Moogle

[SoS Spoilers] Failure to Compound

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Bleeder has an issue: she runs out of speed. However, she should be more than clever enough to realize that she can fill a steelmind and then burn it over time for a speed boost. You don't need to store your Compounded attributes immediately after use, and as far as I can tell a metalmind burns at the same speed as the regular metal.

 

So I'm wondering... do you think she even knew she could do that? Could she do that? We know you can burn metalminds as a non-Feruchemist if they're keyed to you... would she have the identity to pull that off after replacing her spikes?

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So I'm wondering... do you think she even knew she could do that? Could she do that? We know you can burn metalminds as a non-Feruchemist if they're keyed to you... would she have the identity to pull that off after replacing her spikes?

When did that happen? I was under the impression that accessing a metal mind required active Feruchemical abilities. 

 

Since Bleeder could only have one active Feruchemical or Allomantic spike in at a time, I'm not sure how she would manage compounding.

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I don't believe we've got firm details on how exactly non-Feruchemists can go about compounding, but it's certainly possible with Identity manipulation of one kind or another. Best bet is on making the identity of the metalmind "blank", so it may well be that attributes generated by spiked-in Feruchemy might not do the trick.

 

Some WoB on metalminds, hemalurgy, and Identity.

 

Source:

YataVS:

If a Ferring creates a metalmind and then loses his power (for example through Hemalurgy), could he still use his previous-made metalmind?

 

Brandon:

No, he could not. And, unfortunately, the person who stole a bit of his soul would probably be keyed with enough Identity to use his metalmind. :( (This is uncertain, though, based on how much of the soul got ripped off, and how much the spike has decayed.)
 
So Bleeder could supplement her stores with whatever was left from the original donor's metalminds. It's a bit up in the air whether any new stores she made would be so tightly keyed to the Identity of the original donor, though I'm guessing not: my read is that it's more of a matter of a bit of overlap with the old soul of the donor allowing access to the old stores, instead of all and only the bits of soul in the spike being the key.
-But then again it looks like "just" ripping off the Feruchemy-related bits of the soul is enough to shut down access for the original Ferring (though that as well might be a case of the post-Ferring just not having an ability to tap, rather than because his Identity is messed up. But then again there's supposedly a way for muggles to be able to tap...)
Edited by Kurkistan
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The problem really really seems like one of Identity. Would the metalminds that Bleeder created be keyed to the Identity of the Feruchemist she stole the ability from, or would they be keyed to her Identity?

 

Brandon says that a Hemalurgic spike recipient might not have enough of a charge to access the old owner's metalminds, however, so this strongly implies to me that Bleeder's metalminds would be keyed to Bleeder's Identity and thus she should be able to Compound. (If the metalminds she created were keyed to the donor's Identity, she wouldn't be able to tap them post-decay, which would be weird and is sufficiently counter-intuitive that I think it can be discounted.)

 

So, pending further evidence (say, a nice person asking Brandon when he comes by on tour... hey, he's coming near you, isn't he, Kurk? :P), I'm calling this a serious failure on Bleeder's part.

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It occurs to me that for all we know she was compounding the whole time. A few weeks during which Bleeder certainly had other things to be doing is not a whole lot of time to build up an attribute as arduous to store as speed, and she was moving at Flash-levels basically every time we saw her use it.

Actually... it wasn't weeks. It was days. The donor was alive and well and undigested in the prologue, and everything sparked off right after that (unless my reading comprehension is failing me). So Bleeder would have been relying almost entirely on stolen metalminds if she wasn't compounding.

So the way I see it is either the original donor having an indecently large storage that she didn't burn through in the prologue or Bleeder relying on compounding meager storages the entire time she uses Feruchemical steel.

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Yeah, but she still ran out... when she could take like, an hour or two to store with a gigantic block of steel stuck in her flesh and get absurd amounts of speed (the advantage of being a kandra is that you don't need to swallow the metal). I just can't see her running out.

 

But perhaps she was. I'll have to think more about it when I finally do a re-read! I'll keep a look-out for whether or not her levels of speed vary. If she is in fact Compounding, she should have two modes: really fast and super fast (when she flares).

 

A WoB would also be nice.

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She can't compound. She needs two spikes to be able to do that, and that would be enough for Harmony to be able to stop her. She does in fact always have two spikes in her (because she needs them to stay sentient), but the other is the alien god metal. If it confers any ability (and they don't have to: koloss spikes were made with ordinary humans), it's not one that works in concert with any Scadrian powers.

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If you get a feruchemical ability through hemalurgy, I don't think you can fill a metalmind without that spike in. If she switched to her steel allomancy spike, she could burn a metalmind to get at that Investiture, but she couldn't put it in a metalmind because she doesn't have her feruchemicy spike in.

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If you get a feruchemical ability through hemalurgy, I don't think you can fill a metalmind without that spike in. If she switched to her steel allomancy spike, she could burn a metalmind to get at that Investiture, but she couldn't put it in a metalmind because she doesn't have her feruchemicy spike in.

 

Right, but she doesn't have to put it into a metalmind to benefit from it. Just burning the metalmind would give her a huge amount of speed for very little storing. (There's also diminishing returns when tapping a metalmind that you don't have to worry about with straight metalmind burning.)

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I'm not convinced that it would work that way, though. The speed is tied to having that feruchemical ability. Without the feruchemical spike, all she has is allomancy. So, she can use the extra power, but the Investiture would have to be channeled into allomancy. It would just be like having extra steel to burn.

 

I dunno. Maybe I'm wrong. If so, I'd guess that we were watching Paalm using her compounding as best she could. She burned through a lot of speed. Storing speed has to take quite a while. Then again, I guess you could go to max storage every night while you slept and store speed all night.

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I'm not convinced that it would work that way, though. The speed is tied to having that feruchemical ability.

 

I'm not sure what else I can say here - we have a WoB saying it's possible.

 

Here's two different WoBs on how Compounding works:

 

Open The Fridge

Ok, last question. It was really difficult coming up with three questions that haven’t been asked already...

Brandon Sanderson

OK... you’re not going to ask me the “what would you ask me” question?

Open The Fridge

Not quite...

Brandon Sanderson

OK good, because I hate that one! (laughs)

Open The Fridge

My question is if there’s anything that you’ve never been asked that you would like to talk about?

Brandon Sanderson

Oooooh, ok. Hm. That one is so hard! Every time people ask me something like this... What have I never been asked that people should be asking, is basically what the question is? Something that the fans have just missed... They pick up on so much, that it’s hard... I do wonder if, you know… all the magic systems [in my books] are connected and work on some basic fundamental principles, and a lot of people haven’t been asking questions about this. One thing I did get a question on today, and I’ll just talk about this one... they didn’t ask the right question, but I nudged them the right way, is understanding that tie between Aondor [the magic system from Elantris] and allomancy [Mistborn’s magic system].

People ask about getting the power from metals and things, but that’s not actually how it works. The power’s not coming from metal. I talked a little about this before, but you are drawing power from some source, and the metal is actually just a gateway. It’s actually the molecular structure of the metal… what’s going on there, the pattern, the resonance of that metal works in the same way as an Aon does in Elantris. It filters the power. So it is just a sign of “this is what power this energy is going to be shaped into and give you.” When you understand that, compounding [in Alloy of Law] makes much more sense.

Compounding is where you are able to kind of draw in more power than you should with feruchemy. What’s going on there is you’re actually charging a piece of metal, and then you are burning that metal as a feruchemical charge. What is happening is that the feruchemical charge overwrites the allomantic charge, and so you actually fuel feruchemy with allomancy, is what you are doing. Then if you just get out another piece of metal and store it in, since you’re not drawing the power from yourself, you’re cheating the system, you’re short-circuiting the system a little bit. So you can actually use the power that usually fuels allomancy, to fuel feruchemy, which you can then store in a metalmind, and basically build up these huge reservoirs of it. So what’s going on there is… imagine there’s like, an imprint, a wavelength, so to speak. A beat for an allomantic thing, that when you burn a metal, it says “ok, this is what power we give.” When it’s got that charge, it changes that beat and says, “now we get this power.” And you access a set of feruchemical power. That’s why compounding is so powerful.

(source)

 

 

 

Question

How does compounding work in Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

I can explain this better in person because I know things that the characters in the book don’t. So, they haven’t worked a lot of this out. All the magic systems in my work are linked because the books all take place in the same universe. In Elantris, magic works by drawing symbols in the air. What actually happens is that when they draw a symbol, energy passes through it from another place (which is my get-out for the laws of thermodynamics) and the effect of that energy is moderated by the symbol. In one case it may become light, in another it may become fire. In Mistborn, the metals have a similar effect. The magic is not coming from the metal (even if some characters think it is). It is being drawn from the same place and moderated by the metal.

In the case of Feruchemy, no energy is being drawn from this other place. So, you spend a week sick and store up the ability to heal. It’s a balanced system, basically obeying the laws of thermodynamics. So, while it’s not real, it’s still rational.

In compounding, when you have the power of both Allomancy and Feruchemy, you draw power from the other place through the metal and it recognizes the power that is already stored—"Oh, this is healing, I know how to do that”—and so you get the power of Feruchemy but boosted by energy from the other place. This is how the Lord Ruler achieved immortality.

(source)

 

The metalmind itself causes the Feruchemical power - it filters Preservation's power. You don't need to be a Feruchemist to burn a metalmind and get a superboost of the attribute because the metalmind itself shapes the power, not you.

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Could've sworn there was a WoB that you can sorta feasibly figure out some kind of method to spike the feruchemy out of a gold compounder and they'd still be able able to heal it back by burning. Not sure.

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Right, but she doesn't have to put it into a metalmind to benefit from it. Just burning the metalmind would give her a huge amount of speed for very little storing. (There's also diminishing returns when tapping a metalmind that you don't have to worry about with straight metalmind burning.)

yes, but you can't modulate much with the power you get from burning metals. everyone we saw using iron or steel remarked that doing a small push is extremely hard, and most people just do a strong push for a short time. it takes years of practice, which paalm didn't have. So she could burn the metal for speed, but she could not have modulated how much speed she got from it. either a lot, or none at all.

 

Heck, for all we know, she could have been compounding. According to sazed speed is very difficult to store, and we know that the more of an attribute you tap, the more it costs, in a more-than-linear way. She killed the feruchemust woman one or two weeks before. she had been busy impersonating the governor most of the time. I am surprised she had enough speed for several minutes of speed so fast as to movve in a blur. maybe she didn't store it all; maybe she did burn her metalmind allomantically, getting those few minutes. we've never seen her using her speed subtly.

The only problem with this theory is that in that case she would have had an allomantic steel spike, and she didn't display coinshot powers.

 

Anyway, the real fast storing with compounding - burn the metalmind, store the power in a bigger metalmind, burn it immediately afterwards - was barred to her. Paalm could not burn the metalmind to fill a bigger metalmind. That's the trick of compounding, and that's how one can multiply his stock in a short time (limited by availability of metal and how fast it burns). She couldn't fill a metalmind while burning one, so compounding was of limited use to her.

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I understand what you're saying, but without the spiked feruchemical ability, can you still access that ability? I seem to remember a WoB that says that if a feruchemist survived being spiked, they wouldn't be able to use the Investiture they'd stored in their metalminds for the ability that was stolen. The quote, "Oh, this is healing, I know how to do that”--does it still apply if you don't know how to do that anymore (in this unique case, because the spike that lets you know how to do that is gone)? I can see how what you're saying would work, but I'm just not sure that it does. It may be the metalmind that shapes the power and not you, but you still have to be able to access that power. I don't know that you can without the spike, if your ability is hemalurgically obtained.

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...

 

  • I agree that a limitation is that you can't modulate it. (I said this above.)
  • She killed the Steelrunner less than a week prior, I think. Wax thinks she did a much longer time back than that, but there's strong evidence that he's wrong on that (we see the Feruchemist in the prologue).
  • We do see her display Coinshot powers at the end. She had an Allomantic steel spike for sure.
  • We don't know that Compounding is multiplicative rather than just a flat burn - again, I point towards the WoBs on Compounding. You tell the incoming stream of Investiture from Preservation what to become, we have nothing indicating that it multiplies the charge in the metal except for in-world remarks about the power becoming "tenfold" (and the characters definitely don't understand things as well as we do).

 

I understand what you're saying, but without the spiked feruchemical ability, can you still access that ability? I seem to remember a WoB that says that if a feruchemist survived being spiked, they wouldn't be able to use the Investiture they'd stored in their metalminds for the ability that was stolen. The quote, "Oh, this is healing, I know how to do that”--does it still apply if you don't know how to do that anymore (in this unique case, because the spike that lets you know how to do that is gone)? I can see how what you're saying would work, but I'm just not sure that it does. It may be the metalmind that shapes the power and not you, but you still have to be able to access that power. I don't know that you can without the spike, if your ability is hemalurgically obtained.

 

A Feruchemist might not be able to do it because you need to be a Feruchemist to store/tap from a metal... but in the case of Compounding, Allomancy is what is accessing the metal, and Allomancy is what Paalm had.

 

The Identity question, whether or not she can still unlock her metalminds is more unclear - but I think the answer is likely yes, based on the WoBs Kurk posted above.

Edited by Moogle
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I feel it's worth remembering that the rules we know don't necessarily apply to Bleeder.  The metal for the spike is important and we know literally none of the properties of the spike she was using. 

 

However, it was most likely a God metal.  I doubt burning it would necessarily have had the result that burning a normal spike would.  Especially since Harmony was unable to track her - that would indicate to me that it seems to still have some of the Investiture of the original spike, not just the Investiture provided through Hemalurgy. 

 

EDIT: Ooh, interesting thought - What if we're going in reverse of the original trilogy.  This was the Hemalurgy book, next time we'll see something to do with the new metal(s) and Feruchemy, and then finally Allomancy.  This would provide a sort of mounting threat, as the powers grow increasingly dangerous.  A new Allomancy could be a serious problem.  

Edited by Tarion
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Since it was steel it might be related to a pet theory of mine that renders Steel somewhat uniquely interesting from a compounding point of view. Given what we've seen from Bleeders use of steel it seems logical to assume that it does more than simply store muscle speed. It seem to act almost like Bendalloy but only for one person, speeding up not only your speed but your perception and reflexs too. What's interesting is that this might also increase your allomantic burn rate, which in the case of steel compounding would result in an exponential growth of speed, so your steel would burn out almost instantly from the point of view of anyone else.

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  • She killed the Steelrunner less than a week prior, I think. Wax thinks she did a much longer time back than that, but there's strong evidence that he's wrong on that (we see the Feruchemist in the prologue).
  • We do see her display Coinshot powers at the end. She had an Allomantic steel spike for sure.
  • We don't know that Compounding is multiplicative rather than just a flat burn - again, I point towards the WoBs on Compounding. You tell the incoming stream of Investiture from Preservation what to become, we have nothing indicating that it multiplies the charge in the metal except for in-world remarks about the power becoming "tenfold" (and the characters definitely don't understand things as well as we do).

 

- what makes you think we saw the feruchemist in the prologue? I was under the impression that it had always been bleeder who killed the governor's brother, after having already killed the feruchemist. that chapter happens the evening before the events of the book, so there would have been no way to store enough speed in one day.

- yes, but she had changed a body right then. that she had a coinshot spike is no proof that she compounded or not.

- well, we know for sure that by burning a metalmind you can get more power than you'd get by tapping it. and that's everything we need, once you can do that you can effectively multiply your power. But only if you can store and burn at the same time. yes, there are certainly limitations, but that's not what I meant. My point is that if you can burn a metal and store a metalmind at the same time, then you can start with a very small amount of power and get a huge amount of power, depending only on how much metal you can burn. While if you can burn a metal or fill a metalmind, but not do the same at once, then you can get a greater return that you'd get as a normal feruchemist, but you still need to charge your metalminds often. regardless of the specific of how much extra power you can get by compounding.

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I'm not sure what else I can say here - we have a WoB saying it's possible.

It seemed sort of a tentative answer to me.

 

 

Kurkistan: Could an Augor Compound Health out of a goldmind if its proper owner messed with Identity in the right way?

Brandon: This is possible.

I have some sneaking suspicion that there might be some specification behind that answer that Brandon didn't elaborate on, that might not have applied to Bleeder messing around with Hemalurgy.

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Shoving what you get from the burn is what is usually accepted as how it is done though. Or else Miles will have to actually stop healing, and Rashek would've been dead long ago.

The woman who is presumably Winsting's killer matches Idashwy's profile relatively well. Yet her corpse is intact. Paalm seems to not like rushed jobs, using actual bones throughout even when she doesn't intend to expose her appearance. She can maybe look convincing with an improvised form, but she doesn't sound like the type to do that.

On top of that, the main evidence against Idashwy being the killer is her personality as known by others, but judging from what she said before leaving she was likely visited by Paalm and spiked with something like the other decoys, so her mind was likely already compromised.

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Yeah, but she still ran out... when she could take like, an hour or two to store with a gigantic block of steel stuck in her flesh and get absurd amounts of speed (the advantage of being a kandra is that you don't need to swallow the metal). I just can't see her running out.

 

For some reason I don't think you can cheat quite that easily with compounding. It'd be kind of silly if you could store Feruchemical steel in an I-beam for 10 seconds and then be able to Compound off of it for the rest of your life.

 

This kind of demands a model of how stored attributes are distributed through the physical metalmind, as well as potentially a discussion of how "density of storage" interacts with compounding, but I don't think such a discussion is going to end with "so of course all need you need is an I-beam and half a minute to spare..."

 

EDIT: Also, as an aside, no one really needs to swallow things in order to burn a metal.

Source

2:57:56

Q. Several of my friends play the Mistborn tabletop game, and we have a question, so, if you want to burn a metal Allomantically do you actually have to ingest it, or can it just be in your bloodstream, or-?

A. If it gets in there somehow, you can use it.

Q. So you can inhale something, or inject something … what about spikes? Could you like burn a spike that was-?

A. Yes, you could, but not if it’s Hemalurgically placed or Hemalurgically charged. But otherwise yes. If it gets in you--I almost wrote a scene where someone got stabbed through the chest and they burned it. The problem is your metal also has to be of the right allomantic alloy.

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Shoving what you get from the burn is what is usually accepted as how it is done though. Or else Miles will have to actually stop healing, and Rashek would've been dead long ago.

 

I'm not sure if I'm misinterpreting you as arguing against the idea here (I might be), but in this case our good friend Bleeder doesn't need to have speed on 24/7, just for short amounts of time, so there's no need for her to need to store.

 

For some reason I don't think you can cheat quite that easily with compounding. It'd be kind of silly if you could store Feruchemical steel in an I-beam for 10 seconds and then be able to Compound off of it for the rest of your life.

 

There's a WoB that says when you burn a metalmind you don't get an Allomantic effect - just a Feruchemical one. (He was uncertain in the WoB I grant, but I can't find the darn thing, so...)

 

If you burn a metalmind and don't get 100% Preservation -> attribute (regardless of how charged the metalmind is) where is the extra Investiture going? Investiture is neither created nor destroyed.

 

I grant it might be counter-intuitive, but with some thought I'm not seeing any other way it could work (except for burning a near-empty metalmind resulting in eg. 90% Preservation -> Allomancy, 10% of it -> Feruchemy, which is ruled out by WoB).

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I believe he said that the feruchemical charge "overwrites" the allomantic charge of a metal. That's why you can compound feruchemical effects and not allomantic ones (as far as we know). However were you to only fill half of the metal mind you would still retain half of it's allomantic charge. 

I'm unsure whether a spent metalmind would revert to an allomantic charge or just become "dead".

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There's a WoB that says when you burn a metalmind you don't get an Allomantic effect - just a Feruchemical one. (He was uncertain in the WoB I grant, but I can't find the darn thing, so...)

 

If you burn a metalmind and don't get 100% Preservation -> attribute (regardless of how charged the metalmind is) where is the extra Investiture going? Investiture is neither created nor destroyed.

 

I grant it might be counter-intuitive, but with some thought I'm not seeing any other way it could work (except for burning a near-empty metalmind resulting in eg. 90% Preservation -> Allomancy, 10% of it -> Feruchemy, which is ruled out by WoB).

I recall that WoB as well. *Spends too long hunting it down*

 

I really wish we'd gotten Shardlet's signing reports into Theoryland...  :unsure:

 

Source:

Q: When a twinborn burns a charged metalmind, does he choose between getting the allomantic effect or the compounding effect or does he just get the compounding effect or does he get both?

 
A: Umm…drr drr drr…I believe it is only the compounded effect.
 
I find the "drr drr drr..." particularly telling. Especially in light of the fact that aluminumminds apparently can't be compounded because burning them immediately kills all your metals. This leads us back to the old debate about whether you get an instant of Allomantic effect before compounding kicks in (which is how I've historically chosen to interpret the WoB).
 
---
 
I think we really need to flee from silliness here. I reject a world in which you can turn a building into a metalmind and just chip off flakes to compound from forever.
 
Maybe the charge resides in specific parts of the metalmind and those parts are burned first when compounding. Maybe the charge is distributed, but the parts of metal it's in end up being targeted first by compounding, like lightning rods attracting the power.
 
Maybe the charge isn't really vested in the physical metal at all, but is actually a spiritual overlay that gets burned off bit by bit as it redirects/reshapes Preservations power while you compound the metalmind. In that case, it could be like how Vin got vaporized ("like a hose under too high a pressure" is an accurate paraphrase from Brandon, I believe) when she channeled in/shaped too much power.
 
Either way let's pick something and try to hash it out, rather than residing in a world in which the I-beams can be perpetually compounded off of.
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