Chaos

A "Late-Breaking" Report

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You know how sometimes, news stations will say "late-breaking" to say that a story is happening right at that moment?

This is not one of those.

Needless to say this is a very late report of, let's say, "an event". I got the opportunity to ask Brandon some questions, so I did. I wasn't able to transcribe Brandon's exact answers, but the second I could, I wrote the notes of the facts that I learned. Some of these answers are things you guys have learned since then.

So this is the transcription of the notes that I made after this event, along with my comments trying to remember why the crap I wrote the crap that I did. Here goes.

Inquisitors knowing how to Compound: some may have figured it out at some point. I got the impression it was not a technique the Lord Ruler taught them.

Shards and Shard intents: Holding a Shard is a contest of willpower against the Shard that, over time, is very hard to resist.

Shards affect you over time, but your mind will not leave a permanent effect on the Shard. A holder's personality, however, does get to filter the Shard's intent, so to speak. However, if that holder no longer held that Shard, the Shard will not continue to be filtered by that person.

Sazed's two Shards do not "cancel out", as Brandon said that it would like being pulled by two huge gravitational tides. You can get to a way that you aren't instantly ripped apart, but that doesn't mean you don't feel it. EDIT: When asked what effect the Shards would have on Sazed, Brandon said, "Read Alloy of Law to find out".

Sazed is a Shard. Just like a king of two countries is still a king, a holder of two Shards is a Shard.

I don't remember what prompted me to write this, or what impression I had that made me write this, but I wrote: Anyone can take up a Shard. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I would not have written this if it was not crystal clear to me that this is what Brandon meant.

Odium wants to be the only Shard. Odium could pick up other Shards if he wants to, but, he doesn't want to. His Shard is a good match for his personality and he doesn't want to be influenced by another Shard.

Brandon said offhandedly, "It is not random who got which Shard." Also, Shards very rarely change hands. Brandon emphasized the "very" there.

Seons are remnants of a dead Shard.

We asked some questions about the Lord Ruler, like if he knew about chromium and nicrosil. Brandon said he knew about those metals, and then also said "The Lord Ruler knew a lot of things that no one knows." All right then.

I continued to ask about the Lord Ruler and his Allomantic strength. There's an upper bound to the amount of power you can get from being a savant. Brandon said that, obviously, the Lord Ruler wasn't using duralumin and Elend could only get that powerful in Soothing using duralumin. He implied that there was a way to Compound to enhance Allomancy. (Note, we have discussed this on the forums a while back. This isn't news.)

We asked if it was possible to use bronze to Seek Feruchemy. He said it could be possible. If it were to happen, it was very hard, because the Inquisitors would desperately like to be able to find Feruchemists that way, and it was implied they had not discovered this power. So, it is a freaking hard technique to learn, if possible at all.

If you are Smoked, you can't Seek.

Ketchup does not exist in the Final Empire, since it is from a fruit, which are flowering plants. The Lord Ruler did not engineer fruit. Mostly people eat vegetables and roots.

For people really into the obscure workings of the politics of the Final Empire, we asked about the legality of assassinations. It turns out that you have to ask the obligators' permission to assassinate someone--and permission, of course, means bribe in this context. The Steel Ministry can say yes or no. Presumably more high level people would cost more money to be killed. Of course, if the Ministry says no, you can always risk it and assassinate illegally, but you'd have to be very careful not to get caught. Even with legal killings you need to keep things quiet. Brandon said the Steel Ministry has much more corruption than governments in our world. Corruption which we would abhor is commonplace in the Final Empire.

Lerasium overwrites Spiritual DNA. It can do some interesting things, and can overwrite your Spiritual DNA in different ways if you do it right. If a Surgebinder ate lerasium, he would become an Allomancer, but Brandon implied other things could be done.

Some other things that I had overheard and noted:

Shardblades can be willed down. We see this with Dalinar slamming the Shardblade down into the stone at the end of the Way of Kings.

What happens to Seons during the Reod is that the Reod messes with the Seon's spirit.

The Shaod is an effect of Elantris.

Allomantic pewter strength can be stored in a metalmind, but it's probably easier to just Compound.

Feruchemy is about multipliers. The more the Lord Ruler aged, the less "multiplier" he could store in his metalmind. And the more he aged the more he would need to Compound to stay alive. There could exist an upper bound to the amount of time the Lord Ruler could survive off this trick.

At one point, the Lord Ruler tried to quit and end the Final Empire.

There is a way to get a non-powered person to access a metalmind. (Presumably now, with the Mistborn RPG, we know that this may have something to do with Identity.)

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.

As it turns out, there is an error in the Feruchemical table when Brandon put it in Mistborn 2. If you look closely, Determination (insert metal) doesn't belong in its group. The group that it is in is obviously more physical powers. Determination was supposed to be a mental metal, and Warmth was supposed to be in that Physical group. He just made a mistake originally. But it turns out that Feruchemy obeys different rules than Allomancy, so Brandon isn't retconning it, but saying that Feruchemy works differently now. Apparently there was going to be a table of Feruchemy at the end of Alloy of Law, but it wasn't ready because Isaac kept thinking like an Allomancer. Feruchemy has its own rules (for example, Brandon confirmed that pewter does steal Feruchemical health, probably because that second group of physical Feruchemical powers are also "physical", so pewter can steal them.) Hemalurgy also obeys different rules.

Yes, so, this happened at Alloy. There's no excuse for this level of lateness. Don't kill me. Meep.

Edited by Chaos
I added to the part about Sazed's Shards with information I just remembered: Specifically, I added, "When asked what effect the Shards would have on Sazed, Brandon said, "Read Alloy of Law to find out"." 9/28 - edited a typo
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Wow! Nice work Chaos, it's way better late then never! The talk of Final Empire assassinations is especially interesting, along with the fact that anyone can take up a Shard. I was so sure only the users of that Shard's magic system could so. Interesting about the Feruchemical table, it appears the Metallic Arts are even more complex then I expected. I guess in Feruchemy metals and their alloys aren't necessarily in the same group. Thanks again Chaos!

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I wish I could've seen Brandon's face when you asked the Ketchup question. Priceless.

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I wonder how long a TLR style Compounder could last, and if a Shard could exempt someone from those kinds of things (aka, Ironeyes in the far future). How effective would duralium Sliding be as a stasis method? especially combined with the gold Compounders?

And its fairly obvious that Shard's change very slowly, and change hand very rarely. Ati and Leras probably stuck around on Scadrial for uncounted millennia before even bringing humanity to be, and then another large number of cycles of the Wells before Rashek's time. It's unlikely that Odium has changed hands, and even though Honor died, there hasnt been any more newer holders (other than Jezrien possibly) in the last 4500 years. The Letter writer knew Aona and Skai personally, and is probably quite hard to get to know them without being around prior to their ascension, and thats pretty hard to be at if Shards change hands frequently. 'Holders are likely to last into geographical if not cosmological time scales.

Awesome notes though :D thanks a lot :)

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You know, I thought those questions sounded familiar. I knew it was from the Alloy lunch when I saw the ketchup one. xD

You know, I can't remember what I had for lunch there. That's gonna bug me all day...

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Wow! Nice work Chaos, it's way better late then never! The talk of Final Empire assassinations is especially interesting, along with the fact that anyone can take up a Shard. I was so sure only the users of that Shard's magic system could so. Interesting about the Feruchemical table, it appears the Metallic Arts are even more complex then I expected. I guess in Feruchemy metals and their alloys aren't necessarily in the same group. Thanks again Chaos!

Yeah, I loved the Final Empire assassination bit. That was so cool, and so useful for MBI. Speaking of that, Windrunner, you should tooootally join MBI :P

I wish I could've seen Brandon's face when you asked the Ketchup question. Priceless.

It was pretty great. He laughed but not as big as the time we asked, "If you put all the Shardblades and Shardplate in on eplace, will they come together and make a Voltron?"

EDIT: Joe, I don't think the Lord Ruler would have made it to the next time the Well of Ascension refilled.

Edited by Chaos
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Hmm, that's the RPG right? It's definitely interesting, I've never actually been in one before. Any tips on how I'd go about getting started and what to do once I start? I don't really know where I'd begin since I don't know the rules. I'll have to browse the RPG forum.

Also, can someone explain to me why the Lord Ruler would eventually run out of Atium Compounding. I'm just so confused. I get that unlike regular attributes you need more and more age to stay at the same youth, but couldn't he just run his power through a few additional Compoundings, and make it like 1000 times as much? And also why did he have to remain old in his room? I feel like I'm missing something here.

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Hmm, that's the RPG right? It's definitely interesting, I've never actually been in one before. Any tips on how I'd go about getting started and what to do once I start? I don't really know where I'd begin since I don't know the rules. I'll have to browse the RPG forum.

It's like a gigantic collaborative fiction project set in the Final Empire. If you get on Skype sometime, we can totally tell you all about it, in addition to the tons of guides already there.

Also, can someone explain to me why the Lord Ruler would eventually run out of Atium Compounding. I'm just so confused. I get that unlike regular attributes you need more and more age to stay at the same youth, but couldn't he just run his power through a few additional Compoundings, and make it like 1000 times as much? And also why did he have to remain old in his room? I feel like I'm missing something here.

The way I understand it is that, if you were sick, you could store less health before dying than someone who is healthy, right? You could store health maybe at a 1x rate, but a healthy person could do 2x or maybe 3x. Now, it is apparent that your body remembers your "true" age, because the Lord Ruler snapped back to his true age very quickly. (This isn't totally mysterious, and I remember there being a topic on this. After all, once you finish tapping iron, your body goes to a "neutral" weight. The body remembers what the true one is.) So as the Lord Ruler gets older, the age available for him to store is getting less and less, similar to someone getting sicker and sicker. So at the end, the Lord Ruler could only store a very tiny fraction of his age. So, he would need to burn atium more to get the same effect, simply because he has less age in his stores. That's how I understood it.

I think then your question is "Why can't the Lord Ruler store the age he just Compounded?" Well... he can't, I guess :P Does Miles store the health he receives after he Compounds it?

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Wait, Miles doesn't do that? I've always assumed he burns a metalmind, and then stores the excess heath in his metalminds. If he so wished he could pull one out, shave it to powder, then burn it again right? But your Lord Ruler explanation makes sense, thank you! I forgot that he would be able to store less age as time goes on.

And also I'll check out the RP threads, it might take me a bit to get one though. I'm still working on the Scadrial article as well as typing an audio interview for the database

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Ketchup does not exist in the Final Empire, since it is from a fruit, which are flowering plants. The Lord Ruler did not engineer fruit. Mostly people eat vegetables and roots.

I happened to be re-reading Mistborn, or else I would not have caught this, but doesn't this contradict

"Plants that smell?" Vin asked. "Like fruit?"

"Something like that, I think. Some of the reports even claim that these flowers grew into fruit, in the days before the Ascension."

Vin stood quietly, frowning, trying to imagine such a thing.

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Hmm, re: Shards changing hands VERY rarely....suddenly I'm wondering if Sazed is the first time since Adonalsium shattered that a Shard has actually had a new holder? I actually always took it for granted that he was, but the phrasing makes me wonder if its not actually a brand new occurrence in the history of the cosmere for Sazed to have risen to Shardhood, but if there's precedence on a world we haven't seen yet maybe.

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*snip*

We asked some questions about the Lord Ruler, like if he knew about chromium and nicrosil. Brandon said he knew about those metals, and then also said "The Lord Ruler knew a lot of things that no one knows." All right then.

I continued to ask about the Lord Ruler and his Allomantic strength. There's an upper bound to the amount of power you can get from being a savant. Brandon said that, obviously, the Lord Ruler wasn't using duralumin and Elend could only get that powerful in Soothing using duralumin. He implied that there was a way to Compound to enhance Allomancy. (Note, we have discussed this on the forums a while back. This isn't news.)

Feruchemy is about multipliers. The more the Lord Ruler aged, the less "multiplier" he could store in his metalmind. And the more he aged the more he would need to Compound to stay alive. There could exist an upper bound to the amount of time the Lord Ruler could survive off this trick.

At one point, the Lord Ruler tried to quit and end the Final Empire.

Good to know that I wasn't completely crazy about the Lord Ruler's Allomantic strength; it is indeed much larger than Elend's.

When he tried to end the Final Empire, do think the Lord Ruler tried to turn himself into a black hole? ;)

I wonder how long a TLR style Compounder could last, and if a Shard could exempt someone from those kinds of things (aka, Ironeyes in the far future). How effective would duralium Sliding be as a stasis method? especially combined with the gold Compounders?

The way I understand it is that, if you were sick, you could store less health before dying than someone who is healthy, right? You could store health maybe at a 1x rate, but a healthy person could do 2x or maybe 3x. Now, it is apparent that your body remembers your "true" age, because the Lord Ruler snapped back to his true age very quickly. (This isn't totally mysterious, and I remember there being a topic on this. After all, once you finish tapping iron, your body goes to a "neutral" weight. The body remembers what the true one is.) So as the Lord Ruler gets older, the age available for him to store is getting less and less, similar to someone getting sicker and sicker. So at the end, the Lord Ruler could only store a very tiny fraction of his age. So, he would need to burn atium more to get the same effect, simply because he has less age in his stores. That's how I understood it.

I think then your question is "Why can't the Lord Ruler store the age he just Compounded?" Well... he can't, I guess :P Does Miles store the health he receives after he Compounds it?

I actually computed some figures that may help to illustrate why TLR will eventually run out. Warning: Much computational math ahead. Discrete mathematicians stay out! :P

"x" is the Lord Ruler's actual age.

"x-y" is the age that the Lord Ruler appears to be. (So x-y = 25ish during TFE.)

"y" is the amount of age that Atium has to compensate for.

Lets say that TLR discovered compounding on his 25th birthday, and he decided to stay continuously 25 for as long as possible with Atium. To determine how much Age he used up over the first year requires some math, specifically calculus. (His body is continuously aging so he has to continuously increase the amount of Age he is tapping, therefore integral calculus is desirable.)

x-y=25, in this case. As "x" is the Lord Ruler's actual age, we will let it be the variable of integration. The two dates we are interested in are "x1", his 25th birthday, and "x2", his 26th birthday. So, x1 = 25 and x2 = 26. To determine the amount of age used we will integrate over the amount of age that Atium is compensating for with those times. Mathematically:

int(y,x,x1,x2)

is the form of the desired integral. (Reads: "the integral of y, with respect to x, from x1 to x2" in case one isn't familiar with that notation.) However, we need to have "y" be a function of x, so we solve x-y=25 for y: y=x-25. With this substitution, and substituting actual values of x1 and x2, we get the following integral:

int(x-25,x,25,26) = .5 years (rather obviously)

While this amount of time is not that much (especially with compounding) things start to change when larger timescales are used. Suppose that x1 = 25 and x2=1025 (somewhere between 10 and 15 years before the events of the Final Empire.) Then the integral becomes:

int(x-25,x,25,1025) = 500000 years

So TLR would have used 500,000 years of Age to be 25 years old throughout the existence of the Final Empire. In just the 1024-1025 year he used up int(x-25,x,1024,1025) = 999.5 years of Age! Again, this doesn't seem too bad for a compounder of TLRs strength, but one can definitely see that a problem will happen soon. Let's try TLR living to his one millionth birthday:

int(x-25,x,25,1*10^6) = 4.99975...*10^11 years!

And that year it took int(x-25,x,999999,1000000) = 999,974.5 years of Age to just live another year! Even with compounding, there is only so much Age you can create. At some point TLR wouldn't be able to keep up because he couldn't compound Atium fast enough, even if he was eating shovelfuls of Atium every second and storing the excess in a humongous pile of Atium to eat later. Even if he used the shoveling technique for the entire time since he started compounding, (and never stored Age after the first time) the increase in required age would eventually outstrip his Age production through compounding.

And this is a conservative estimate! If Age gives diminishing returns (to remove 20 years from your body takes more than 2 times as much Age as removing 10 years does) then the "x-y" term would need to be adjusted, as another term "z" would be needed, where "z" is the amount of Age required to grant remove "y" years from the body. Something like sqrt(z)=y, so every time one doubles the Age to be tapped, you must quadruple the amount of Age that needs to be stored. In this specific case, reducing your apparent age by 10 years would require 100 years of Age.

Edited by Thor
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Ha! I knew Seons were splinters. This is perfect confirmation.

And do you think that the Lord Ruler's excessive allomantic strength could have been a result of nicrosil compounding? I think somebody said you could store allomancy in a nicrosilmind, so if you compound that....

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I'm still trying to think how compounding could work in reverse to increase allomancy...

On TLR and aging, yea I think the problem as Thor said is basically that it would eventually get to a point where 1. TLR needs to eat atium faster than it is produced. 2. He needs to eat it at a rate faster than he can actually eat it (also it would absolutely be shredding his insides so he'd need to alternate some gold in there too)

Also due to the amount of age he'd be storing (I'm pretty sure that's how compounding was said to work, burning it for a flash of power then storing that flash to tap it at lower levels) eventually the size of the metalminds he'd need would be ridiculous and kind of obvious if he drags a room sized chunk of atium everywhere he goes.

On the compounding allomancy do we know if this could happen to a twinborn? As opposed to a full mistborn/feruchemist.

On the nicrosil compounding, the RPG says it's just about feruchemy. Turning any feruchemical charge into a kind of general charge which can then be used to power another metalmind (eg. turning stored age into strength) I can't remember anything about allomancy

Edited by Voidus
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My favorite theory for TLRs immortality is that he was compounding brass or some other metal, then using nicrosil to switch it for age. He might even have been skilled enough to do it with two metals at once. No atium consumpsion needed, just his bracers.

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Yeah, I was just thinking that that's a possibility for Marsh, if he ever gets a (f) nicrosil spike then he doesn't need to consume atium anymore, just use it for storage. But I never thought to apply that to TLR he does know about nicrosil so yeah, could definitely work of course this just raises even more questions as to why on Scadrial he felt the need to go about looking like an old geezer :P

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Topic necroing to say that I found another mention of fruit in TFE:

The loose bag slumped to the side, dumping an array of foods on the ground. Fine breads, fruits, and even a few thick, cured sausages bounced free.

A summerfruit rolled across the packed earthen floor and bumped lightly against Tepper’s foot. The middle-aged skaa regarded the fruit with stunned eyes. “That’s nobleman’s food!”

So it appears whatever fruit they have isn't anything we'd know as fruit considering it doesn't have an equivalent Earth name. This could mean that fruit is just a translation quirk like the "mooning over her" or "hat trick" phrases and that fruit is just the closest word we have for whatever Kelsier stole. Either that or this is an incidence of early installment weirdness.

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All this talk about Rasek's upper age limit while fun is kind of pointless isn't it? he would've presumably died in the next year if he were still alive. Why because as evidenced by Vin, when one uses the Well of Ascension you must remove all metal on you person. That would mean Rashek would have to rmove his atium bracers to use the Well and the rapid aging would kill him.

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He could just hold a regular piece of Feruchemically charged atium that wasn't Hemalurgically charged. Vin didn't have to remove her regular metals just the spike. I also don't think he would have had trouble removing his atium spikes because they didn't pierce anything vital.

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He could just hold a regular piece of Feruchemically charged atium that wasn't Hemalurgically charged. Vin didn't have to remove her regular metals just the spike. I also don't think he would have had trouble removing his atium spikes because they didn't pierce anything vital.

IIRC, she halso had to rmove her belt of Allomantic metal vials as well.

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I'm pretty sure that Brandon has said that removing her metals was unnecessary. I'll try to dig up the quote if I can and post it here. The Well was just rejecting the Ruin in the spike which was pain Vin felt. She didn't understand that it was a spike at the time so she thought it didn't like metal, thus she removed her vials as well.

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I'm pretty sure that Brandon has said that removing her metals was unnecessary. I'll try to dig up the quote if I can and post it here. The Well was just rejecting the Ruin in the spike which was pain Vin felt. She didn't understand that it was a spike at the time so she thought it didn't like metal, thus she removed her vials as well.

Hmm, if that's the caseI wonder if Rashek could've used the power of the well to reset his clock so to speak.

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If the Well rejected the Ruin in the spike, wouldn't it also reject the feruchemical stores on account of them having some Ruin of their own? Plus, atium is Ruin's power, you'd think it would reject any Atium. . .

In anycase, Rashek didn't die instantly after removing his metalminds, so I suppose he could enter the Well and then remove the metal, and take up the power immediately after. And then devise some method of keeping himself alive for longer, if he didn't have the resources/method to before then.

But, really, he had one thousand years to think about it, I imagine he had it very well planned out.

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IIRC, she halso had to rmove her belt of Allomantic metal vials as well.

She removed them, yes. But there was no mention of them reacting with the well like her spike did. I think the belt was to distract us from seeing that her earring was different.

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I can't even comment on this right now, even inasmuch as I want to! I totally need to read through it all again ... in daylight!

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