Empyrus

Hemalurgic spike creation clarification? [Clarified]

16 posts in this topic

Does the spike placement on the... "donor" matter in Hemalurgy? In the recipient, it does matter for sure, this much has been confirmed.

The main trilogy implies that most powers are take through the hearth. Sure, that works for Mistings (and Ferrings), since they have only one power.

But what about a full Feruchemist or Mistborn? If i want to take Duralumin from a Mistborn, do i drive the spike through the Mistborn's hearth and just plant it the correct location on the recipient, or do i need to take it from the correct place as well?

 

BS says that Hemalurgy steals a piece of the victim's soul (Spirit Web) (and also says that the victim doesn't have to die actually*). A piece. Now it could mean the whole "power" part of ones Spirit Web, and jury-rig only one part of the stolen piece of soul to work on the recipient, but that would mean one could remove the spike and place it elsewhere to change his or her powers, if the spike is created from a Mistborn or Feruchemist.

This would mean that spikes created from Mistborn or Feruchemists would be strictly speaking much better due to their flexibility, though not necessarily more powerful.

 

The RPG doesn't directly state either way but implies that what is stolen from the victim is chosen during the creation of the spike, the only way this choice can work, as far as i can see, is for the stealing location to matter.

For example, pewter, which steals all 8 physical (a bit of a retcon, there's a thread about this here) Feruchemical powers. (This requires for the Steel Inquisitors to carry goldminds with them by the way.)

 

*Not sure where i read this, probably some QA

 

EDIT Answer

 http://www.brandonsanderson.com/annotation/305/mistborn-3-Chapter-Thirty-Nine

Hence the decision that where the spike was placed in the receiver, and how it was used to kill a person, influenced how the power was shaped.

Right. Looks like the killing method does matter. So... case closed.

 

Edited by Empyrus
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All of the magic systems in the Cosmere seem to require a mental effort, a physical focus, and investiture from a Shard. I am confident that Hemalurgy is no different. Hemalurgy steals part of the Soul, packages it in a metal spike, then implants it into someone else. I'd guess that the type of metal and the placement location on the victim works together with the Hemalurgist's mental objective to determine what gets taken. Then the placement in the recipient determines how the stolen stuff gets merged with the new soul.

compare this to Nalthis where the type of physical object you awaken works together with the mental objective and the spoken command to determine how the awakened object acts

I your idea that killing a Mistborn may let you steal multiple aspects of his power is an interesting one. The books tell us that only one of the powers can be stolen from a Mistborn, but maby the original Hemalurgists just didn't know how.

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There's a discussion on hemalurgy here.

How the spike was used to kill the guy matters, yeah.

I figure Ruin and Sazed would know enough about hemalurgy, and neither of them thought you could steal multiple powers from a mistborn (hence the whole duraluminum or atium spike limit).

Edited by Phantom Monstrosity
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Maybe a lerasium spike, being of preservation and all, can steal everything from a person.

Edited by kroen
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There's a discussion on hemalurgy here.

How the spike was used to kill the guy matters, yeah.

I figure Ruin and Sazed would know enough about hemalurgy, and neither of them thought you could steal multiple powers from a mistborn (hence the whole duraluminum or atium spike limit).

Sanderson does indirectly state there that only the placement on the recipient matters. But not directly, which is why i'm wondering how this actually works. (I've read the annotations like thrice each by the way. Too much really o.O)

Isomere's suggestion that there is a mental component, ie one must think about what is being stolen for it to work and would tie neatly to the idea that all magic in Cosmere has a mental element. But... wouldn't that mean that accidental Hemalurgy is not possible? We know it is possible from The Hero of Ages so mental requirement is  a bit questionable.

 

Maybe a lerasium spike, being of preservation and all, can steal everything from a person.

No comments about lerasium Hemalurgy but i think that only atium can steal abilities related to atium, ie Allomantic atium (and malatium etc). I mean god metal, so what else is powerful enough to steal it than another god metal?

 

 

EDIT Wait, wait wait! http://www.brandonsanderson.com/annotation/305/mistborn-3-Chapter-Thirty-Nine

Hence the decision that where the spike was placed in the receiver, and how it was used to kill a person, influenced how the power was shaped.

Right. Looks like the killing method does matter. So... case closed.

How the hell did i miss that 3 or more times...

 

EDIT anyway, so presumably the spike is driven through one of the victim's vital organ (depending what one wants to steal). 

Edited by Empyrus
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Atium can steal any ability, and is better at stealing them than any other spike. You probably read that it was temporal - that's the inquisitors' screwup, not yours..

http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=428

Remember that the tables—and the ars Arcanum—are 'in world' creations. (Or, at least, in-universe.) The knowledge represented in them is as people understand it, and can always have flaws. That was the case with having atium on the table in the first place, and that was the case with people (specifically the Inquisitors) trying to figure out what atium did Hemalurgically.

Their experiments (very expensive ones) are what determined that atium (which they thought was just one of the sixteen metals) granted the Allomantic Temporal powers. What they didn't realize is that atium (used correctly) could steal ANY of the powers. Think of it as a wild card. With the right knowledge, you could use it to mimic any other spike. It works far better than other spikes as well.

As for Marsh, he's got a whole bag of atium (taken off of the Kandra who was going to try to sell it.) So he's all right for quite a while. A small bead used right can reverse age someone back to their childhood.

But this was a little beyond their magical understanding at the time.

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So where is it confirmed that spike placement in the recipient matters? Because my experience was the opposite to Empyrus's... I knew that it mattered where you spiked the donor, but I had yet to see (or remember) evidence that placement in the recipient mattered (beyond the obvious requirement that it be on a bindpoint).

 

So it definitely needs to be on a specific bindpoint in the recipient?

 

EDIT: Nevermind, I followed the link. But this raises an interesting question. His description seems to imply that at the time of writing a Pewter spike could steal more than just physical Feruchemy powers, which is odd since we now know that is all they steal (well, until we find out that Pewter also steals Lashings or whatever)... so a large amount of the problem of determining "which power" seems solved by the metals keying into different things... obviously you'd need to spike different places for different Physical Feruchemy powers, but none of this seems to demand a specific bindpoint from the recipient... so why is a specific bindpoint required from the recipient? Given how he has constructed Hemalurgy, this seems kind of arbitrary... presumably a Steel Spike containing Allomantic Steel contains Allomantic Steel regardless of where it is placed, or even if it is in a body at all (Marsh carries a charged spike which contains a specific power in the books). Don't misunderstand me, I get that the spike might need to be placed in a specific location for the recipient to access that power, I just don't understand why. It doesn't seem entirely necessary, either from a narrative standpoint or a mechanical one...

Edited by Kadrok
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Think of it like doing an organ transplant to give someone a third kidney. You want to hook it into the right things, or all sorts of nonsense will happen.

Here's one of the epigraphs about it.

The art that is unique to Hemalurgy, however, is the knowledge of where to place the spikes.

Each spike, positioned very carefully, can determine how the recipient's body is changed by Hemalurgy. A spike in one place creates a monstrous, near-mindless beast. In another place, a spike will create a crafty—yet homicidal—Inquisitor.

Without the instinctive knowledge granted by taking the power at the Well of Ascension, Rashek would never have been able to use Hemalurgy. With his mind expanded, and with a little practice, he was able to intuit where to place spikes that would create the servants he wanted.

It is a little-known fact that the Inquisitors' torture chambers were actually Hemalurgic laboratories. The Lord Ruler was constantly trying to develop new breeds of servant. It is a testament to Hemalurgy's complexity that, despite a thousand years of trying, he never managed to create anything with it beyond the three kinds of creatures he developed during those few brief moments holding the power.

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Think of it like doing an organ transplant to give someone a third kidney. You want to hook it into the right things, or all sorts of nonsense will happen.

Lol. Lung-kidney. "Your breath smells like urine."

 

A good analogy I suppse, though it doesn't seem quite as presise as that, given the possible double ups. From the top of my head you can spice both Allomantic Bronze and Allomantic Pewter into an earlobe (which honestly seems like the best place to install a spike to me... none of that frightening organ piercing business... and if you have Atium earrings, the charge doesn't degrade... perfect for looking stylish while granting/boosting the ability to wreck-faces or detect Investiture ripples).

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Note, however, that in the book, Marsh  thinks (controlled by Ruin):

The spike would need to pierce the man’s body, passing through the heart, then be driven into the body of the Inquisitor tied below.

The man is full Feruchemist.

 

Likewise, when Spook gets the spike:

Apparently, this philosophy extended to his soldiers, for the man with the sword rammed his weapon straight through his friend’s back, piercing his heart and driving the weapon directly into Spook’s chest.

So, in every case I can remember from the books, the spikes of various metals are driven through the heart for power extraction. Hence, I believe that heart does work like a universal hub for power extraction, and in the quote Brandon referred to the fact that you can, technically, use another point to steal a specific power without killing a person.

 

As for the Mistborn spike, my theory is twofold: 1. Moving spikes is unpleasant, especially when they go through one's vital organs.

2. The unbound powers continue to decay normally, and become useless in a few days.

 

@Kadrok: Atium spikes do decay, just less so. All spikes decay, being of Ruin.

Where did you get info about spiking Pewter into earlobe, by the way? I don't recall that being mentioned :(

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@Kadrok: Atium spikes do decay, just less so. All spikes decay, being of Ruin.

"an ability stored in an Atium spike never degrades, making this an ideal way to store stolen abilities over long periods of time" However, this quote is from the MAG, so if there is another source that says unequivocally that they do degrade, I suppose this is a simplification for gameplay reasons. Never-the-less "never degrades" and "ideal way to store stolen abilities over long periods of time" seems like strong language to me. 

 

Where did you get info about spiking Pewter into earlobe, by the way? I don't recall that being mentioned :(

 

*SPOILER*

 

 

I can't find the link while I'm in class, but I was under the impression that Brandon suggested that Wax's earring was Allomantic Pewter charged, or else he hinted that this was correct in response to someone's question about it. I'm sure Phantom can find the link, if indeed it exists. This is why I framed my sentence with "From the top of my head..." and not "It has been clearly shown that..." :)

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Atium can steal any ability, and is better at stealing them than any other spike. You probably read that it was temporal - that's the inquisitors' screwup, not yours..

I was speculating that atium is the only metal that can steal atium, or atium alloys, ie god metals. It is not a mere temporal metal strictly speaking, rather it is a temporal god-metal. A normal metal being capable of stealing god-metals is silly, IMO.

Presumably atium Feruchemy is also stolen by atium spike, if i'm correct in that only god-metals can steal god-metals.

Just speculation though.

 

 

Note, however, that in the book, Marsh  thinks (controlled by Ruin):

The man is full Feruchemist.

 

Likewise, when Spook gets the spike:

So, in every case I can remember from the books, the spikes of various metals are driven through the heart for power extraction. Hence, I believe that heart does work like a universal hub for power extraction, and in the quote Brandon referred to the fact that you can, technically, use another point to steal a specific power without killing a person.

 

As for the Mistborn spike, my theory is twofold: 1. Moving spikes is unpleasant, especially when they go through one's vital organs.

2. The unbound powers continue to decay normally, and become useless in a few days.

If heart is universal stealing location, spikes made from Mistborn should be very useful, since one can move them around as long as they're not vital (like being the linchpin spike). Though naturally they'd have only certain powers (like steel stealing physical Allomancy: tin, pewter, iron, steel).

Moving spikes being unpleasant is very flimsy reason not to do this: It is clearly stated in one Steel Inquisitor POV that the eye-spikes throb, cause constant pain. If unpleasantness were an issue... Hell, the whole process is unpleasant, though of course the Inquisitors do it mostly by themselves, and they sure do like it...

 

Killing a Steel Inquisitor requires separating lower spikes from the upper spikes (ie either pull all torso spikes or head spikes, or the linchpin spike which binds them together). (I presume large enough trauma (complete blood-loss for example) would also kill an Inquisitor but in practice this is unlikely to happen.) 

But otherwise, you could theoretically move their spikes around. Unless, of course, being a Steel Inquisitor requires for all the mandatory spikes to be in exact places for the being to be an Inquisitor.*

 

Killing location mattering is much simpler explanation than the non-used Investitures leaking out, or that mental command is required for Hemalurgy to work.

Of course, most powers in the books are stolen via hearth which complicates things. Though as i said, this is only an issue when we talk about Mistborn or full Feruchemists.

 

It could be that in full Feruchemists and Mistborn heart is used only for one ability. The only case where we see this happening doesn't state what power they were stealing, and even though Marsh has duralumin (stolen from a Mistborn, of course, since detecting Duralumin Gnat is practically impossible), we don't see how he got that one.

Hearth being the stealing location for Mistings has no issues whatsoever, since they have only one power.

 

*Steel Inquisitor notes: Normal Inquisitors have 11 spikes if i recall correcty, 8 through chest, one in back (the linchpin) and 2 through eyes/brain. In The Hero Of Ages, some if not all Inquisitors have more spikes and are still Inquisitors. Pulling one eye-spike doesn't kill an Inquisitor, so i assume the minimum amount is at least 3, 1 chest spike, one head spike, and the linchpin to bind them together. 

Or perhaps "Steel Inquisitor" is just what people call a Hemalurgist with that spike configuration, not because they're their own race like the kandra are, despite being physiologically and mentally different from normal humans (since they can still reproduce with humans, it means they're biologically humans, ignoring fantasy definitions of different species), they're just advanced Hemalurgists.

 

But as BS's annotations says, a spike's creation method matters (ie taking location) so i don't really need alternative explanations. Perhaps future Mistborn books explain the process more accurately.

Hemalurgist protagonist would be interest, one who makes and uses many spikes (since technically Vin is a Hemalurgist, so we kinda have Hemalurgist protagonist already).

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I was speculating that atium is the only metal that can steal atium, or atium alloys, ie god metals. It is not a mere temporal metal strictly speaking, rather it is a temporal god-metal. A normal metal being capable of stealing god-metals is silly, IMO.

Presumably atium Feruchemy is also stolen by atium spike, if i'm correct in that only god-metals can steal god-metals.

Just speculation though.

I think you're correct in thinking that only a God-metal can steal a God-metal, though I should point out that Atium only steals Allomantic powers: "Depending on where the spike is driven in, it steals, stores, and transfers a single Allomantic Power — that of Atium or any other metal" (MAG 374). I suspect an Atium alloy is needed to steal Feruchemy... perhaps... Malatium? Although that is almost purely arbitrary as Malatium is the only Atium alloy we know, it makes some sense... Gold steals Hybrid Feruchemy (from the grouping Allomancers call Temporal)... Atium is kind of Temporal/Mental to match Lerasium being kind of Physical/Enhancement... I can see the "temporal feruchemy" Hemalurgic spike being combined with the Hemalurgic master metal to create the Feruchemy master-spike.

 

And if the Allomantic master-spike (Atium) is anything to go by, only the Feruchemy master-spike can steal the ability to use God metals Feruchemically.

 

 

*SPOILER*

 

 

 

Another point in favour of this is that Marsh was spiked for Feruchemical Atium... it would seem odd Ruin pulling out a whole new metal we hadn't seen before to accomplish this. Malatium being the Feruchemical Masterspike fits this well narratively.

 

 

 

 

There we go, let's have a whole topic on it: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/3635-malatium-as-the-feruchemy-master-spike/

Edited by Kadrok
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I think you're correct in thinking that only a God-metal can steal a God-metal, though I should point out that Atium only steals Allomantic powers: "Depending on where the spike is driven in, it steals, stores, and transfers a single Allomantic Power — that of Atium or any other metal" (MAG 374). I suspect an Atium alloy is needed to steal Feruchemy... perhaps... Malatium? Although that is almost purely arbitrary as Malatium is the only Atium alloy we know, it makes some sense... Gold steals Hybrid Feruchemy (from the grouping Allomancers call Temporal)... Atium is kind of Temporal/Mental to match Lerasium being kind of Physical/Enhancement... I can see the "temporal feruchemy" Hemalurgic spike being combined with the Hemalurgic master metal to create the Feruchemy master-spike.

 

And if the Allomantic master-spike (Atium) is anything to go by, only the Feruchemy master-spike can steal the ability to use God metals Feruchemically.

 

 

*SPOILER*

 

 

 

Another point in favour of this is that Marsh was spiked for Feruchemical Atium... it would seem odd Ruin pulling out a whole new metal we hadn't seen before to accomplish this. Malatium being the Feruchemical Masterspike fits this well narratively.

 

 

 

 

There we go, let's have a whole topic on it: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/3635-malatium-as-the-feruchemy-master-spike/

 

Actually we have WoB that atium can be used to mimic any other spike.  This is one of the instances that the MAG has changed how things work in order to make a better game.

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Actually we have WoB that atium can be used to mimic any other spike.  This is one of the instances that the MAG has changed how things work in order to make a better game.

And we shall continue this discussion in the topic linked, for anyone interested.

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Isomere's suggestion that there is a mental component, ie one must think about what is being stolen for it to work and would tie neatly to the idea that all magic in Cosmere has a mental element. But... wouldn't that mean that accidental Hemalurgy is not possible?

I've been assuming that Ruin was controlling events directly to form the random spikes. The odds of that much stuff lining up by coincidence is pretty slim and points to Shardic intervention.

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