SpinningSky

Atium retcon and the lost metal

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So I'm pretty sure most of us will be aware of the "Atium retcon", I find myself a bit confused about how that works with what we saw in the Lost Metal.

So, what we call Atium in era 1 is actually a blend, not the pure godmetal, otherwise anyone could burn it.
Wax made Atium and actual Lerasium starting from Harmonium in his experiment. As we know actual Harmonium was used and actual Lerasium was made, it stands to reason that actual Atium was the other product.
At the end of the book, Marsh can keep living (using the compounding trick) because Wax made Atium (which in this case would need to be the tainted Atium from book 1, the allomantic metal).

I'm wondering wether I should just let this go and understand that era 1 didn't have godmetals fully fleshed out, or if there's actually a way for this to still make sense, what do you think?
 

 

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Why can't Marsh take the Atium that was produced and mix it with electrum to make nalatium (Era 1 Atium) and live that way

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On 21/11/2022 at 3:17 PM, Arceoxys said:

Why can't Marsh take the Atium that was produced and mix it with electrum to make nalatium (Era 1 Atium) and live that way

Also does he need to, does feruchemical atium need to be nalatium to compound age/youth?

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On 21/11/2022 at 11:17 PM, Arceoxys said:

Why can't Marsh take the Atium that was produced and mix it with electrum to make nalatium (Era 1 Atium) and live that way

Well, that answers that. For me at least.

Of course this still leaves the ever-present burning desire for more answers but I suppose I'll just have to be patient for Era 3.

 

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I can see how that could work! 

It doesn't convince me fully,  we're talking Atium dust, I don't know if Marsh as he is now is gonna get into a lab and properly alloy Atium dust and Electrum, it's not like he can just mix the powders

So it can make sense to me, but it seems like a workaround to make it make sense, rather than an incorporation by brandon of the Retcon in the books.
After thinking about it, I think he didn't want to commit to canon the retcon just yet and just ignored the issue

9 hours ago, King-A-Train said:

Also does he need to, does feruchemical atium need to be nalatium to compound age/youth?

the composition of the metals are critical for them to work properly in Allomancy, but I mean you could also assume that Atium works anyways because godmetal

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So spoiler stream came around, Brandon confirmed that the atium needs to be alloyed and that Sazed will do that before giving it to Marsh, we don't even know wether Marsh is aware or not

It's great to be a Sanderson fan:D

 

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On 03/12/2022 at 9:25 AM, SpinningSky said:

So spoiler stream came around, Brandon confirmed that the atium needs to be alloyed and that Sazed will do that before giving it to Marsh, we don't even know wether Marsh is aware or not

It's great to be a Sanderson fan:D

 

He does make life easy sometimes doesn’t he. We could have had to wait years for that otherwise. 

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I have a question:  How, exactly, is an alloy of atium created?  Harmonium and Trellium couldn't be melted down.  Is Atium somehow softer?  I understand the Atium in the Pit was actually an allow of electrum and Atium, and that's just how Preservation made it, and I can get behind Harmony making the alloy, because its his metsl, sort of, but then how was Malatium created?  That one was made by a random guy in The Eleventh Metal.  

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Harmonium couldn't be melted down in Wax's lab - but it came close with the whole stretching thing when heated by electrical current. I am sure that it could have been melted at an industrial facility. And unless atium-electrum alloy has a much lower melting point than pure atium, we already know that it was possible to melt and alloy it in Era 1 to produce malatium.

Edited by Isilel
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23 hours ago, Tglassy said:

I have a question:  How, exactly, is an alloy of atium created?  Harmonium and Trellium couldn't be melted down.  Is Atium somehow softer?  I understand the Atium in the Pit was actually an allow of electrum and Atium, and that's just how Preservation made it, and I can get behind Harmony making the alloy, because its his metsl, sort of, but then how was Malatium created?  That one was made by a random guy in The Eleventh Metal.  

My line of reasoning is that to manipulate the chemistry of a pure God-metal you need insane amounts of energy and perfect knowledge of what you're doing (due to the amount of investiture\spiritual shenanigans), so pure atium to be alloyed requires a shard, much like you could technically do hemalourgy on your own but in practice you need a shard's guidance.

In the moment the Atium is alloyed, it quits being a God-metal and can be manipulated more easily

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10 hours ago, Isilel said:

Harmonium couldn't be melted down in Wax's lab - but it came close with the whole stretching thing when heated by electrical current. I am sure that it could have been melted at an industrial facility. And unless atium-electrum alloy has a much lower melting point than pure atium, we already know that it was possible to melt and alloy it in Era 1 to produce malatium.

I guess I had a different reading of that scene. What I got from that wasn't that Wax didn't generate enough heat, but rather that  you cannot force a godmetal to change phase with energy alone, instead you must increase how Invested it is. Sure, harmonium might become more malleable when heated up, and possibly even alloyable, but I doubt it would melt. Especially since when it comes to Investiure, the order of lowest to highest Invested phases is sold -> gas -> liquid. If anything, harmonium is more likely to vaporize before it melts. Thus I have to assume the alloying of godmetals has more to do with some kind of catalyst to trigger a chemical reaction rather than just the use of heat.

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My guess is that you need the correct Pure Tone in some way to force a phase transition 

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So how was Malatium created?  It's an obvious alloy of Atium and Gold, and it was made by a random Mistborn Nobleman.  WITHOUT electricity.  

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Is there an explanation as to why this retcon exists?

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Just now, nehalem said:

Is there an explanation as to why this retcon exists?

here

Spoiler

/u/AAKS_

My understanding is that Brandon thinks it is a plothole that Lerasium can be burned by Scadrian (regardless of if they are mistings/mistborn) but Atium can't.

His solution is to retcon the Pits to naturally produce an Atium/Electrum alloy, presumably by the design of Preservation. Therefore we don't know what pure Atium looks like or does when used in any magic.

Peter Ahlstrom

We do know what it does. It’s on the Allomancy poster, and the effect appeared one time at the end of Hero of Ages.

LewsTherinTelescope

Interesting. Do you know if he had already conceived the retcon by the time the poster was written, or if that line about pure atium just turned out to fit really well retroactively?

Peter Ahlstrom

The retcon is way older than a lot of people assume.

LewsTherinTelescope

Does this mean he had it in mind by the time Hero of Ages released (since the first public version of the poster dates to 2008), or just that it's old but not sure exactly how old?

Peter Ahlstrom

Remember that what's in the books is filtered through the understanding of the characters. So even if Brandon planned it from the beginning, if the characters didn't know about it, it's not going to come out in the book.

And see this thread reply from 2009.

Footnote: The link is to a post on the Timewaster's Guide forums, where Peter responds to someone asking about whether atium is an alloy by saying he now knows enough to confirm or deny the theory, but is not allowed to.
General Reddit 2022 (Dec. 4, 2022)

 

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This retcon makes less sense than simply saying everyone is able to use Lerasium and be done with it.

Everyone can use Breaths too so why not that. A Lerasium/Nicrosil combination would also work better and you wouldn't have to deal with further problems like explaining what actual Atium does and so on.

What I find weirdest is that Marsh went to quite a bit of og Atium and now is able to sustain himself on a bit of dust. Maybe its 99,999% electrum for of Atium.

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2 hours ago, trav said:

This retcon makes less sense than simply saying everyone is able to use Lerasium and be done with it.

Everyone can use Breaths too so why not that. A Lerasium/Nicrosil combination would also work better and you wouldn't have to deal with further problems like explaining what actual Atium does and so on.

What I find weirdest is that Marsh went to quite a bit of og Atium and now is able to sustain himself on a bit of dust. Maybe its 99,999% electrum for of Atium.

Yeah I agree.  It makes sense that everyone could burn Lerasium, because (1) its what grants allomantic powers and (2) All humans on Scadrial have extra preservation in them.

Really the only reason and I can see the retcon making sense is if in the future a non-allomancers has to burn a different godmetal(like Trellium).

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4 hours ago, trav said:

This retcon makes less sense than simply saying everyone is able to use Lerasium and be done with it.

Everyone can use Breaths too so why not that. A Lerasium/Nicrosil combination would also work better and you wouldn't have to deal with further problems like explaining what actual Atium does and so on.

What I find weirdest is that Marsh went to quite a bit of og Atium and now is able to sustain himself on a bit of dust. Maybe its 99,999% electrum for of Atium.

The point goes a beyond Lerasium, it's about all Godmetals.

Godmetals should all provide different effects and are detached from Allomancy as a system, that's why you need to clarify that God metals work with different mechanics, and pure Atium had to fit with those.

I'm pretty sure they'll become more relevant in SA5 and definitly in era 3

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18 hours ago, SpinningSky said:

Godmetals should all provide different effects

Whats the problem with Lerasiums effect being that it can also be burned by anyone? I really so no problem with this at all.

Allomancy is of Preservation and he decides what can be allomantically burned. Lerasium can universally be burned while other metals can not. We already have the restriction of Mistings only being able to burn a certain kind of metal while Mistborn can burn all.

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1 hour ago, trav said:

Whats the problem with Lerasiums effect being that it can also be burned by anyone? I really so no problem with this at all.

Allomancy is of Preservation and he decides what can be allomantically burned. Lerasium can universally be burned while other metals can not. We already have the restriction of Mistings only being able to burn a certain kind of metal while Mistborn can burn all.

As @trav just posted, it's a matter of how Brandon has decided to define God metals, not what I think they should or shouldn't do;)

Though I believe that whether exactly all of them can be burned by anyone is still up to debate, he wanted them in general to be usable by many and unrelated to allomancy

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1 hour ago, SpinningSky said:

As @trav just posted, it's a matter of how Brandon has decided to define God metals, not what I think they should or shouldn't do;)

Though I believe that whether exactly all of them can be burned by anyone is still up to debate, he wanted them in general to be usable by many and unrelated to allomancy

The part that makes the least sense to me is whether God Metals are burnable by anyone in the Cosmere or just any Scadrian. Because the potential to burn metals is not (known to be) a fundamental part of the spark of life, but rather a specific effect of being Connected to Preservation. I understand Lerasium and maybe even Atium and Trellium being burnable by anyone in the Cosmere (since they are consciously incorporated into the Metallic Arts by Shards), but it seems like a leap to say that (for example) Raysium would be burnable by a random Rosharan.

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I would assume it's limited by 

A] Availability of god metals

B] knowledge/intent

 

And I don't know if it would count as "allomantic burn" the same way that Hoid isn't a "lightweaver" in WoK. He does have something analogous. 

 

I think the possibility Brandon is trying to keep viable is that if you have shard metal and know what you're doing, you're able to take up that tiny bit, you're able to use that metals investiture 

Edited by drunkenbotanist
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54 minutes ago, Ookla the Observant said:

The part that makes the least sense to me is whether God Metals are burnable by anyone in the Cosmere or just any Scadrian. Because the potential to burn metals is not (known to be) a fundamental part of the spark of life, but rather a specific effect of being Connected to Preservation. I understand Lerasium and maybe even Atium and Trellium being burnable by anyone in the Cosmere (since they are consciously incorporated into the Metallic Arts by Shards), but it seems like a leap to say that (for example) Raysium would be burnable by a random Rosharan.

True I see your point! 
My head canon for this is that we use the word "burning" because that's what Scadrians call "ingesting a metal and doing a thing that consumes its matter", but while the allomantic burning is a way to access Preservation's investiture, for god metals you can just use the very concentrated phyisical investiture that way, similiar to how you immerse yourself in liquid investiture to use that. We could say that Preservation got insipired by how godmetals worked to make allomancy

 

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