Kitch

Future Scadrial "bloodbanks"

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Near the end of TLM we saw that there was some progress towards using hemalurgy without killing the source material...it was hinted at in Band of Mourning, but now we see it being used not just for abilities, but for possibly inert investiture too.

 

If this gets refined to a more professional and less gory process....think getting your ears pierced....I wouldn't be surprised if we have an economy in Era 3 of people selling off their investiture/ abilities at Hem banks.  Go in, get a little spike across your back, and walk out with a bandaid, a glass of orange juice/cookie, and a few hundred boxings. If you can burn a metal, and you don't really have any need for that skill, you can sell it for a large payout. 

 

Would it be any different then selling off your breaths? If Hem becomes more acceptable, then we can see an entire economy of harvesting investiture from the masses...either for commerical means or military might. 

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Really cool idea,

I also wonder with basically an impending cold war between the north and south if we'll see two different forms of investiture democratization and arms race. The north investing in hemalurgy with an abundance of metal born, while the south invests in medallions as they've already started working through.

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46 minutes ago, Kitch said:

Would it be any different then selling off your breaths? If Hem becomes more acceptable, then we can see an entire economy of harvesting investiture from the masses...either for commerical means or military might. 

Probably not, since I think there's a WoB about the effects of doing so:

Quote

The_Vikachu

I remember reading you answer earlier that a person being used to charge a hemalurgic spike does not necessarily have to die. Would that victim be similar to a Drab from Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, making a spike rips off a piece of someone's soul. So...yeah. I'd need to see my exact quote from before, but let's say it's not going to leave a person in good shape.

Drabs have a weakened immune system, and higher depression rates among other effects. Perhaps the fact they're farming from multiple people might weaken the effects but given the Set's scientist mentioned trauma, I am not certain it sounds that good either. Mass exploitation would be a double blow to poverty.

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30 minutes ago, Kasimir said:
Quote

The_Vikachu

I remember reading you answer earlier that a person being used to charge a hemalurgic spike does not necessarily have to die. Would that victim be similar to a Drab from Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, making a spike rips off a piece of someone's soul. So...yeah. I'd need to see my exact quote from before, but let's say it's not going to leave a person in good shape.

Drabs have a weakened immune system, and higher depression rates among other effects. Perhaps the fact they're farming from multiple people might weaken the effects but given the Set's scientist mentioned trauma, I am not certain it sounds that good either. Mass exploitation would be a double blow to poverty.

I don't *like* this theory, but I think it's like*ly* that there will be some type of exploitation of people in poverty, especially aluminum and duralumin Mistings. That seems like the kind of thing that'll be addressed in Era 3. I don't think Hemalurgy will ever be widely socially accepted, but shady government projects are always a thing.

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2 minutes ago, Szeth_Pancakes said:

I don't *like* this theory, but I think it's like*ly* that there will be some type of exploitation of people in poverty, especially aluminum and duralumin Mistings. That seems like the kind of thing that'll be addressed in Era 3. I don't think Hemalurgy will ever be widely socially accepted, but shady government projects are always a thing.

I'd agree, yeah. I don't know about Hemalurgy and social acceptance - if what @Kitch says comes to pass, i.e. there's a way to do it that minimises the negative externalities or at least pushes it to 'that group of people we don't care about' (Rosharan refugees, anyone? Mentioned because this was being speculated on.) then I am not sure that it wouldn't become more acceptable to your average Scadrian.

TLM ends with Autonomy being defeated, but the truth is that whatever happens with Harmony, Autonomy's influence will still have been felt on Scadrial, in the Outer Cities, and especially in projects being pushed and developed by the Bilming government. I'm not sure that so lightly goes away just because Autonomy has been convinced to leave Scadrial alone for the moment.

I think my main thought was: yes, but selling your Breath is actually fairly exploitative, for all Warbreaker hints at it but doesn't explicitly condemn it, and I'm not sure that Scadrian spikebanks would really be the sort of social progress pre-Era 2 Harmony would've liked to see.

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34 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

I'm not sure that Scadrian spikebanks would really be the sort of social progress pre-Era 2 Harmony would've liked to see.

Discord, on the other hand...

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2 minutes ago, Szeth_Pancakes said:

Discord, on the other hand...

Yep.

[Spoilers for Sixth of the Dusk sequel]

Spoiler

I think Wyrm and I were talking while reading TLM and one point we constantly had in mind is that we know that the Sixth of the Dusk sequel features Roshar and Scadrial both as fairly sophisticated, spacefaring cultures that appear to be locked in some sort of proxy war (not a hot war, thankfully) over First of the Sun. We believe that strategic confrontation between the two systems makes more sense with, e.g. a Shard of War and Harmony becoming Discord. Though it isn't impossible nevertheless, given how Harmony doesn't like to get directly involved, and we see confrontation between Elendel and the Outer Cities, and the Malwish.

 

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35 minutes ago, Szeth_Pancakes said:

Discord, on the other hand...

I mean....Ruin right now is being repressed...that Shard needs to have some sort of expression.  It's going to be let out in one way or another

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3 hours ago, Kasimir said:

I'd agree, yeah. I don't know about Hemalurgy and social acceptance - if what @Kitch says comes to pass, i.e. there's a way to do it that minimises the negative externalities or at least pushes it to 'that group of people we don't care about' (Rosharan refugees, anyone? Mentioned because this was being speculated on.) then I am not sure that it wouldn't become more acceptable to your average Scadrian.

TLM ends with Autonomy being defeated, but the truth is that whatever happens with Harmony, Autonomy's influence will still have been felt on Scadrial, in the Outer Cities, and especially in projects being pushed and developed by the Bilming government. I'm not sure that so lightly goes away just because Autonomy has been convinced to leave Scadrial alone for the moment.

I think my main thought was: yes, but selling your Breath is actually fairly exploitative, for all Warbreaker hints at it but doesn't explicitly condemn it, and I'm not sure that Scadrian spikebanks would really be the sort of social progress pre-Era 2 Harmony would've liked to see.

I'd be more worried about the spread of unsealed metal minds. Way easier to convince society is okay than hemalurgy.

Any time W&W hammered in how terrible it was for Wayne to store health, all I was thinking was seeing some poor person getting paid to fill an unsealed mind. Gold is just the most obvious metal too, mental/physical speed, strength, breath, determination, and fortune are all things that are ripe for exploitation if you could "convince" someone desperate to fill them for you.

We know medallions can be filled by even non-ferrings so anyone poor is a target. It fits with the democratization (or I guess capitalization lol) of magic that's been hinted at as a theme for Era 3.

It is interesting that the only medallions we've seen from the South so far (Warmth, Weight, Connection) are some of the least "harmful" to store up. Weight is entirely neutral or even useful to store, and Warmth seems easy as long as the person has access to heat. Connection is a bit iffy, but isn't obviously harmful like storing Health and is really more an unknown than anything. Wonder if they have some sort of taboo against the more exploitive ones?

 

Edited by Could Be Fire
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3 hours ago, Kasimir said:

I'd agree, yeah. I don't know about Hemalurgy and social acceptance - if what @Kitch says comes to pass, i.e. there's a way to do it that minimises the negative externalities or at least pushes it to 'that group of people we don't care about' (Rosharan refugees, anyone? Mentioned because this was being speculated on.) then I am not sure that it wouldn't become more acceptable to your average Scadrian.

Criminals ...

Given Survivorist doctrine and Kelsier's views I cannot see how they would avoid hemalurgy as a part of the criminal justice system. In fact how would you justify that you can shoot somebody for a crime but not perform hemalurgy on them?

 

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28 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

In fact how would you justify that you can shoot somebody for a crime but not perform hemalurgy on them?

Same reason as to why the modern day USA uses chemical injection for capital punishment, but not hanging or a firing squad, since it's considered more humane, and a less painful form of death.

You could even have theological doctrines that Hemalurgy hinders passage to the Beyond, since part of one's spiritual component would be left behind, and the soul has less investure after death, which influences how long one can stay in the cognitive realm after death.

48 minutes ago, Could Be Fire said:

It is interesting that the only medallions we've seen from the South so far (Warmth, Weight, Connection) are some of the least "harmful" to store up. Weight is entirely neutral or even useful to store, and Warmth seems easy as long as the person has access to heat. Connection is a bit iffy, but isn't obviously harmful like storing Health and is really more an unknown than anything. Wonder if they have some sort of taboo against the more exploitive ones?

Possibly, but you could also make a case that it's more of a case of realpolitik. Medallions are the main edge the South has over the North, so you wouldn't want the more useful or powerful ones falling in the hands of the North. The ones we've seen are the medallions they need to stay alive, to actually fly their ships, and to talk to people, and none are a very big issue if they fall into the North's hands, unlike medallions like health or strength.

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6 minutes ago, kenod said:

Possibly, but you could also make a case that it's more of a case of realpolitik. Medallions are the main edge the South has over the North, so you wouldn't want the more useful or powerful ones falling in the hands of the North. The ones we've seen are the medallions they need to stay alive, to actually fly their ships, and to talk to people, and none are a very big issue if they fall into the North's hands, unlike medallions like health or strength.

Or indeed internal regulation. The other medaillions are not for random civilians.

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8 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Or indeed internal regulation. The other medaillions are not for random civilians.

Yeah the truth of southern culture is clearly a purposeful mystery. Sorta like Shinovar in SA.

I leaned toward taboo because the firemother/firefather terminology seems very reverent of the position, but I guess it could be more the child of Omelas sort of reverence.

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23 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Given Survivorist doctrine and Kelsier's views I cannot see how they would avoid hemalurgy as a part of the criminal justice system. In fact how would you justify that you can shoot somebody for a crime but not perform hemalurgy on them?

23 hours ago, Could Be Fire said:

Any time W&W hammered in how terrible it was for Wayne to store health, all I was thinking was seeing some poor person getting paid to fill an unsealed mind. Gold is just the most obvious metal too, mental/physical speed, strength, breath, determination, and fortune are all things that are ripe for exploitation if you could "convince" someone desperate to fill them for you.

General agreement here. My bro and I both think future Scadrial just goes cyberpunk as a whole.

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On 11/21/2022 at 5:52 AM, Kitch said:

I mean....Ruin right now is being repressed...that Shard needs to have some sort of expression.  It's going to be let out in one way or another

I absolutely agree with this. Ruin is coming whether or not you want it to.

But if Sazed chooses something to decay it's probably better than some random spike of power.

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I was also thinking before TLM that it would be so "useful" to have some hamalurgic donor system in the future, where sick or old people could volunteer to get spiked, so their rare metalic arts would be gifted to someone else. Of course with payment granted to their families. Just like organ donors today. But with revelations from TLM it seams even resonable to do, as now the donor remains alive, and there are new rules and restrictions on how much spikes you can get, with possibility to even remove spikes. It will definitely get more popularized in the future, maybe even legalized.

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On 21.11.2022 at 3:25 AM, Kitch said:

Would it be any different then selling off your breaths? If Hem becomes more acceptable, then we can see an entire economy of harvesting investiture from the masses...either for commerical means or military might. 

Yes, it would be significantly worse. Selling your Breath doesn't affect your descendents, as Endowment provides every Nalthian human with a newly-minted Breath. But Rosharan investiture is hereditary, so selling the excess would lower the chance of anybody of your line born after that ever becoming a metalborn. There is also the odd contradiction that in the first trilogy Preservation allegedly invested himself into people more than Ruin to provide them with sapience - so shouldn't losing the extra bit also affect that? It didn't look that way in TLM, but...

The other, more intriguing, conclusion from that research was, though, that if they could take any unkeyed investiture (like the purified Dor), put it on a spike and key it to the metallic arts, they potentially could get fully synthetic spikes, which wouldn't deprive anybody of anything.

 

On 21.11.2022 at 5:35 AM, Ookla the Omniscient said:

 I don't think Hemalurgy will ever be widely socially accepted, but shady government projects are always a thing.

 

I suspect that strictly regulated hemalurgy is already widely accepted in the south, where they don't have the luxury of letting metallic arts necessary for the production and functioning of their magi-tech, fall out of circulation due to deaths and random chance of whether new people with required talents will be born in sufficient numbers.

I also hope that hemalurgy may become something along the line of organ donations, rather than murder or suicide, because I am with Kelsier re: democratization of metallic arts beyond the 1% of genetic lottery winners and I also don't want kandra to be a dying people with no hope of new generations. There would be enough people willing to bequeath their spikes to kandra on their deathbed, if the option existed.

 

On 21.11.2022 at 9:26 AM, Could Be Fire said:

I'd be more worried about the spread of unsealed metal minds. Way easier to convince society is okay than hemalurgy.

Any time W&W hammered in how terrible it was for Wayne to store health, all I was thinking was seeing some poor person getting paid to fill an unsealed mind. Gold is just the most obvious metal too, mental/physical speed, strength, breath, determination, and fortune are all things that are ripe for exploitation if you could "convince" someone desperate to fill them for you.

 

I am not sure why it would be so terrible in most cases? Looks more along the lines of donating blood to me. In some cases storing is actually situationally beneficial or rather neutral. I am sure that people who work in hot environments would bless a chance to not only  stay cool, but also to make some money off all the stored heat. If one is lying in bed reading, storing physical speed or strength won't be a  hardship. If one is doing something  monotonous and dull, storing mental speed could be a blessing. Could have likely helped somebody like Steris to take an occasional break from constant over-thinking, too. Storing breath when at rest would train one's  lungs to work better, which would be useful for sports or general physical fitness. I agree that storing of health, determination and fortune could be exploitative and would need some careful regulation, but the rest of it? Not IMHO.

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2 hours ago, Isilel said:

Yes, it would be significantly worse. Selling your Breath doesn't affect your descendents, as Endowment provides every Nalthian human with a newly-minted Breath. But Rosharan investiture is hereditary, so selling the excess would lower the chance of anybody of your line born after that ever becoming a metalborn. There is also the odd contradiction that in the first trilogy Preservation allegedly invested himself into people more than Ruin to provide them with sapience - so shouldn't losing the extra bit also affect that? It didn't look that way in TLM, but...

 

I didn't think about that....does hemalurgy affect a person's genetic spirit web? I don't recall a WoB on the subject. We wouldn't have found out about it during the Lord Rulers time since all spiking resulted in the death of a person 

 

But that would also mean that spiking a person would introduce those metallic art genetics into their line

 

And I don't know if the extra preservation investiture was for sapience, I had thought it was just to make people "good", but also resulted in Ruin having an edge over Preservation. Could be a factor in a harmony vs discord situation. 

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3 minutes ago, Kitch said:

I didn't think about that....does hemalurgy affect a person's genetic spirit web? I don't recall a WoB on the subject. We wouldn't have found out about it during the Lord Rulers time since all spiking resulted in the death of a person 

 

But that would also mean that spiking a person would introduce those metallic art genetics into their line

 

And I don't know if the extra preservation investiture was for sapience, I had thought it was just to make people "good", but also resulted in Ruin having an edge over Preservation. Could be a factor in a harmony vs discord situation. 

There is an old WoB that surviving Hemalurgy does have effects on you, since you're missing part of the investure of your soul. Based on what Drabs experience, I'm guessing it'd involve some kind of large emotional disturbance, like extreme depression or emotional despondency, as well as physical weakness, such as a weakened immune system. Probably also affects your lifespan, though I'm not sure about that.

Quote

Volratho

If someone was tapping gold, would spiking a separate ability out of them kill them? Or would it work at all?

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible to spike someone without killing them. But they'd never be the same. It would be worse than being a drab.

#SandersonChat Twitter Q&A with Audible.com (Feb. 4, 2016)

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/39/#e12097

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4 hours ago, Kitch said:

I didn't think about that....does hemalurgy affect a person's genetic spirit web?

Infusion of Preservation investiture via lerasium was inheritable, so logically removal of investiture should be too.

 

Quote

But that would also mean that spiking a person would introduce those metallic art genetics into their line

Sanderson went back and forth on it in his WoBs - the most current position is that it doesn't. Maybe the remaining bits of the donor's Identity interfere? Or the fact that it doesn't really get incorporated into the person, but remains bound to a spike?

 

Quote

And I don't know if the extra preservation investiture was for sapience, 

“the spike instead steals the very power of Preservation existing within the soul of the people. (The power that, in fact, gives all people sentience.)”

Hero of Ages, epigraph to chapter 38

“Mankind, however, had been created by both Ruin and Preservation—with a hint of Preservation’s own soul to give them sentience and honor”

Hero of Ages epigraph to chapter 60. 

 

Sanderson now uses sapience instead of sentience to differentiate human intelligence, since it can be argued that animals are somewhat sentient too.

P.S. Regarding drabs, they do eventually adapt to their condition and reach a new equilibrium. They don't remain weakened and depressed forever.

 

Edited by Isilel
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