did. . . 

So, not only might a powerful soothing fail to control a OreSeur if it was not meant to do so; TLR may have actively been tryig to not control any nearby Kandra. After all, he would want to preserve their secret and it doesn't help if a dozen or score of your spies go catatonic (awaiting control) in a crowd during the "punishmet in the square" because you happen to be throwing a strong mass soothing on the crowd. 

47 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

it's said that the control-flaw explains why the Inquisitors were so loyal to TLR

I always took that to mean "They are loyal so that they aren't directly controlled" 

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19 minutes ago, Returned said:

That's an assumption that Vin and Elend made, I don't recall anything actually indicating that it's true. The Kandra were (largely) very loyal and devoted to the Lord Ruler even though he wasn't directly controlling them all the time.

True, but they do act like there was some mystery in the Inquisitors' degree of loyalty- I think the issue is that, unlike kandra who are raised in their own distinct secret culture, Inquisitors are "promoted" from obligators.

I agree they weren't *usually* under TLR's control.

22 minutes ago, Returned said:

That's an assumption that Vin and Elend made, I don't recall anything actually indicating that it's true. The Kandra were (largely) very loyal and devoted to the Lord Ruler even though he wasn't directly controlling them all the time. Given how restive they were and how manipulative they became (like the efforts to discredit Tevidian and take over formal control of the Steel Ministry), it seems that the Lord Ruler was not controlling them even as they tried to serve him (like through a "better" Steel Ministry).

And while Vin and Elend proposed the idea of Allomantic control as a sort of an emergency measure, we as readers know that it's just a property of hemalurgic spiking-- the Lord Ruler didn't "create a weakness" in the nonhumans he made, he made nonhumans who happened to have this property as an inherent effect of what they were. They extrapolated that Inquisitors were controllable, but everything more was just speculation on their part.

 

Sure, but he was certain of his victory and the incipient deaths of Vin and Marsh at his hands anyways. There was just no need to control Marsh, from his perspective, so it would be nonzero risk for zero upside. The only opponent that he felt mattered at all was Ruin; if you were going to step on an ant, would you jump up in the air as high as you could and make the effort to thrust your legs down as hard as you could at just the right moment so that you would maximize the force you apply to crush it? Or would you just step on it casually and then get on with your day?

 

Those seem plausible, too. In any case my position is that it's not necessarily an oversight on the author's part, there is more than enough space for these events to be consistent with the book.

Oh, absolutely. We never see anyone other than Ruin successfully control an Inquisitor, so it could be very difficult (say requiring duralumin) even for TLR, not the easiest way to defeat Marsh*. And TLR was absolutely not taking that fight seriously, he was grandstanding and showing off rather than trying to win quickly.

*compared to say using f-Steel + pewter to rip out Marsh's linchpin spike.

If the original question is why the Soothing that TLR *did* use and Vin felt didn't take control of Marsh, I think it just wasn't strong enough - it's unusually strong, since Vin can feel it through copper, but the threshold for Inquisitor control is probably really high.

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11 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

I always took that to mean "They are loyal so that they aren't directly controlled" 

Yes, probably, but that does at least suggest that TLR *could* do it, Inquisitor control isn't a Ruin-only thing.

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8 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

Yes, probably, but that does at least suggest that TLR *could* do it, Inquisitor control isn't a Ruin-only thing.

If anything, it may have been easier for TLR.

It is implied that "more spikes" means "easier and more complete control" (why Koloss were easier to "grab" than Kandra); but that would be offset by having copper to prevent anybody from taking control unless they had augmented brass/zinc to push past the copper immunity. I doubt even an inquisitor's copper would block TLR's soothing or rioting. 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Treamayne said:

If anything, it may have been easier for TLR.

It is implied that "more spikes" means "easier and more complete control" (why Koloss were easier to "grab" than Kandra); but that would be offset by having copper to prevent anybody from taking control unless they had augmented brass/zinc to push past the copper immunity. I doubt even an inquisitor's copper would block TLR's soothing or rioting. 

I'd make the argument that TLR would have deliberately made it possible for himself to control the Inquisitors. Why wouldn't he? He just has to put the threshold high enough that only he would be able to pull it off. Putting that kind of safeguard on your whole murder of bloodthirsty Inquisitors seems like a really smart move.

 

Edit: found this and it seems relevant.

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

The Resolution

TenSoon and the other kandra resist Ruin and are able to pull the spikes from their shoulders. There are a couple of reasons why they can do this.

The power that Allomancers have to take control of them is the same power Ruin has. That control is exerted in the form of mental pressure through emotional Allomancy. As can be seen from Marsh's viewpoint, it is more than simply forcing the body to act as Ruin wishes. The extreme pressure on emotions changes the very way the mind thinks, tricking it into doing exactly what Ruin wants. The flaw in Hemalurgists leaves them open to this kind of manipulation.

Kandra, who only have two spikes, are far more difficult to control than koloss or Inquisitors. Vin is able to control TenSoon with ease in book two, but that's partially because he wanted her to do so. He would have been able to resist her. If she'd continued to push, she could have broken him, but it would have taken time.

Even Ruin's pressure wasn't enough to take control immediately. The kandra had a few moments during which they could overcome him and maintain their free will. Beyond that, they were in a cavern surrounded by metal ore in the walls, making it very difficult for Ruin to see what was going on and interfering with his ability to control them.

The Hero of Ages Annotations (May 13, 2010)

If Inquisitors are easier to control...? There is a delay between Marsh getting Soothed and him trying to find an Inquisitor linchpin spike in TLR's back I suppose.

Edited by Duxredux
Added another thought
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5 hours ago, Treamayne said:

If anything, it may have been easier for TLR.

It is implied that "more spikes" means "easier and more complete control" (why Koloss were easier to "grab" than Kandra); but that would be offset by having copper to prevent anybody from taking control unless they had augmented brass/zinc to push past the copper immunity. I doubt even an inquisitor's copper would block TLR's soothing or rioting. 

I agree that more spikes means easier to control, all else being equal, but I think that's offset by both copper Allomancy and inquisitors/kandra being more willful than a koloss. So an inquisitor not burning copper would be easier to control than a kandra, but maybe not easier than a koloss depending on strength of will.

But when burning copper that'd be harder. The Soothing would not only have to break through the copper but still be above that threshold level needed to take control.

Vin can feel TLR's Soothing through flared copper, but it's diminished. So I think *that* particular area effect Soothing was too weak to control Marsh. I'm sure TLR could have done it with more power though- but he might have had to focus just on Marsh rather than use his area Soothing.

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Posted (edited)

In the throne room, TLR could have smeared both Vin and Marsh without breaking a sweat.

He didn't do it, and instead showed off his unlimited F-steel speed and Steelpushing the metals in their bodies because he is ancient, bored, OP and overconfident. He was flexing and monologuing for the sliver of fun and satisfaction it gave him to "shock and awe" his unworthy opponents while destroying them.

Especially Marsh. Vin was a rarity, a skaa Mistborn who'd dared to try to attack him directly twice, but Marsh was someone he'd "upgraded" to be DOMINANT and had turned traitor. He definitely merited Extra Monologuing.

And if you imagine living for 1000 years as the most magically OP being in the world, you can sort of see why. Within 100 years or so, nobody's going to remember any of this happened but you, who will also have an infinite coppermind potential to replay your own Greatest Hits in your copious, isolated down time. So he's  probably used to acting out for the camera for his own later entertainment.

Edited by robardin
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1 hour ago, robardin said:

And if you imagine living for 1000 years as the most magically OP being in the world, you can sort of see why. Within 100 years or so, nobody's going to remember any of this happened but you, who will also have an infinite coppermind potential to replay your own Greatest Hits in your copious, isolated down time. So he's  probably used to acting out for the camera for his own later entertainment.

You think he plans his lines in advance? Spends all day coming up with scenarios in his head and writing speeches. 

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1 hour ago, Zapata said:

You think he plans his lines in advance? Spends all day coming up with scenarios in his head and writing speeches. 

Heh, it turns out he always kind of assumed Ruin would eventually escape via subtle manipulation, he just couldn't see how, and laid his plans with the storage caverns and the kandra Resolution to give whoever came after him a chance to survive.

So I wouldn't be surprised if his somewhat awesome last words were, in fact, pre-planned. "You don't know what I do for mankind. I was your god, even if you couldn't see it; by killing me, you have doomed yourselves..."

eL8j7ZBnf_2aALOrP-C_D3jsEYY=.gif

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Posted (edited)

Plus, with Feruchemical zinc and emotional Allomancy (and maybe more powers besides), he could really nail those dramatic speech moments whether he's planned them all out already or not.

Edited by Returned
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