polygonfloppa

What does storing / draining investiture even mean??

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Ok, so I haven't read stormlight or know much about investiture, all I know is that it's just what the magic systems are made of. So I'm confused, what does it mean to even drain or store investiture?

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Investiture is a 3rd side of Reality/Physics alongside Mass and Energy. Literally all existence in the Cosmere is shaped and formed by the Spiritual Realm, with physical existence sort of emanating from it.   As Magic it has to come from the Spiritual Realm of Infinity to the Physical Realm in one of the various magic ways, and then can exist inside pre-existing matter by Investing it at a quantum level, or it can Manifest as it's own as Matter (with power needs akin to making a Cheeseburger from Sunlight), where it becomes one of the three forms of matter.

 

On Scadrial that means the Mists (gaseous), the Well (Liquid) or the Godmetals like Atium (solid, usually metal).  It bleeds through the realms at the Well and the Pits to form that solid matter.  In the case of Mistborn, they have a personal/internal magic Connection to Preservation that supplies power, and the burning Metals open the gate and "tune" the Investiture to whatever the magical effect is.  Feruchemists instead save back a little of the Investiture that is supporting their basic existence and Life functions, and stores it in metal battery for later use.  And while mundane metals burned by a Mistborn do a set of "normal" things based on their natural resonance with Investiture, if they instead Burn a charged feruchemical Metalmind/Battery it will act like a different metal and tune the Preservation Energy flowing from the Spiritual realm to match whatever was stored in that Battery (this is called Compounding).  

Edited by Quantus
Awful spelling...
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1 hour ago, Quantus said:

Investiture is a 3rd side of Reality/Physics alongside Mass and Energy. Literally all existence in the Cosmere is shaped and formed by the Spiritual Realm, with physical existence sort of emanating from it.   As Magic it has to come from the Spiritual Realm of Infinity to the Physical Realm in on of the various magic ways, and then can exist inside pre-exising matter by Investing it at a quantum level, or it can Manifest as it's own as Matter (with power needs akin to making a Cheeseburger from Sunlight), where it becomes one of the three forms of matter.

 

On Scadrial that means the Mists (gaseous), the Well (Liquid) or the Godmetals like Atium (solid, usually metal).  It bleeds through the realms at the Well and the Pits to form that solid matter.  In the case of Mistborn, they have a personal/internal magic Connection to Preservation that supplies power, and the burning Metals open the gate and "tune" the Investiture to whatever the magical effect is.  Feruchemists instead save back a little of the Investiture that is supporting their basic existence and Life functions, and stores it in metal battery for later use.  And while mundane metals burned by a Mistborn do a set of "normal" things based on their natural resonance with Investiture, if they instead Burn a charged feruchemical Metalmind/Battery it will act like a different metal and tune the Preservation Energy flowing from the Spiritual realm to match whatever was stored in that Battery (this is called Compounding).  

I'm sorry man but my brain like just died reading that, no disrespect but could you explain it a little simpler (no shade)

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For draining, think of Investiture as a mana bar from an RPG, except it doesn't regenerate on its own. As you use it, the bar goes down and eventually you run out and can't use magic. Then you burn whatever metal(s) you can use and it fills it back up. Leachers can drain your "mana" and if you can burn allomantic aluminum, that basically does the same thing, but it's self inflicted. Storing Investiture can get a bit more complicated due to the nature of how that's being applied in the more recent Mistborn books. Like draining, someone could ostensibly store their "mana" in a nicrosil metalmind if they have the ability to do that. But, the more common application in the Mistborn Era 2 books seems involve people storing their literal powers in a nicrosil metalmind. That's because the ability to use things like allomancy and feruchemy are also Investiture. That's where stuff starts to get real complicated and the community at large still doesn't have the full picture of how the medallions that are using that mechanic work. 

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It's confusing because the word Investiture is used in a couple of different ways. It is both magic being "in" something, such as an iron metalmind filled with weight (the iron is Invested with energy), and is also the ability to use magic, such as the attribute of Investiture that can be stored in a nicrosil metalmind. At the broadest level in the Cosmere, Investiture is magical energy that exists primarily in the spiritual realm and "bleeds through" into other realms, in a variety of ways with a variety of effects. These different ways are the magic systems we know from the books. Below I'll try to use "Investiture" to refer to innate Investiture (the ability to use magic) and "magical energy" to refer to power drawn from the spiritual realm, which will hopefully help clarify things a bit.

An Allomancer has a degree of innate Investiture (through a connection to the Shard Preservation), which is what allows them to use Allomancy (the magic system that Preservation grants). When they burn a metal, they are using their innate Investiture (ability to use magic at all) through the mechanism Preservation set up (mystically consuming a specific metal to access more raw magical energy from the spiritual realm) that has a specific effect based on the metal burned (this is how the magic of Allomancy operates). If a person burns a bead of Lerasium they gain a stronger connection to Preservation, which grants them more innate Investiture than they had before, which is why it can make an ordinary person into an Allomancer at all.

Things are a little bit different for Feruchemists. They also have innate Investiture which allows them to use magic in the first place, just like for an Allomancer, and the specific mechanism of that magic is to transform an attribute into magical energy which is then stored in metal. When Wax stores weight in iron he's magically transforming his weight into magical energy through his Feruchemy and then storing it in iron. When he draws it out, he's taking the magical energy out of the iron and transforming it back into weight.

When we're dealing with nicrosil we don't yet have a lot of detail about exactly what's going on. In November we'll know more. But, for now, what seems to be the case is that a Feruchemist filling a nicrosil metalmind is storing their innate Investiture (the attribute which allows them to use magic at all, in this case Feruchemy) as magical energy, just like Wax's weight transforming into magical energy to go into iron. When someone draws Investiture out of a nicrosil metalmind they are drawing in that same magical energy and then transforming it into the ability to use magic at all (also called "innate Investiture").

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19 hours ago, polygonfloppa said:

I'm sorry man but my brain like just died reading that, no disrespect but could you explain it a little simpler (no shade)

Sorry, Ill try, but explaining Investiture gets pretty deep into how reality works in the cosmere so it gets pretty wild.    Allomancy is the easiest and probably needs the least amount of weird realmic Knowledge. 

Allomancy:   You know how in Chemistry they will burn a compound to figure out what it is?  Burn something with copper and you get green fire; not a whole lot of reason to it, just that when you shove extra heat energy into copper it vibrates at the "Green" frequency of light (something has to, right?).  In the Cosmere, if you shove Preservation's flavor of Investiture/Magic through Copper, you get a Coppercloud effect, and that's just what it does.  Ditto all the other mundane metals. Mistings and mistborn are born with a spiritual power conduit to the godling called Preservation (a capital C "Connection").  When they swallow and "Burn" a metal, it opens that power conduit and channels the magic out into the world from Preservation, but the different magical effects are like the different Colors you get when you burn a metal in Chemistry.   

 

Feruchemy and Hemalurgy take more cosmic context:

So, reality in the Cosmere is weird at a fundamental level.  Instead of just Matter and Energy as the "states" of existence (E=MC2 and all that), there's a third thing in the mix called Investiture.  There are also three Realms: the Physical Realm that is normal Space/Time with planets and stars linear time and all that, the Cognitive Realm your more classically strange Dreamscape/Spirit World/NeverNever sort of place that has it's own rules and geometry and whatnot, and then there is the Spiritual Realm which is a giant quantum ball of energy, where space and time dont exist and both the actual reality/timeline and all possible alternative realities all coexist (it's like looking out from the inside of a black hole, and you probably have to be on LSD or something to fully comprehend it all).  The Spiritual aspect of a person is called the "Spiritweb", and is the magic "soul" that makes you who and what you are.  I like Spiritweb better but it's also described as Spiritual DNA sometimes.  

Feruchemy:   For this, ignore the Cognitive realm because it doesnt play any obvious role.  Think of the Spiritual realm as a Computer, and the physical reality of the cosmere (the Physical Realm) as the simulation program that the Computer is running.  So on a continuous basis, there is a flow of Investiture from the spiritual Realm that is creating and maintaining all of reality, including individual people, and allowing them to be sentient beings (ie. running the program and setting their Stats).  Feruchemist will divert some of that natural magic flow that would normally be providing something (health, Strength, Mental capacity, etc) and store it into a Metalmind battery; you operate at reduced capacity for a while and can be better than normal for an equivalent amount of time. "Filling" a metalmind is saving back some of that power for later, and "Tapping" is using that savings, but those terms are really only used for Feruchemy.    Side note: Blocking up that natural flow from the Spiritual Realm is what created the Mist fiends in the first place.  

Hemalurgy:  Hemalurgy takes a metal spike, Shoves it through a living person's blood to touch their Spiritweb directly, and then violently rips off some functional chunk of the circuitry.  Then, by placing it into a Bind Point on another person, you are wiring that functional piece back in to their spiritweb (whether it knows what to do with it or not).  Different Metals are essentially differently shaped Hooks that specialize in ripping different parts of the Spiritweb off.   In the computer metaphor that might be virtualization or something?  But really I think it's like trying to wire a radio into your laptop using a hammer and a box of paperclips.  

 

 

 

Edited by Quantus
Awful spelling...
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TLDR: Investiture is magic. Literally, the stuff that results in magic effects happening in the Cosmere.

Since the Cosmere is a fictional universe that has operating magic, people in-universe consider it to be equally fundamental to their reality as physics, chemistry, etc., are to us, and a subject fit for study, research, and manipulation.

We get hints of these terms based on the in-world "science of magic" done by characters like Khriss, an in-universe scholar who writes the Ars Arcana footnotes in each book, and other in-universe figures from other works (notably Warbreaker, The Stormlight Archive)... Who Brandon warns us don't always have things 100% correct.

The confusion comes from figuring out the context.

"Investiture" can refer to something that "makes it possible for a character to do magic" (e.g., Investiture involved in making someone an Allomancer, like a Coinshot); what powers the magic effect (the "Investiture that comes from Preservation" that makes a a metal object actually fly through the air when a Coinshot Pushes on it); or some kind of "power storage" like an Allomancer's "metal reserves", or a Feruchemist's metalminds.

And yet, at some level they're equivalent. Which is how the medallions in Bands of Mourning work: it's possible to store the Investiture that gives a Metalborn power, in a metalmind as a store of Investiture (presumably via a nicrosilmind), along with a metalmind of that power next to it (e.g., Wax taps the Bands both for the power to use Feruchemy for gold, and accessing a goldmind pre-loaded in the Bands).

This is what makes the Cosmere so attractive to technically minded people - it's "hard" magic, with rules and properties, and you can extrapolate and combine already known rules and effects to try and predict new combinations, limitations, and effects that would make sense.

Brandon loves this stuff too, obviously, and refines this with concepts like Spiritual based Investiture (the "piece of the soul" that can be spiked out that grants a Metalborn ability), "kinetic" Investiture (it's only magic while you're using it, or "making it go", like tapping a metalmind - a Leecher can't drain a metalmind sitting on a table, but could prevent a Feruchemist from tapping it), and so on.

And then there are some grounding things, like the "spark of life" that every living soul has got that has some baseline amount of Investiture, which is why you can staple four ordinary humans into a koloss, and stuff like that.

But if all of that is "too much" for you to parse out and think about, that's fine too. Just accept that "it's magic" the way people can accept that their iPhone can order pizza via an app without wondering about how exactly Lithium Ion batteries recharge, or satellite based cellular data relays, TCP/IP stack protocols, etc., etc.

You can stop thinking about this stuff at any level of complexity you enjoy - this is fiction meant for fun! - and finally, even Brandon Sanderson reserves the ultimate trump card at need (like when people objected to aluminum bullets never being possible as a projectile weapon): "this is fiction, and when plot advancement collides with everything you thought you knew before about the mechanics real or magical... Plot wins, and it's just magic is the explanation."

Edited by robardin
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