bridgerald

Thoughts on Spiritwebs and Investiture

11 posts in this topic

TL;DR - Spiritwebs mystify me.

 

This is going to be pretty long, and I'll probably add more that I forget or leave out later. I'll just be throwing some of my wild ideas, speculations, and ramblings down here to see if anyone has any input.

 

First off, if this has been done and discussed before, I apologize. I just needed to put all my scattered thoughts in one place. Also, if any of this has been confirmed or denied, please let me know. I need to put my wearied mind to rest.

 

 

I can't recall any times when we see someone survive being used to charge a Hemalurgic spike. I'm unsure if this is because they die from the physical aspect (such as bleeding to death from having a chunk of metal stabbed into a bindpoint and such), or through the spiritual aspect.

 

Tied to this is the question of whether someone who is used to charge a Hemalurgic spike loses all of their Power (read: access to their magic system). I assume they do, but if we took a Twinborn, would it be possible to steal only their Allomantic power, but leave their Feruchemical Power? Unless, of course, being the "chargee" for the spike is inherently fatal.

 

I seem to recall there being mentions of preferring to use Mistborn in the creation of Inquisitors. These Mistborn clearly don't survive, but is it because they die from the physical side or the spiritual?

 

 

I know that snapping is a near-literal term, in that your spiritweb receives "cracks" that investiture can now fill. I see most (if not all) of the Investiture in the Cosmere as falling into one of two main categories.

 

1) Your Spiritweb receives "cracks" so that Investiture can fill them, granting access to the relative magic system

or

2) You are born already Invested

 

Under number one, we have Allomancy, Surgebinding, the Returned, and Elantrians.

You have the obvious Snapping, the need to be "broken" to form a Nahel Bond, dying and receiving the Divine Breath, and the Shaod (more on this in a moment).

 

Under number two, you have Breaths, Feruchemy, and Soul Stamping.

As far as I know, you are born with the ability to use these without the need for a damaged Spiritweb.

 

I suppose you could add a third category for things such as Hemalurgy and potentially the Dakhor Monks, where you intentionally alter your spiritweb at the cost of another's.

 

(Interestingly enough, the categories appear to line up with the net-positive/ neutral/ negative system. I'm not sure whether that applies to all magic in the Cosmere, or specifically the magic on Scadrial.)

 

 

Back to the subject of the Shaod. I briefly mentioned my thoughts on it in a reply to a post, but I'll put them here as well.

 

I have two highly speculative theories. 

The first is that the Shaod is/ is guided by some (more or less) sentient being/ force, perhaps like the mist in the Mistborn Trilogy, the Highstorms in the Stormlight Archive, and Returning in Warbreaker. 

The second is that the Dor, being described multiple times as a force trying to push it's way through the Aons, is... "corrosive" to the local's spiritwebs. That, or simply being surrounded(?) by the Dor alters spiritwebs over time.

Plenty of holes in both, they're just food for thought.

 

 

Sorry for the wall of text. If you read that entire thing, I'd love any thoughts, ideas, counter-theories, or suggestions.

 

(I'll add in supporting quotes from the texts, WOB, and other theories when my brain isn't melting out of my head.)

 

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I just finished reading an active thread on this very subject. Ditto on the fascination with SpiritWebs. I totally agree with this sorting of magic systems, though there are some differences between some of them (e.g., anyone can use Awakening, but Feruchemy is limited by sDNA). 

 

Here's the thread, I highly recommend you read it.

 

Edit: Uh… Sorry, I didn't realize that you actually commented in the thread. Apologies!

 

While I'm here, I think that Allomancy and Surgebinding use essentially the same Snapping mechanic of shattering someone's SpiritWeb to allow Investiture to run through them. This makes sense, as the Investiture is used in a similar, limited fashion. You only have a few powers, but you can direct them and it takes skill and experience to use them well. 

 

Returning… that's a wholly different thing, but I never thought of it as its own magic system, but rather as an extension of Awakening (I'm pretty sure that I detailed that on the other thread). 

 

The Reod might actually be a modification of the SpiritWeb, but isn't as… Upsetting as Snapping would be. AonDor requires that the boundary between the Spiritual and Physical realms be broken, but only in certain forms (Aons). Something has to happen to one's SpiritWeb for one to "cut" through (getting weird "Scissorhand" images from this). However, Elantrians also seem to be heavily Invested. The fact that they are essentially immortal reminds me of the immortality that comes with the Fifth Heightening on Nalthis. Maybe the Reod is just little Splinter-sized bits of the Dor jumping into people who have the right Spiritual connections? I would be hesitant to name the Investiture in Elantrians Splinters since the Splinter would result in the "appearance-lining-up-with-contemporary-beauty-standards" thing. Elantrians don't seem to have that… 

 

Miscellaneous thoughts on the Reod:

It happens more often at night (that's in the Prologue), and seemed strike at random, though there is a lot of speculation that it isn't as random as one might think. I do believe that it's not random, that it's guided by some Intent, but am unsure if it's completely related to devotion to a certain pursuit. 

Edited by Curiosity
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No worries! 

 

My first post was a rambling mess, so I'll try to clarify a bit here.

 

I don't think the Returned are part of a seperate magic system. I agree that they're a part of Awakening, but I totally left out my theory about that. Oops.

 

My theory about Returning is that, while everyone is invested with Breath (everyone being people on Nalthis, and referring to the base state, prior to the exchange of any Breaths). However, my theory is that dying cracks, or at least modifies, your Spiritweb. On Nalthis, this means that you are now open to a... higher form of Investment, this being the "Divine Breath" that makes Returned what they are. Death is Nalthis' version of Snapping, in a sense.

(I've also toyed around with the idea that Returned are a sort of special "Lifeless" created by their Shard, seeing as they both have a single breath that gives them life and they've both died.)

 

Also, the Reod could potentially fit in either my first or second categories. The main issue is that we really just don't know enough about the magic system yet. 

Either it fits the first, and there has to be some sort of crack or change that happens to your Spiritweb and then you are (at least able to be) affected by the Reod.

It could also fit the second, where you are always open to it, but are chosen (randomly or otherwise) to become an Elantrian.

 

Reconsidering the options, and looking at my own logic, I really should have put Elantrians in the second category, but it honestly is in the "I don't know enough to accurately place this" box. 

 

As a sidenote- All this comparing of magic systems really has me wondering about the scale of investiture.

There's been lots of speculation that Vasher is at least attempting to use Awakening with Stormlight as fuel instead of Breaths. I'm interested to see how quickly Nightblood uses Stormlight. Assuming he does. It could be hard to nail down, because at least with Breaths, you hold an exact number of them. No idea how you'd measure Stormlight, seeing as it doesn't come in units and also drains steadily.

 

I guess lots of my questions revolve around the concept of being able to mix and match Magic systems and "fuel" (or foci, or whatever). I want to say I read a WoB that was based around this idea, but I can't seem to find anything...

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Two short comments:
 

I can't recall any times when we see someone survive being used to charge a Hemalurgic spike. I'm unsure if this is because they die from the physical aspect (such as bleeding to death from having a chunk of metal stabbed into a bindpoint and such), or through the spiritual aspect.


We do have WoB that it is possible to survive being a spike-donor, but that they would be different afterwards:
 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

One does not have to kill someone with Hemalurgy to charge a spike, but it rips off a large part of the soul. The person would not be the same.


(source)
 

I seem to recall there being mentions of preferring to use Mistborn in the creation of Inquisitors. These Mistborn clearly don't survive, but is it because they die from the physical side or the spiritual?

 

I think you are misreading something.  They preferred making Inquisitors *from* Mistborn, i.e. the person who gets all of the spikes jabbed in their meaty bits and becomes an evil priest guy.  Making spikes out of Mistborn was actually considered a waste, they preferred to use Mistings for making spikes.

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Thanks a bundle! I wonder if it would leave you something like Scadrial's version of a Drab...

 

And you're probably right. It's been a while since I sat down and read through the trilogy. However, is it possible for a Seeker or something to tell when someone is a Misting even if they aren't burning metal? You have Aluminum or Atium Mistings, along with others, that would be otherwise impossible to detect, as the metal is useless by itself or incredibly difficult to obtain.

If it isn't possible, then wouldn't you have to use a Mistborn to either get access or boost these metals?

 

Someone with Hemalurgically enhanced Duralumin would be insane. Imagine how fast they could shoot a coin. If they also had enhanced Steel, we could be talking bullet speeds. 

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Thanks a bundle! I wonder if it would leave you something like Scadrial's version of a Drab...

 

And you're probably right. It's been a while since I sat down and read through the trilogy. However, is it possible for a Seeker or something to tell when someone is a Misting even if they aren't burning metal? You have Aluminum or Atium Mistings, along with others, that would be otherwise impossible to detect, as the metal is useless by itself or incredibly difficult to obtain.

If it isn't possible, then wouldn't you have to use a Mistborn to either get access or boost these metals?

 

Someone with Hemalurgically enhanced Duralumin would be insane. Imagine how fast they could shoot a coin. If they also had enhanced Steel, we could be talking bullet speeds. 

They preferred not to use Mistborn for spikes, but they would do it when necessary. This mostly happened to Marsh, because he was Ruin's champion and they wanted him to be as OP as they could get no matter what the cost. 

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I can't recall any times when we see someone survive being used to charge a Hemalurgic spike.

If you read the Final Empire epigraphs there is mention of a man named Fedik. I believe he was the victim of hemalurgic theft and survived. I asked Mr. Sanderson but I was RAFOed.

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And you're probably right. It's been a while since I sat down and read through the trilogy. However, is it possible for a Seeker or something to tell when someone is a Misting even if they aren't burning metal? You have Aluminum or Atium Mistings, along with others, that would be otherwise impossible to detect, as the metal is useless by itself or incredibly difficult to obtain.

If it isn't possible, then wouldn't you have to use a Mistborn to either get access or boost these metals?

They preferred not to use Mistborn for spikes, but they would do it when necessary. This mostly happened to Marsh, because he was Ruin's champion and they wanted him to be as OP as they could get no matter what the cost.

I would say no, Seekers detecting when someone burns metal is kind of the definition of what they can do, if you aren't burning metals they can't distinguish between you and an ordinary mortal. If they could they would have had a lot easier time finding skaa Mistings. I think it is mentioned in the annotations that Ruin had a hard time getting a-duralumin for his non-Mistborn inquistors because he had to sacrifice a Mistborn to get it (loosing out on the rest of their abilities) because he had no way have detecting duralumin gnats. If Ruin couldn't do it, I doubt a Seeker could (though there are things that Shards can't do that "lesser" beings can). I know it is remarked that it is unusual that Marsh had a spike for a-duralumin.

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I would say no, Seekers detecting when someone burns metal is kind of the definition of what they can do, if you aren't burning metals they can't distinguish between you and an ordinary mortal. If they could they would have had a lot easier time finding skaa Mistings. I think it is mentioned in the annotations that Ruin had a hard time getting a-duralumin for his non-Mistborn inquistors because he had to sacrifice a Mistborn to get it (loosing out on the rest of their abilities) because he had no way have detecting duralumin gnats. If Ruin couldn't do it, I doubt a Seeker could (though there are things that Shards can't do that "lesser" beings can). I know it is remarked that it is unusual that Marsh had a spike for a-duralumin.

That was what I was saying, about the Mistborn.

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That was what I was saying, about the Mistborn.

I am aware, I was just expanding on it...

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I am aware, I was just expanding on it...

Ah, okay. I couldn't distinguish between the response to me and to bridgerald.

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