skaa

Metalmind Acupuncture: A Safer Form Of Hemalurgy

11 posts in this topic

In this extremely speculative post, I will try to describe a hypothetical form of Hemalurgy that I think is a substantial improvement over the form Ati taught Rashek during his Ascension. My purpose is to address the three main drawbacks of Rashek's Hemalurgy:

 

  1. It harms the source of Investiture, a.k.a. the Hemalurgic sacrifice/victim. Even if the harm isn't lethal (a possibility that so far has only been theoretically-confirmed), the victim will still end up with a chunk of his soul torn off.
     
  2. It harms the recipient of Investiture. Hemalurgy as it is currently known warps both the physical body and the Spiritweb in order to accommodate the sometimes ridiculously big spikes impaling the recipient. This, of course, is a trade-off that some recipients of Hemalurgic Investiture will gladly accept, but that doesn't change the fact that removing that huge Pewter spike containing stolen Gold Feruchemy will result in a wound that could kill you.
     
  3. It relies on the Hemalurgic spike staying inside a body. In this form of Hemalurgy, the issue of Investiture-leeching (in the form of Hemalurgic decay) is a top concern because it happens the moment the spike leaves the victim's body. And if the recipient ever removes the spike, the Investiture is also removed, forcing him to keep the spike in as long as he needs the power.

 

Now, just to be clear, the alternative Hemalurgy I'm about to describe will still involve blood. This is still something that bears the mark of Ruin, except the damage is so negligible that Ati could very well have been blind to its possibility (assuming I'm correct that it is possible).

 

Without further ado, here are the five steps towards a safer, more harmonious form of Hemalurgy.

 

 

Step I: Get a very thin needle.

 

There is one aspect of Drawback 2 that is easily solvable: If you don't want big-chull wounds, don't use big-chull spikes. Needles are perfect for this purpose, especially acupuncture needles, which can be inserted in the body without any bleeding.

 

Incidentally, did you guys know that Brandon's concept of Hemalurgy was inspired by acupuncture?

 

Hemalurgy-when you spike, you place the spike in a place that determines which charge the spike gets. Q: Through the heart seems to pick up universally. A: It depends on where in the heart. It's like acupuncture. This is designed from acupuncture and you get very specific on which nerves you're hitting and things like that Q: So the spike will never pick up more than one power. A: Not the way they know how to do it.

 

 

Note that last bit: "Not the way they know how to do it." This implies that there are more ways to do Hemalurgy, which is good because that's exactly what I'm proposing here.

 

So, now you've got a sterile needle made from one of the 16 Metals (or a god metal, if you're lucky). The problem with acupuncture needles, though, is that such small pieces of metal aren't very useful in "traditional" Hemalurgic techniques. For one, it doesn't hold much Hemalurgic charge. Also, it might be tricky to reach the proper bind point in the heart of an adult victim using just a needle.

 

Good thing my alternative Hemalurgy doesn't require stabbing the Investiture source's heart. (Goodbye, Drawback 1!)

 

 

Step II: Carefully insert the needle into the target.

 

You might think I missed a step. Why are we already inserting the needle into the target without first obtaining a charge? Well, we'll charge the needle later. Meanwhile, just ensure that the uncharged needle is inserted precisely into the proper bind point. Also, we shouldn't let any blood vessel be hit (which should be easier with a very thin needle), since we do not want the intended target's Spiritweb to be damaged. Remember, it is through moving blood that sDNA attaches to the metal:

 

 

MASTER_MORIDIN
1. What is the relationship between blood and the Spiritual Realm? (Since Hemalurgy needs blood to graft the sDNA in a spike into someone else's sDNA)
BRANDON SANDERSON
The blood being in motion is part of it.

 

 

(We probably will have to hit a nerve, though, as implied in the first quote above.)

 

But if there's no blood involved, how is this even Hemalurgy? ("Hema" is from the Greek word for "blood".) We'll address that in Step IV. Meanwhile, let us now charge our needle.

 

 

Step III: Store a Feruchemical charge into the needle.

 

There are two things I forgot to mention. The first is that the person doing to needle-insertion is the source of Investiture himself. The second is that this person is a Feruchemist. Once the needle is inserted into the intended target's bind point (making sure that enough of the needle is still sticking out), the Feruchemist touches the part of the needle sticking out and starts storing an attribute into it. If it's a golden needle, then he stores Health. If it's an aluminum needle, then he stores Identity, etc.

 

(Edit: In hindsight, I suppose you could store the charge before inserting the needle.)

 

At this point you might object that Sazed himself told us that a Feruchemical charge cannot be accessed by anyone except the person who stored it. And Brandon himself said that accessing someone else's metalminds requires some fiddling with Identity. I will answer that Sazed did not know about Hemalurgy at that point, and that I, in fact, intend to fiddle with Identity. Using blood.

 

 

Step IV: Add a drop of the Feruchemist's blood onto the needle.

 

Here's the most speculative part of this post. The Feruchemist will offer his own blood as sacrifice (just a tiny bit, so it's only a bit of a hassle), dropping it on the part of the needle sticking outside of the target's body. By doing this, the Feruchemist creates something we've never encountered before in the Mistborn books: a Hemalurgic spike inserted inside a target but with the sacrificial blood outside of the target.

 

I hypothesize that the blood will do two things:

  1. First, since the blood belongs to the owner of the needle's Feruchemical charge, this will somehow trick the needle metalmind into believing it is in its owner's possession. (This is the Identity-fiddling I mentioned above.)
     
  2. Second, since the only bit of blood on the needle is exposed outside, and the rest of the needle is inside, this will cause a hybrid state of sorts. Investiture will try to escape the needle as in Hemalurgic decay, but at the same time it will try to Hemalurgically Invest its "owner", which it just so happens to think is the guy with the needle stuck to him. The result is that the needle's recipient will steadily tap the Feruchemical charge of the needle until it is depleted.

If my assumptions are correct, then at this point the Feruchemist can keep on storing into the needle as much as he wants, and the charges will keep on being absorbed by the recipient.

 

 

Step V: Remove the needle.

 

Now that the intended recipient has had his fill of whatever attribute you wished to give him, feel free to remove the needle. There goes Drawback 3. Just don't forget to dispose of used needles properly. We are hygienic Hemalurgists now.  :)

 

 


 

Possible Objections/Questions

 

  • This doesn't seem as powerful as traditional Hemalurgy. How would you obtain Feruchemical and Allomantic powers this way?
    • I would guess one of the Spiritual metals (nicrosil, probably) might help with this, though you might need a Twinborn or Fullborn to achieve this.
       
    • Even if you could not obtain powers this way, you have to admit that Gold Feruchemists (among others) could help far more people with this method than with the traditional method of being fatally stabbed. Stop being selfish.
       
  • Are the bind points used for these Feruchemical-Hemalurgic needles the same as traditional Hemalurgic bind points?
    • Maybe. *shrugs* Haven't really thought much about that yet, but the idea is you can't just stab a Feruchemical needle onto some random body part and expect this method to work. The Hemalurgic "art" of locating the right bind point still applies.
       
  • If this is true, why hasn't Harmony taught it to people yet?
    • Probably because neither Ati nor Leras knew this could be done with Feruchemy and Hemalurgy. Sazed would have to discover this on his own while playing with the powers. Assuming my theory is correct, of course.


 

What do you guys think? Is there any WoB I'm forgetting that refutes the possibility of this sort of Hemalurgy?

Edited by skaa
12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do spike wounds even become lethal again when you take the spike out? Many inquisitors couldn't store health. Feruchemists were in quite short supply.

I swear we've had spikes removed from people before.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting proposal.

(Edit: In hindsight, I suppose Steps II and III can be switched.)

Yes, definitely.

since the blood belongs to the owner of the needle's Feruchemical charge, this will somehow trick the needle metalmind into believing it is in its owner's possession.

But didn't we just say that the blood has to be in motion to do it's thing?

I want to use a scene from WoA (when Marsh basically gut-shoots Sazed with his own metalminds, who then uses them to heal himself) to refute the part of this idea about the hybrid state, but I can see how it may not necessarily apply. Sazed ends up with an abdomen full of metalminds (touching his blood), and he apparently has no difficulty using them either then or after he took them back out. To me, the fact that he didn't seem to have any trouble with "leakage" after the metalminds had been in contact with his blood suggests that simply being in contact with blood ex vivo does not convert a metalmind into a leaking spike. However, intent being all-important in these things means that your system (by a knowledgable practitioner) may be possible.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Main issue I see is:
 

Quote

MASTER_MORIDIN
1. What is the relationship between blood and the Spiritual Realm? (Since Hemalurgy needs blood to graft the sDNA in a spike into someone else's sDNA)
BRANDON SANDERSON
The blood being in motion is part of it.

 

The Blood Dripped via an Open wound does not seem like it would fit this as I aways took it to mean that the Blood in motion in the target doners body is a must.

That said if you could find a way to pass through a Bind point non lethally or a non lethal bind point then I could see this working for alomancy.

For a ferucemist I think your going to have to remove there Identity from the charges if they are not giving up the power to use that metal before this will work.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I understand, blood is the pathway that spikes use to get to the soul. Like Shai uses a stamp and can press it 'into' an object (which she claims makes it tough the thing's soul), or like Jasnah puts her hand through a wall while Soulcasting it (presumably touching its soul), a Hemalurgic spike goes through the person's body to the bindpoint on the soul.

 

When the blood is not in the body, I would not expect this to work.

 

I don't think you can do this without a charged spike. Shai can't shove just any stamp into an object and twist; it has to be a valid stamp. Similarly, we might expect we need a valid charge for the spike to reach the person's Spiritweb.

 

Brandon is also quite clear that Hemalurgy involves ripping off a piece of someone's soul. Is it really Hemalurgy if you're not doing soul ripping? I don't know, this might be semantics.

 

Your method is not stealing any bits of soul. I don't think Hemalurgic decay would happen without a soul bit trapped in a spike, so I don't think this theoretical Feruchemically charged needle is going to leak. I also don't think blood is sufficient as an identity-indicator, but to properly expand on why I think that would take several pages so I'll spare everyone on that.

 

It's an interesting idea on the whole, but the mechanics just don't really jive with me. They don't seem to fit other things. This is more of a gut feeling than anything truly concrete, though. I'd be interested in seeing this brought up as a question to Brandon - not about Hemalurgy specifically, but about getting Muggles to tap metalminds/whether you can make a metalmind leak like that.

Edited by Moogle
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming that it would work there is one big flaw in this method. It would only transfer a feruchemical charge. Why is this a flaw? Simple, Feruchemy only works for the moment so in most situations the energy would simply be wasted. It might be useful for medical purposes by transfering health or nutrition from a charged Metalmind into the recipient (Which would admittedly be very helpful) but you probably couldn't achieve the long lasting effects of Hemalurgy.

 

On another note, given Hemalurgy's nature, are there even bind points that aren't in contact with blood?

Edited by Edgedancer
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do spike wounds even become lethal again when you take the spike out? Many inquisitors couldn't store health. Feruchemists were in quite short supply.

I swear we've had spikes removed from people before.

Yep, we've seen spikes being removed from vital body parts. Vin noticed that removing both eye spikes from an Inquisitor is enough to kill him.

Very interesting proposal.

Yes, definitely.

But didn't we just say that the blood has to be in motion to do it's thing?

Thanks! And the blood in motion is important. I imagine that the Feruchemist's fresh blood would trickle down the needle at least a little bit, and that this motion is enough to trigger a Hemalurgic effect of some sort, though obviously not the Hemalurgic effect we have been accustomed with.

I want to use a scene from WoA (when Marsh basically gut-shoots Sazed with his own metalminds, who then uses them to heal himself) to refute the part of this idea about the hybrid state, but I can see how it may not necessarily apply. Sazed ends up with an abdomen full of metalminds (touching his blood), and he apparently has no difficulty using them either then or after he took them back out. To me, the fact that he didn't seem to have any trouble with "leakage" after the metalminds had been in contact with his blood suggests that simply being in contact with blood ex vivo does not convert a metalmind into a leaking spike. However, intent being all-important in these things means that your system (by a knowledgable practitioner) may be possible.

Indeed, Intent is important here. It appears that Sazed's metal rings did not become Hemalurgic spikes, which is fortunate because otherwise bits of his Spiritweb would have been torn off the moment he removed the rings.

From what I understand, blood is the pathway that spikes use to get to the soul. Like Shai uses a stamp and can press it 'into' an object (which she claims makes it tough the thing's soul), or like Jasnah puts her hand through a wall while Soulcasting it (presumably touching its soul), a Hemalurgic spike goes through the person's body to the bindpoint on the soul.

When the blood is not in the body, I would not expect this to work.

And yet a Feruchemist can tap from his metalminds without them necessarily being inside of him. My method does not require the needle to access the target's Spiritweb. It simply uses the Hemalurgic process (triggered by the Feruchemist's blood and the needle hitting a bind point) to trick the metalmind into initiating what constitutes as a Feruchemical tap.

This obviously is largely speculative as I noted from the start. You're right that it's a good idea to ask Brandon whether this is even possible (assuming he won't just RAFO it). All I know is that Brandon already implied that there are other ways to do Hemalurgy (as I quoted in the OP). I just decided to think of one theoretical way.

Assuming that it would work there is one big flaw in this method. It would only transfer a feruchemical charge. Why is this a flaw? Simple, Feruchemy only works for the moment so in most situations the energy would simply be wasted. It might be useful for medical purposes by transfering health or nutrition from a charged Metalmind into the recipient (Which would admittedly be very helpful) but you probably couldn't achieve the long lasting effects of Hemalurgy.

Not all Feruchemical charges work only "for the moment". A wound healed via Gold Feruchemy doesn't reopen once the metalmind is released, for one. Other attributes, like Memory, and perhaps even Calories (Bendalloy) and Identity (Aluminum) are similarly longer lasting than others.

But yes, being limited to Feruchemical charges is an issue with this method, which I addressed in the "Possible Objections/Questions" section. I admit that Feruchemical healing is the application I was specifically thinking of when formulating this theory, though as I mentioned in the OP I have a hunch that Nicrosil Feruchemy could somehow grant another person Invested powers through this method.

On another note, given Hemalurgy's nature, are there even bind points that aren't in contact with blood?

That would depend on how much of Hemalurgy Brandon patterned after acupuncture. From what I've read, acupuncturists try to hit certain points in a person's "meridian system" without hitting any blood vessel, though even trained ones sometimes fail and inadvertently cause bleeding. I've posted a WoB in the OP where Brandon says hitting the right nerves is what's important, though apparently blood is still required to make the metal attuned to the Spiritual Realm... but I don't think you need the recipient's blood for that. Edited by skaa
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how possible this is (as it seems mostly speculation based on the WoB that it's possible to do Hemalurgy differently), but it seems like an elegant and non-OP way to integrate Hemalurgy into the realm of things other than "science" (Dark Alley/GladOS) and barbarism. Seems plausible to me as a thing Brandon could do. It also wouldn't surprise me, though, if it's something that he hadn't thought of and wouldn't work at all. Still, a well thought-out and innovative theory. An upvote and nod of respect to you.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually find this theory very compelling; even if it only gives someone a temporary feruchemical benefit, WoB says that invested powers are caused by holes being torn in the spiritweb, and the more investiture you draw, the wider the rip gets and the better you are wih said power (as happens with allomantic savants). Maybe Hemalurgic acupuncture could expend a significant amount of Feruchemical investiture via needle (e.g. a month's worth of sight) in order to tear the hole for the investee and let them access that aspect of ruin/preservation/harmony themselves?

Not to sure on the process described, though that doesn't particularly matter. I get the gut feeling that storing the idenity away from your needle and making it identity neutral first might be crucial to the process.

(using mobile atm, i'll try and quote WoB later)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think something like this has to be right because of balance. If Allomancy combines with Feruchemy to get compounding, Hemalurgy should combine Feruchemy to get something.

If Hemalurgy 2.0 works like compounding, putting a charge in the needle would make it a new Hemalurgic metal, one that drains more of the feruchemical charge into it. Then the Feruchemist can then draw the power out the normal way. So I think it is more likely the Feruchemical "Stealing" will give power to the feruchemist. The only way a feruchemist can give a charge is if the receiver is also a Feruchemist.

This stealing power could create another immortal feruchemist, one that steals age from people to stay young. 

Edited by Fallen Rope
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that this method may work, the Hemalurgy works in Cut and Paste of Spirit Web and in this way there isn't any of this.

 

But if this method works, you have simply a MetalMind usable by the spiked guy.

 

There are ways in Feruchemy to create a "shared metalmind" (probably plays with the Feruchemist's Identity) and the "shared metalmind" couldsdo the same thing you say in the post.

Edited by Yata
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.