Empyrus

The Letter: the element?

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While re-reading WoK (for 4th, 5th or 6th time? Not sure), something caught my attention:

There is a mention to the "element" in the Letter. This caught my attention because i read from the Coppermind that Hoid "has a metal he shouldn't have", which is apparently a bead of lerasium. Metals are elements, are they not (even if they're god metals)? So, could the element the Letter refers be this bead of lerasium (assuming Hoid wrote the Letter)? The Letter's writer's assurances that it is safe indicate it is important. I'm assuming the element may be important against Odium.

One problem with this theory is, of course, that it is questionable if a bead of lerasium is that important. Sure, anyone ingesting it would become a powerful Mistborn BUT what is invidual power beside a god, a Shard? And it is unlikely anyone ingesting it anywhere else than Scadrial would even realize what it does (even there ingesting it might go unnoticed). And of course it is doubtful Sanderson would make non-Rosharian magics to really appear in the Stormlight Archive, to be really important (Lightweaving may have appearing in WoK so non-Rosharian magics appearing there is not impossible, but them being important is unlikely).

What did lerasium beads look like?

Another thing:

We don't know when the letter was written exactly. I note this because... well, Gavillar Kholin had some odd small sphere glowing with black light, which was later hidden by Szeth to some location. And if the Letter was written before Gavillar's assassination, could it be that Gavillar had gotten the sphere from Hoid (or from someone who had gotten/stolen it from Hoid)? Why is Hoid in the Alethi court? I wonder if it has something to do with that small sphere. Could the sphere be the "element"? Could Hoid be trying to get it back?

I asked what lerasium looks like but somehow i doubt it would glow black light, doesn't quite match Preservation... Doesn't stop me wondering if the sphere might be the element and if the element might be lerasium...

Ah, a bit messy formating but i tend to write stuff as they're in my thoughts.

EDIT duh, wrote this damnation thing for 40 minutes? Time flies.

Edited by Empyrus
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Not a bad theory, particularly the black rock bit. I think the general opinion is that the element is some part of Adonalsium, but I can't speak for everybody.

Edited by Observer
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Well the sphere is never described as being metallic and the bead is never said to glow with black light, so I doubt that that's the same thing. As for the element being Lerasium I agree with you on that one most people think it's either that or the sphere and I tend towards Lerasium.

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The descriptions just don't match up for the lerasium bead and the black sphere. The bead is described as metallic whereas the sphere is described as crystaline. There is also a later reference to the sphere with a story about it being taken by Took from Nightwatcher. If anything, the sphere more lines up with a bead from shadesmar. Those are described as small glass beads (read crystaline). Could it be possible for someone to have brought back something from Shadesmar?

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I did ask what lerasium bead did look like. Don't remember right now, and no idea where my copy of WoA is, and Coppermind doesn't have description for it. But yeah, the sphere is unlikely to be lerasium.

The sphere being something from Shadesmar... now that sounds interesting, and more likely. Regardless, the sphere is likely to be a macguffin, no?

Odium hasn't been really described to us but to me, something glowing black light smells of Odium. Wrote the OP at night, in retrospect even considering the sphere to be lerasium sounds kinda silly... And then there are Gavillar's words, paraphrased: "they must not get it".

If the element is not lerasium but something else, something of Adonalsium... i reckon there is no way to even start guessing what it might be, with so little info. Dammit, this is going to be bothering me for a long time.

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All that is said about the bead before Elend takes it is that it is metallic and a different color from Atium. It may be given a color later, but not during the scene where it plays a major role. Sanderson doesn't even describe it any futher during the chapter annotation.

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Atium's color is actually somewhat inconsistent as well.

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If we can count on the symbols in the Allomancy chart to match colors with their respective metals, then Lerasium should be a pale yellow-brown. But can we count on the colors in the Allomancy chart? The colors of the Enhancement metals seem wrong, though if you flipped them over the diagonal they'd be plausible.

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There is also the possibility that a god metal like Lerasium could change forms in another world.....

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Well, it didn't glow, if i recall correctly.

Doesn't mean it won't glow in some odd situations. But still unlikely.

Still, can't help it but wonder if the element will have a bigger role in Hoid's story, in the Stormlight Archive. And wonder what it really is...

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Somehow, "the element" sounds even more special than a bead of Lerasium.

"Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say."

It looks like he's making a joke here. I think he may have absorbed the element into himself.

As far as it being that sphere of voidlight, I don't think so. How does giving it to a king, who gets assassinated, who then gives up the sphere to the assassin, and then the assassin hides it away somewhere count as "a good home"?

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I thought lerasium was meant to be a metallic green?

EDIT:

"Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say."

It looks like he's making a joke here. I think he may have absorbed the element into himself.

All i can think of with this reference are the kakaris in Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy

Edited by Unnamed Narrator
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Somehow, "the element" sounds even more special than a bead of Lerasium.

"Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say."

It looks like he's making a joke here. I think he may have absorbed the element into himself.

As far as it being that sphere of voidlight, I don't think so. How does giving it to a king, who gets assassinated, who then gives up the sphere to the assassin, and then the assassin hides it away somewhere count as "a good home"?

I noted that we don't know the timing of the letter. When it was written, the element clearly was safe.

I did wonder if the writer had eaten the thing... but then i thought that protecting one's stomach's contents is not quite same as protecting their own skin.

What you say, that he (or she, if the writer isn't Hoid?) may have absorbed the element, it makes sense. But that raises more questions. Like, can it be, um, extracted from the writer?

Oh, and burning lerasium would count as keeping it quite safe, i think...

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"The Element" is just an art nouveau name for fancy skin moisturizer.

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Sudden, random inspiration: could either the sphere or the element — or both, if they are indeed one ant the same — be a quantity of 'Raysium' (the "body" of Odium)? Recall that, while missing a significant portion of his body, Ruin was severely crippled; easily foiled by even a nearly mindless Shard. Could a similar thing be happening here? Admittedly, all of the references to Odium's strongly imply that he is at his full capacity. However, were our heroes —or at least, Odium's foes — to obtain a sample of 'Raysium' , would such a treasure not carry all of the Cosmere-shaking import hinted at by Gavilar and the Letter?

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I dont think we have seen "the element".

Lerasium is a part of preservation. Hoid grabbed it.

I think "the element" is a simular part of the shard wich lives on the Recipients planet. Likely the shard still on dragonsteel planet. otherwise the recipient of the letter wouldent know what it was.

Edited by dyring
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"The Element" is just an art nouveau name for fancy skin moisturizer.

I doubt that, but I'm not sure we can necessarily assume that The Letter's author was talking about elements in the chemical sense of the term. The writer could have been talking about a part of some larger thing: a fragment of a diagram or passage from a text, perhaps, that he (she?) has copied as a tattoo. Given that we're talking about fragments of larger things, it might even be a previously holder-less Shard of Adonalsium that the writer has taken up. This would mean that Hoid isn't the letter's author, but that's not definite right now either.

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I'm not convinced Lerasium is as unimportant as some might think.  And we know Hoid grabbed that bead of Lerasium during the first Mistborn trilogy.

 

17th Shard: If a Mistborn burns lerasium, as in, not just ingests it, what effect would it grant Allomantically?

...
Brandon: By burning it you gain access to those powers. It rewrites your spiritual DNA, and there are ways to do really cool things with lerasium that I don't see how anyone would know. Were most Mistborn to just burn it, it would rewrite their genetic code to increase their power as an Allomancer.

 

Perhaps Hoid plans to rewrite his (or possible someone else's) spiritual DNA to do one of those "really cool things".  Like giving somebody the spiritual DNA to access some sort of power they couldn't normally?

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I really think it has more to do with Adonalsium than Lerasium. Although interesting bit I just noticed... Adonalsium, Lerasium, Atium... is it possible that there is a metal remnant of Adonalsium floating around, and THAT is what the writer is protecting?

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Lately I've been thinking Hoid used the element to get his Feruchemy, and that he uses Nicrosil to shuffle investiture between magic systems. (Out of Stormlight? On a planet with no highstorms? No problem, tap Nicrosil.)

Edited by Morsk
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Lately I've been thinking Hoid used the element to get his Feruchemy, and that he uses Nicrosil to shuffle investiture between magic systems. (Out of Stormlight? On a planet with no highstorms? No problem, tap Nicrosil.)

Rep to Morsk for casually throwing in that tidbit about Feruchemy that I had never seen before.

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Dam that was a shock.  Not expecting that.

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I was really surprised when I read it too, enough that I wonder if the report is accurate. Brandon had already said magic systems have been used off-world, but that January report is the first time one is mentioned by name.

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Lately I've been thinking Hoid used the element to get his Feruchemy, and that he uses Nicrosil to shuffle investiture between magic systems. (Out of Stormlight? On a planet with no highstorms? No problem, tap Nicrosil.)

 

This would make sense if the element was Lerasium and Hoid used the spiritual DNA splicing power to get Feruchemy, although I suppose it could also theoretically be done with hemalurgy.   The "element" could also be a hemalurgic spike granting a Feruchemical power.  I would tend to believe the Lerasium theory more likely however, given that we don't have any descriptions of Hoid walking around with metal in his body.

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I don't think the 'element' has anything to do with Lerasium, as the letter is addressed to (most likely) a dragon, which are not native to any world we've seen before.  I'm guessing the 'element' has something Cosmere related (personally I am going for it being related to how Adonalsium was broken in the first place).

 If the supposition is right, and the recipient is a Shardholder, I doubt the Shardholder has any care about what the tiniest bit of the physical body of another Shardholder could do, but something to do with what broke Adonalsium?  THAT is something to worry about how safe it is!

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