Kadrok

Cheating Duralumin or: How I learned to stop burning and love the surge.

23 posts in this topic

In brief: There are some situations in which burning Duralumin doesn't chew up an Allomancer's entire supply of directly burnable metal (metals not in vials, but immediately burnable) when the surged reserve is consumed. This leads me to theorize that there are ways to "cheat" Duralumin.

 

 

The argument:

Burning Duralumin as well as another Allomantic metal chews up your entire reserve of that metal and gives you a burst of power. This we know. Some Hemalurgically spiked individuals used Duralumin (Zane, Marsh, etc). This we also know. Further we know that it is possible to burn a Hemalurgic spike while it is in your body:

 

17th Shard: Can you burn the spikes? Like, Allomantically? For example, could they burn the steel in their head spikes?

Brandon: (sighs) I considered that and I eventually decided that they could, but it would be an excruciating process that would probably knock them unconscious simply by doing it.

 

 

The question is of course, why doesn't a Steel Inquisitor, burning both Duralumin and... say... Steel... burn up their own spikes? There are two answers that I can see:

 

A. Hemalurgic Spikes, due to their invested nature, are overwritten in much the same way that a metalmind is. The Steel spikes don't count as the same reserve because you're burning Duralumin with Allomantic Steel (which is obviously identical to real steel given that the metal itself is just a key, not the source of power, let's move on) not Hemalurgic Steel1 or Feruchemical Steel. The key point here is that the metals are distinguished because the Steel the Inquisitors burn is 'blank', but their spikes are not.

 

 

B. The spikes count as a separate reserve to the ingested metals due to location or disassociation with the ingested reserves. This is the far more awesome explanation2 because it implies that there are ways to "cheat" Duralumin... to gain a burst without burning up all your metal reserves. For example, if Inquisitors can burn their spikes while they are still in the body, it suggests that someone could burn an uncharged steel earring3 or some other metal source separate to the particular reserve in the digestive organs.

 

 

Note that these answers are not mutually exclusive. It could both be true that location/disassociation separates metal reserves, and also that kinds of charge separates reserves. For example it may be true that an Allomancer-Feruchemist-Hemalugist burning Duralumin and Steel, who has also ingested a Steelmind and Steel Spike, would lose only the 'blank' Steel; but it could equally be the case that that same Allomancer-Feruchemist-Hemalurgist would not lose their uncharged Steel earring, not because of a difference in charge, but because the earring represents a distinct reserve of the same metal.

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES

I can see there being four flavours of "Hemalurgic Steel" based on the power the Steel holds... but there are other threads discussing the interesting, and usually unhealthy things which happen when you burn a Hemalurgic spike, and so I won't discuss this further.

 

2 Which is obviously not a measure of its truth value, but still...

 

3 Unless of course the digestive organs provide a sort of spiritual gateway which is mimicked in the act of spiking someone (which is essentially spiritually stapling), and it is this connection to the spiritual which  uniquely allows for the burning of metals.

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Duralumin only works on things you're actively burning.  Vin extinguishes her tin before using duralumin so that she doesn't flare it.

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Yes Phantom, but Kadrok is asking about why Marsh's eye-spikes didn't disappear when he Duralumin-Steeled at Vin.

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Yes Phantom, but Kadrok is asking about why Marsh's eye-spikes didn't disappear when he Duralumin-Steeled at Vin.

I don't see any reason why it'd be any different than metalminds in terms of how separate reserves are treated.  Particularly since Sazed mentions that the 'phantom reserve' feels exactly the same for a feruchemist as when Vin tries to burn.

 

 

Duralumin doesn't do anything beyond ultra-flaring the burn you've already got going.  If they aren't burning their eyespikes when they burn (or flare) steel normally, they won't burn their eyespikes when they duralumin burn.

Edited by Phantom Monstrosity
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I don't see any reason why it'd be any different than metalminds in terms of how separate reserves are treated.  Particularly since Sazed mentions that the 'phantom reserve' feels exactly the same for a feruchemist as when Vin tries to burn.

 

 

Duralumin doesn't do anything beyond ultra-flaring the burn you've already got going.  If they aren't burning their eyespikes when they burn (or flare) steel normally, they won't burn their eyespikes when they duralumin burn.

Yes, we know. The purpose of this thread is to examine why, from a Duralumin-surge point of view, the eye spikes and the ingested reserves are considered separate burns. Are they separate due to location, or because the metals are fundamentally different (because one is charged by Hemalurgy, in much the same way as a Feruchemically charged metal is different from its uncharged brother) or both.

Edited by Kadrok
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I'd go for Answer A. Hemalurgical spikes, like metalminds, are Invested objects, so they would be separate reserves (basically, what Phantom said). Answer B could be testable, though. Have we even seen Allomancers with non-Invested piercings made of a metal they could burn? 

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I'm sorry, I'm stuck on the same point as Phantom. Why do eye-spikes NEED to be seen as a separate reserve to not be consumed? If the inquisitor has steel and brass in his stomach, and is only ACTIVELY burning the steel, then when he hits duralumin then only the stee- oh wait, I think I see it now.

 

Basically you want to know why the Duralumin doesn't consume his ENTIRE steel reserve, which would also consume the eye spikes because  it's POSSIBLE to burn them, right?

 

Consider also then, that it's already possible to burn the metals in your stomach WITHOUT burning the metals in your spikes, otherwise inquisitors would have a hard time burning steel at all. Might be worth exploring this before trying to work out the Duralumin mechanics.

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I've seen these discussions a few times, and I always feel the need to point this out:

 

That quote does not specify the spike is still in their head.

 

I always interpreted that quote as an inquisitor removing their eyespike and swallowing/burning it.  I realize I'm in the minority on this, but I just don't like to take that as irrefutable evidence that you can burn any piece of metal that happens to be inside your body.

 

On a related note: I always wondered why Vin didn't try putting a vial of metals in her mouth (not swallowing) while duralumin boosting, especially after seeing Zane's trick for hiding his coin.  Maybe she would've discovered metals burn in your mouth, proving this thread right.  Or maybe she would've found a way to compartmentalize her dura-surges.

Edited by Pechvarry
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There's a rather clear implication that the spikes are in their bodies, seeing as they die if you remove the wrong ones and the question was clearly asking about an Inquisitor burning his own spikes while spiked by them, not removing one and then ingesting and then burning it. There is really no way that Brandon interpreted it as anything but someone burning a Hemalurgic spike spiking their body.

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There's a rather clear implication that the topic of the quote is burning a hemalurgic spike.  Everything else is projection on your part.  We know they can live through losing a single eye-spike, and doing so and proceeding to ingest it would be quite painful.  But it's entirely possible he's saying burning the part of someone's spiritweb is excrutiatingly painful.

 

There is a very real possibility that Brandon was fixating on burning hemalurgic charges, feruchemy-compounding style, and not burning metal that's incidentally in the body.

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There's a rather clear implication that the topic of the quote is burning a hemalurgic spike.  Everything else is projection on your part.  We know they can live through losing a single eye-spike, and doing so and proceeding to ingest it would be quite painful.  But it's entirely possible he's saying burning the part of someone's spiritweb is excrutiatingly painful.

 

There is a very real possibility that Brandon was fixating on burning hemalurgic charges, feruchemy-compounding style, and not burning metal that's incidentally in the body.

 

Sorry, I don't buy that. When you talk about an inquisitor's spikes, in any context I would assume (and I think most people would) that it's implied to be inside them unless specified otherwise. Whilst what you're saying is technically possible, Occam's razor tells me that Brandon was talking about burning an embedded spike.

 

Edit: the question even asks directly "Could they burn the steel in their head spikes." (emphasis mine). Now again, this can be interpreted to mean a removed spike, but then why specify head spike? Why not just 'could they burn the steel in their spikes?' Everything implies burning an embedded spike was the focus of conversation here.

Edited by Senor Feesh
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Sorry. My post came across a bit... peevish.

To be clear, I have no issue with a thread discussing the ramifications of some fact we can reasonably assume. But please remember it is still an assumption.

I'm trying to point out where logic ends and (a very safe) assumption begins, not kill your fun.

Edited by Pechvarry
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I think it would also be interesting to discuss whether Burning Aluminium removes the spikes - something I highly doubt. Yes, I know there are other threads on that, but it is, in essence, similar question to OP. The thing is, spikes do not register as reserves at all, or Vin would have noticed a Bronze (sorry if I am wrong) reserve when her earring was in. Whether an uninvested piece of metal registers as reserve while in body is another question, and the one I am not sure about.  So, burning spikes first requires one to register it as a metal reserve somehow, which probably requires something similar to learning to see metals inside living beings for a Coinshot - possible, but nontrivial. And if it is registered as a reserve, then burning it with duralumin would probably give a nifty visual effect :) That with the spikes in the eyes exploding and all, or however that would look like.

Edited by Satsuoni
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I think it would also be interesting to discuss whether Burning Aluminium removes the spikes - something I highly doubt. Yes, I know there are other threads on that, but it is, in essence, similar question to OP. The thing is, spikes do not register as reserves at all, or Vin would have noticed a Brass (sorry if I am wrong) reserve when her earring was in. Whether an uninvested piece of metal registers as reserve while in body is another question, and the one I am not sure about.  So, burning spikes first requires one to register it as a metal reserve somehow, which probably requires something similar to learning to see metals inside living beings for a Coinshot - possible, but nontrivial. And if it is registered as a reserve, then burning it with duralumin would probably give a nifty visual effect :) That with the spikes in the eyes exploding and all, or however that would look like.

Up vote for the most interesting response thus far. I hadn't considered Aluminum, and I think you're right on the proverbial money with your comparison to a Coinshot learning to see and influence metal inside other living beings.

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It's also worth noting that Inquisitors are no longer considered entirely human (though I'm struggling to find the source for that now). The spiritweb is considerably altered by the hemalurgic spikes; this may (or may not) have an effect on their ability to perceive them as metal reserves.

 

It's also possible (though it doesn't really feel right to me) that Vin never noticed her earring was burnable simply because she never thought to look for it. Given Vin's excellent instinct/intuition as seen throughout the books however, this seems unlikely.

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Maybe she was just looking in the wrong place? They "look inside" themselves for metal -- maybe that's just a stomach search. Perhaps if Vin's earring was pewter, she would've instinctively burnt it to horrifying results.

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I considered the possibility, but given that she could instinctively burn the mists, it seems unlikely that she couldn't do the same with her earring.

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Perhaps, but the mists are somewhat special: they very much want to be used by Vin, whereas her spike is at best indifferent and at worst resistant to being burned.

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Plus, I can't imagine the scenario where one would "instinctively" burn bronze.

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Very cool thread. My take is that any metal that has feruchemy or Hemalurgy affecting it should be considered a completely separate pool from the base metal. And we know that only the pools that are currently being burned will be affected by Duralumin. The real question is whether you can burn a metal that is not inside your stomach for pure Allomancy. If you can, I can definitely see Duralumin being used to only burn a SubQ nugget of metal and leave you with the remaining pool still available.

Im guessing that the effect of burning a spike allomantically will be solely based on what is hemalurgically stored. If you store physical speed in one spike and sensory perception in another spike they would both be made of the same metal but would be considered different pools for burning. To explain my reasons for this opinion let's look at feruchemy. If you burn a metalmind it does not produce the usual allomantic effect of that metal. Rather it releases an amplified burst of the feruchemucal power stored inside. Likewise if you burn a spike I believe it will release an amplified burst of the power stored inside that.

Wait, does that mean the metal type has no effect at all? Quite the contrary. The metal limits which aspects of a person's soul can be stored inside a spike, and which powers can be stored inside a metal mind. But once the spike or metal mind is created, using it allomantically will be limited to whatever was stored inside.

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@Isomere

 

Note that Vin could still burn Sazed's metalmind normally, simply sensing another well of power off to the side that she couldn't access. So, whether or not "authorized users" are forced to burn for Feruchemical/Hemalurgical effects, the "allomantic pool" will still be there.

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Thanks for pointing that out Kurkistan. So the normal allomantic pool is still there, but there is a separate pool as well. The partition theory plot thickens.

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Very cool thread.

Thank you kindly.

The real question is whether you can burn a metal that is not inside your stomach for pure Allomancy. If you can, I can definitely see Duralumin being used to only burn a SubQ nugget of metal and leave you with the remaining pool still available.

And if this is the case, I wonder if it is going to be one of Brandon's little tricks, like Zane's mouth coins...

Im guessing that the effect of burning a spike allomantically will be solely based on what is hemalurgically stored. If you store physical speed in one spike and sensory perception in another spike they would both be made of the same metal but would be considered different pools for burning.

Which is what I meant when I suggested there were at least four "flavours" of Hemalurgic Steel... :) Steel, to our present knowledge, steals (lol) only physical Allomancy, which means presently we know of four "flavours".

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