Moogle

[SoS Spoilers] Failure to Compound

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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 may be insane, but I'm pretty sure your WoB here says nothing about Compounding aluminumminds. The question seems to me to be about someone burning duralumin/aluminum with a metalmind in their stomach, not burning an aluminummind/duraluminmind.

 

We also know that Leechers have a hard time burning away Invested metal; I wouldn't expect aluminum to instantly vanish away a metalmind.

 

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.

 

I'm not seeing why this is silly. Compounding, as far as the WoBs we have say, sets a 'flag' (in the programming sense) that tells the incoming stream of Investiture what to do. The metalmind tells the Investiture, "hey I heal things" and then the Investiture mimics it. I don't see the silliness in the slightest with this - you're just plugging the power cord into a different machine.

 

I mean, unless you're rejecting specifically the exaggeration of having several tons of steel and then storing for a microsecond, and not the more reasonable case of having a block of steel and storing in it for a few hours. I could get behind that not working, though I suspect the limit for when it doesn't work is really really really small.

 

But so long as the limit is reasonably small, I don't feel Bleeder should have ran out of speed. She could have been storing for at least 4 hours every night when most people were sleeping, and she didn't use Feruchemical steel for very long on-screen.

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The question specifically states a "fully charged" metalmind. So it's completely filled with Feruchemical Investiture. There is not "normal" metal left in that. So Brandon's answer doesn't necessarily have any bearing on partially filled or completely empty metalminds.

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The question specifically states a "fully charged" metalmind. So it's completely filled with Feruchemical Investiture. There is not "normal" metal left in that. So Brandon's answer doesn't necessarily have any bearing on partially filled or completely empty metalminds.

 

Which WoB is this?

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I think you can compound aluminum, actually. Remember, the feruchemical ability overwrites the allomancy entirely. All burning the metal does is tap the multiplying effect of allomancy. The metallic effect is 100% feruchemical. However, I did see a WoB where he said it wouldn't do much, so I guess whatever storing identity does, it's not very useful.

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I may be insane, but I'm pretty sure your WoB here says nothing about Compounding aluminumminds. The question seems to me to be about someone burning duralumin/aluminum with a metalmind in their stomach, not burning an aluminummind/duraluminmind.

 

We also know that Leechers have a hard time burning away Invested metal; I wouldn't expect aluminum to instantly vanish away a metalmind.

You're right: you are insane. :P

 

If you'll look at the "above" that Brandon is referring to when he says "the same thing as above", you'll see a Q/A basically discussing the canonical explanation of how compounding works. I really don't see any way to read this as anything but "you can't compound aluminum because trying will cause all your aluminum to go away".

 

EDIT: Reading it again, I suppose I can see how a particularly devilish and pessimistic mind could read that as both the speaker and Brandon talking about an Allomancer with Aluminum/Duralumin burning an off-key metalmind. But recalling the context of the discussion and the paraphrasic nature of the report, the more natural reading is that it was referring to compounding.

 

I'm not seeing why this is silly. Compounding, as far as the WoBs we have say, sets a 'flag' (in the programming sense) that tells the incoming stream of Investiture what to do. The metalmind tells the Investiture, "hey I heal things" and then the Investiture mimics it. I don't see the silliness in the slightest with this - you're just plugging the power cord into a different machine.

 

I mean, unless you're rejecting specifically the exaggeration of having several tons of steel and then storing for a microsecond, and not the more reasonable case of having a block of steel and storing in it for a few hours. I could get behind that not working, though I suspect the limit for when it doesn't work is really really really small.

 

When I say "silly" let's perhaps give me the (probably undeserved I'll admit) benefit of the doubt and think of it as a shorthand for "not very likely in a literary sense". This is an authored work and it strikes the senses (or at least my senses) as absurd that you could spend a trivial amount of time (seconds or hours, it doesn't really matter on these scales) storing into a comparatively gargantuan structure and then be able to use it as compounding source indefinitely.

 

Scenario that's perfectly plausible from this: our Full Feruchemist friend Friendly Frank is feeling particularly friendly one day, so he goes to a gold statue of Harmony and sits himself down touching it for the afternoon. After spending a bit of time without much Identity and with some sniffles, he stands up and announces that all Augors can now chip off pieces of the Hero of Ages and become perfectly healthy.

 

--

 

I'll try to step beyond arguments centered around "Kurkistan doesn't like how this sounds", though, as I admit that they might not be the most convincing to a third party. ;)

 

A question to start us off, then: why is it an exaggeration to talk of storing in several tons of steel for a for a microsecond, while it's reasonable to talk about a few pounds for an hour? Wax spends months storing into his bracers and doesn't run out of space, so clearly it's not like you're going to be filling either the block or the building to anything near capacity. What factor makes it less odd to turn a block of steel into a fully-compoundable metalmind in an hour versus a building into one in a second?

 

The question specifically states a "fully charged" metalmind. So it's completely filled with Feruchemical Investiture. There is not "normal" metal left in that. So Brandon's answer doesn't necessarily have any bearing on partially filled or completely empty metalminds.

 

If you'll look again, it just says "charged metalmind", not "fully charged".

 

EDIT: Ninjas. All the ninjas.  :ph34r:

Edited by Kurkistan
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INTERVIEW: Nov 21st, 2011QUESTION
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.

The infinite loop compounding, like what Miles and the Lord Ruler does for insane healing goes like this:

Fill a Metalmind, let us go with Iron (say a small Metalmind with 1 'unit' of charge, say 1 hour at half speed). Burn said Metalmind and because the 'yet-unnamed-powersource' is fuelling it you get like 10 units of charge instead (in this case 10 hours at double speed). You then store this 10 units of double Speed into a new Metalmind... which you then burn, creating 100 units of charge.

Obviously this kind of infinite-loop-Compounding isn't possible for Bleeder as it would require having access to both Iron Feruchemy and Allomancy at the same time.

 

(I can not find the quote, but somewhere it is said that Compounding does amplify with each itteration. And I am pretty sure it was said it was like 10 times or something. I'll take a search. Though to be honest, even if it is only doubling each time, keep doubling the number 1 and it doesn't take long before you're reaching thousands...)

*edit* Found where I got the tenfold idea from, Alloy of Law:

Marasi sat on the bench near Wayne. “Gold Allomancers aren’t particularly dangerous, from what I’ve read.” 
“No,” Waxillium said. “They aren’t. But it’s the Compounding that makes Miles so powerful. If your Allomancy and Feruchemy share a metal, you can access its power tenfold. It’s complicated. You store an attribute inside the metal, then burn it to release the power. It’s called Compounding. By the legends, it’s the way the Sliver gained immortality.” 
Marasi frowned. “I’d assumed stories of Miles’s extraordinary healing abilities to be exaggerations. I assumed he was just a Bloodmaker, like Wayne.”
“Oh, he’s a Bloodmaker all right,” Wayne said, spinning a dueling cane around his wrist and catching it again. “Except he doesn’t ever run out of health.”
 
Waxillium nodded, thinking back to years ago, when he’d first met Miles. The man had always made him uncomfortable, but he’d also been an excellent lawkeeper. For the most part. 
Noting Marasi’s confused look, Waxillium explained, “Normally a Feruchemist has to be sparing. It can take months to store up health or weight. I’ve been walking around at half weight since breaking us through the floor, trying to recover some of what I expended. I’ve barely filled my metalmind to a fraction of what I lost. It’s even harder for Wayne.” 
Wayne wiped his nose. “I’ll have to spend a few weeks in bed after this, feeling wretched. Otherwise, I’ll be unable to heal myself. Hell, I’m already storing as much as I can and still move about normally. By the end of the day, I’ll barely have enough to heal a scratch.” 
“But Miles …” Marasi said.
“Near-infinite healing ability,” Waxillium said. “The man’s virtually immortal. I heard he once took a shotgun blast to the face point-blank and walked away from it."
 
The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (pp. 191-192).

 

If, what Moogle suggested is indeed possible, the Compounding Bleeder would have been a 1 time process per Metalmind.

Bleeder spent a week charging the Metalmind, swapped spike to one granting Iron Allomancy (something we do indeed see her using later on) and have 10 weeks of charge instead. HOWEVER this would require being able to Burn a Metalmind she'd filled with a different Hemalurgic Spike. Though I think this would be cool, I don't think it was done...

It makes no sense to me why Bleeder would not have used both Speed and Coinshotting at the same time, for example to deflect Wax's Bullets early on (around the time Bleeder killed Drim). If Bleeder did do this single-loop-Compounding she should have had access to both powers by also absorbing normal Iron to Burn?

Though personally I think the interesting thing is IF IT IS POSSIBLE, rather than if it were actually done.

Edited by aon
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You're right: you are insane. :P

 

If you'll look at the "above" that Brandon is referring to when he says "the same thing as above", you'll see a Q/A basically discussing the canonical explanation of how compounding works. I really don't see any way to read this as anything but "you can't compound aluminum because trying will cause all your aluminum to go away".

 

EDIT: Reading it again, I suppose I can see how a particularly devilish and pessimistic mind could read that as both the speaker and Brandon talking about an Allomancer with Aluminum/Duralumin burning an off-key metalmind. But recalling the context of the discussion and the paraphrasic nature of the report, the more natural reading is that it was referring to compounding.

 

I'm so sorry and I'm awful, but I really do not see how you're interpreting those WoBs that way. I feel like I'm not reading the same ones you did, even though I've clicked the links.

 

The first question to me is, "okay here's how Compounding works, burn metalmind, the beat in it causes Preservation to copy it". The second one is, "okay, so you can burn a metalmind... what happens if a Mistborn were to burn duralumin and then burn the metalmind/burn aluminum". In the second question, he says "duralumin burned", so...

 

I'm trying, but I can't even conceive of your interpretation. It makes me feel really awful, like I'm missing something big. D:

 

When I say "silly" let's perhaps give me the (probably undeserved I'll admit) benefit of the doubt and think of it as a shorthand for "not very likely in a literary sense". This is an authored work and it strikes the senses (or at least my senses) as absurd that you could spend a trivial amount of time (seconds or hours, it doesn't really matter on these scales) storing into a comparatively gargantuan structure and then be able to use it as compounding source indefinitely.

 

I don't find this absurd... I guess I just intuitively see Allomancy differently than you? Like, if I were to rephrase what you said here into "it strikes me as absurd that you could take a gigantic piece of metal and and then use it for Steelpushing for a really long time" that should sort of get across how I feel about it. It's... just what Allomancy does? You burn metal, you get power. You burn a metalmind, you get the same type of attribute stored in it as power.

 

I guess I'll agree to disagree on this one.

 

A question to start us off, then: why is it an exaggeration to talk of storing in several tons of steel for a for a microsecond, while it's reasonable to talk about a few pounds for an hour? Wax spends months storing into his bracers and doesn't run out of space, so clearly it's not like you're going to be filling either the block or the building to anything near capacity. What factor makes it less odd to turn a block of steel into a fully-compoundable metalmind in an hour versus a building into one in a second?

 

Are you familiar with a transistor's operation? (If you're not, this analogy is so not going to make things simpler and I apologize in advance).

 

Essentially, a transistor has two main modes of operation: as a current amplifier, and as a switch. You can input a current (Ib in the diagram below, which is proportional to Vce) and the transistor will draw 50-1000x (B in the diagram, the diagram shows lines for different Bs) that current from its other terminal (Ic in the diagram). However, it only amplifies currents for very small currents. Past a certain point, the transistor is considered "saturated" and you hit a ceiling (no more current will be drawn.)

 

NPN.v0.plot.gif

 

I could see the same thing as happening with a metalmind. You put a little bit of charge in, and maybe the metalmind does amplify this charge (and just wastes the rest of the Allomantic power or something), but once a metalmind reaches whatever % of its storage, you don't multiply the charge, just hit a ceiling and get so much Allomantic power out.

 

That said, I'm not pushing this model as being what I believe - just as something I could see being the case. I am, for the moment, uncertain as to what degree you need to store in a metalmind before it becomes Compoundable.

 

I am relatively confident that a 50% charged metalmind will give you just as much attribute output when burned as a 100% charged metalmind, however.

 

What do you think is going on with the power drawn in your model of multiplicative returns? Say you burn a metalmind at 50% charge, and 100% charge. From what I understand, you predict you'll get 2x the attribute out of the fully charged metalmind. What do you theorize might be going on there in terms of Investiture flow? Is the 50% metalmind only drawing half the Investiture of the other one?

 


 

The infinite loop compounding, like what Miles and the Lord Ruler does for insane healing goes like this:

Fill a Metalmind, let us go with Iron (say a small Metalmind with 1 'unit' of charge, say 1 hour at half speed). Burn said Metalmind and because the 'yet-unnamed-powersource' is fuelling it you get like 10 units of charge instead (in this case 10 hours at double speed). You then store this 10 units of double Speed into a new Metalmind... which you then burn, creating 100 units of charge.

Obviously this kind of infinite-loop-Compounding isn't possible for Bleeder as it would require having access to both Iron Feruchemy and Allomancy at the same time.

 

Can you show a WoB or point in the book where they speak of TLR/Miles doing a loop? Wax never mentions looping this process, and I'm hesitant to trust him on the 10x figure. The WoBs don't mention it either... it just say that the Investiture you draw recognizes the Feruchemical beat of a metalmind and duplicates it.

Edited by Moogle
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Re: The WoBs: Well this is unfortunate, I suppose. I can see how you can read them the way you are, but it really seems to require bending over backwards for that to be the most natural reading, at least from where I stand.

 

Just to be clear that we're on the same page, here's the quotes:

 

Source:

ANDREW THE GREAT

What would happen if a person were to burn a metal that was Feruchemically charged using Allomancy?
 
BRANDON SANDERSON (PARAPHRASED)
The metal used in Allomancy is like a key or a doorway to the power that Allomancy actually uses. The metal acts as a filter, much as the Aons in Elantris do, to determine what the power actually does. However, if the metal is Feruchemically charged, then it will basically become a super-burst of Feruchemical power with no Allomantic effect. The Feruchemical charge acts as a filter as well as the metal, and changes what the power does. in this case, say you were burning steel, you would just be massively speedy for a second, and wouldn't actually have the ability to push on anything Allomantically. Hope that answered the question. I get the concept, so if you need me to explain it differently, let me know and i'll try. Oh, the other thing I forgot is that this concept only works if it's a metal that you charged yourself. If it's a metal someone else charged, it would just work like regular Allomancy, and the Feruchemical charge would just cease to exist.
 
ANDREW THE GREAT
If someone aluminum or duralumin burned the Feruchemically charged metals, what would happen?
 
BRANDON SANDERSON (PARAPHRASED)
Basically the same thing as above, except with aluminum. Aluminum, they would just go away.

 

--

 

Re: Silliness: The thing is I don't think it makes much intuitive sense to say that the I-beam is still a metalmind after you've been compounding off of it for a period of time proportional to the amount of feruchemical charge it had. I won't shake my fist at the skies and cry foul if it turns out to be the case, but it seems ugly. Cheaty. Inelegant. Other bad adjectives.

 

What do you think is going on with the power drawn in your model of multiplicative returns? Say you burn a metalmind at 50% charge, and 100% charge. From what I understand, you predict you'll get 2x the attribute out of the fully charged metalmind. What do you theorize might be going on there in terms of Investiture flow? Is the 50% metalmind only drawing half the Investiture of the other one?

 

I actually haven't presented any model of multiplicative returns (though I'm not principally opposed to compounding being multiplicative).

 

At this point I'm more arguing an anti-theory than presenting a positive case for an alternative, but sure I'll take a whack.

 

As you could likely tell from the length of the "maybe", I'm partial coming in to some "spiritual overlay" model. To quote myself:

 

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.
 
I think that you if you have a piece of steel that takes 1 hour to burn and fill it up to 50% capacity with speed, then when your compounder sits down to burn it he'll get Feruchemical speed at full blast for the first 30 minutes and Allomantic steel for the second 30 minutes—well technically I believe he'll also get Allomantic steel for a split second when he first starts burning, which is then hijacked into Feruchemical speed, but that's secondary to this discussion.
 
So the metal is drawing a full flow of investiture the whole time your burning it, it just stops being a metalmind (in the functional sense) after you've burned off all the speed-associated bits of it. This because the act of hijacking the stream from preservation, in being filtered through the stored Feruchemical attribute, burns off that attribute.
 
--
 
Two more thoughts:
1. Unless Vin's experience of burning a metalmind is 120% atypical for what a compounder sees at all, people burning metalminds are going to get a sense of a distinct, separate reserve. Not an overwrite of the old reserve, or an exact copy of it that is the same size/strength but just for a different effect, but a completely separate pool that really smells a lot like it should be proportional to the storage that allows it to exist. This is another impression/interpretation thing, so feel free to discount it.
 
2. This one might actually be impactful. Riddle me this, Moogleman: what's going to happen if you put 5 minutes worth of discreet Memories into a giant block of copper? If I turn the statue of Harmony in its entirety into a metalmind, then try to compound off of it for the next month, what the heck is that going to look like?
 
You see the problem with Feruchemical copper is that it's discreet. Everything else can essentially be treated as a bucket of water: fill it up, empty it, put in some water from a different well: who cares, it's just a bucket and water is water. But Allomantic copper stores unique, distinct memories.
 
Yes we don't know what compounded copper is supposed to act like, but we've some good guesses. The most popular at the moment is just that the memory is etched permanently into your mind. How the heck do you square that with compounding into the same memories over and over and over again? Or are we instead to believe that you'll have to burn every single bit of the statue to get at the entirety of all the memories?
 
The results of compounding aside, what would the storage even look like in a "fill it up a bit and it's a metalmind in its entirety" world? If you stored three distinct memories into a huge metamlind, would they be stretched out like butter over too much bread (intentional reference) over the entirety of the metal? So when I'm compounding it for the next month what decides which bit of which memory gets compounded at any given time? Unless we're going to go with the "ultra slo-mo" model of needing to burn the entire block to get at all of its stored memories.
 
If we retreat back to my "ability to compound is proportional to remaining original Feruchemical attribute" camp, though, all is happiness and s'mores. If you store memories A, B, and C into a metalmind, and then compound them out serially, then you'll get compounded!A. At that point, the metalmind will be slightly physically (and significantly spiritually, under my peculiar model) diminished, and still retain B and C memories. Keep going and you'll get compounded!B, then compounded!C. And after that you'll just be sitting there immune to emotional Allomancy as you burn Feruchemically-devoid copper.
 
*Later*
 
I was looking around for WoBs and found a few, though no "head shots" that settle the issue. Still, worth posting here just for the sake of having moving forward.
 
Source:

Q: Can a Feruchemist store an attribute in a metalmind that someone else has already stored in and if so, do the charges affect each other in any way?

 
A: Yes, but the charges are just stored in separate pieces of the metal, and don't really influence one another. 

 

Impact: Feruchemical charges can be discussed as inhabiting pieces of metal, rather than being loosy-goosy associated with the object as a whole. Still leaves us not knowing whether those "separate pieces" are still enough/spread out enough to support Moogle's model.

 

Source:

MARU NUI ()

What happens when you break a Hemalurgic spike or metalmind? What happens to that power?
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
Hemalurgic power can be split among multiple spikes and reforged, but remember that the longer a spike is outside of a person, the more the power is going to decay. Things like splitting it will decay it even further. Metalminds can also be broken and still be accessed.

 

Impact: Not much, doesn't say anything about if the access method/what's stored where is changed.

 

Source:

I got a chance to meet Brandon in Houston this past week at a signing. I asked him:

If a metalmind is melted down and changes shape, does it still retain its power?
 
His answer:
Yes, only by mixing it with other metals would the power be completely lost. Also if any pieces of the metalmind are lost, then some of the power will be lost (as it would be in the missing pieces).
 
Impact: Answers the above question by showing definitively that pieces of the power are stored in separate parts of the metalmind, rather than there just being a floaty "power associated with this clump of metal" that you can access with any broken-off fleck.
Edited by Kurkistan
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Thank you for yet another characteristically good post!
 
Re: Aluminum, yep, same WoBs, and I still cannot see how you think it's talking about an aluminummind. D:
 
Re: Spiritual overlay model, I really really like that, actually. It solves a lot of my issues. It wins on the elegance score. I'm not sure if I believe it - the idea of charge spreading itself over the metalmind like, well, electric charge, just seems too intuitive to me.
 
Re: More thoughts:
 
1. Vin's situation is a bit strange because, as we know from our Compounding WoB, the Feruchemical charge is overwritten when you don't own the metalmind. Because of this, I'm not sure I can get behind the whole "requiring an instant of Allomanctic burning before you can Compound" train.
 
I would expect a metalmind to seem like the regular metal to an Allomancer until they start to burn it. Compounding only happens because Investiture is hijacked by the Feruchemical charge - whatever mechanism allows an Allomancer to detect their metal reserve is probably not running Investiture through it that will be hijacked, it just sees the lump of steel or pewter or whatever and says "yep that's that". (An exception might be made for a Feruchemist since when they touch a metalmind they presumably know how full it is, and maybe their body combines this with info about Allomantic reserves.)
 
Once the burn starts to happen... well, why would there be an instant of Allomantic effect? We know that the Investiture duplicates the Feruchemical attribute stored. Why would it take time to start doing this? Vin is not a very good example because she was overwriting the Feruchemical charge from moment one.
 
2. This is a much, much more difficult question to wade through. In particular, I point towards this WoB:

The_Vikachu ()
If someone broke a coppermind, could the feruchemist still access a fragment of the information in it from a chunk of the coppermind, or would he require that the whole thing be reformed to access any of its storage?

Brandon Sanderson
The information would be fragmented.
(source)

 

So presumably, if you burn two separate parts of a coppermind, you're burning different charges and get different results.

 

I don't see it as a particular problem for my model. Take each charge, assume they repel each other (so each charge ends up roughly equidistant from the others) and assume it's radiating something at whatever frequency. If I burn the metalmind, just calculate the field strength due to each memory at that location, and proportionately deliver the Compounded memory.

 

Example: If I have two memories in a coppermind, and they both are across from each other, then I somehow burn the middle of the coppermind, I'll end up getting both memories at 50%, but if I burn one end where a charge is, I get ~100% of that memory.

 

This would mean that when burning copperminds you want them to be as sparse as possible in order to get as much as possible from the burn. If I only have two memories, and I can burn each for an hour, that's going to result in an even crisper Compounded memory etched into my mind than if there were four memories.

 

Possible implication: As I chew through the metal, the charges presumably re-distribute themselves over what's left of the metal - if they can because the metalmind's not full. (They may not; I am not sure.) So you could have a mostly-empty coppermind, then burn it and remove what's left and it'd be a basically "full" Coppermind.

 

This isn't quite as elegant as your overlay model (a point against mine), but I do not think it is particularly against my model. We know Investiture copies the "beat" - every Investiture particle is presumably giving off this beat, so even if you're burning a part of the metal where there isn't actually a charge, you're still burning an area where this beat is being given off.

 

A question: do Allomancers burn the metal starting from the outside going in, or is it all burned at roughly the same time?

Edited by Moogle
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BRANDON SANDERSON 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.

Okay so Brandon has told us that the Metals in the Metalic Arts are what as known as a 'Focus'. It's their chemical compisition, their Atomic Arrangement Resonating which decides what happens when you use Allomancy with that Metal.

It is most likely that using a Metal as a Metalmind makes a fundamental change to the Metal (both it's actuall Atomic composition and it's Cognitive/Spiritual Components) which makes this Metal a 'new focus' or basically a new Metal.

When you 'burn' this new Metal, as with Allomancy, you're destroying it as you use it (otherwise Allomancers would have metal-poisoning).

Now I see the problem Kurkistan is having with this model - what's to stop someone just filling a house sized brick of Iron, turning it into a Metalmind and then having basically tons of Compounding material from nothing?

What I would say is that first of all, you add one hour of half speed into a huge brick, then swallow one hundreth of it? You're only going to be able to have access to 100th of the power stored. But then - the cube you're using is only a fraction Fermatic... So what I propose is that you can only use it for Compounding if it has a significant enough density of storage that it overrides the Allomantic property. (And like Moogle, I would say that the storage is distributed throughout the Metal unilaterally)

If you want, I can try to do some quote-woo to find where Brandon says that a Metalmind basically acts like a new Metal

In regards to the infinite looping, i'm like 90% sure that must be what is done, Brandon has said that you can Burn your Metalmind, then store this in a new Metalmind and then Burn that one for even more charge, and it's only logical that this is what Miles and the Lord Ruler does... If Wayne stores up for a week and can barely heal a scratch, how the hell can Miles regenerate his whole body over and over, without having obscene amounts of power stored up?

And unfortunately Kurkistan, as much as you don't like it as a plot device, we do know that Compounding works - to the effect that it causes people to be demi-gods, being able to heal any wound and reach immortality.

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In regards to the infinite looping, i'm like 90% sure that must be what is done, Brandon has said that you can Burn your Metalmind, then store this in a new Metalmind and then Burn that one for even more charge, and it's only logical that this is what Miles and the Lord Ruler does... If Wayne stores up for a week and can barely heal a scratch, how the hell can Miles regenerate his whole body over and over, without having obscene amounts of power stored up?

 

To be clear, I have no problems with burning metalminds and storing, and I believe this is what happening. However, you don't need to "loop" it in my model - that would be wasteful. You just want to burn metalminds which are partially charged, because it's wasteful to burn fully charged metalminds. You can burn metalmind #1, store 99% of what you get in metalmind #2, and store the other 1% in metalmind #3, then burn metalmind #3 for the same amount of power, then repeat with storing 99% in metalmind #2 and 1% in metalmind #4 (burning #4 and so on).

 

Of course, if this is what you mean by loop, I have no problems with it. I assumed you meant someone would burn a 1% charged metalmind, get a 10% charged one, then burn that for a 100% charged metalmind and then burn that - in my model, this wouldn't work, it wouldn't give you more power, you'd get a ton of power from the 1% metalmind and it would be equal to a 100% metalmind burned.

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To be clear, I have no problems with burning metalminds and storing, and I believe this is what happening. However, you don't need to "loop" it in my model - that would be wasteful. You just want to burn metalminds which are partially charged, because it's wasteful to burn fully charged metalminds. You can burn metalmind #1, store 99% of what you get in metalmind #2, and store the other 1% in metalmind #3, then burn metalmind #3 for the same amount of power, then repeat with storing 99% in metalmind #2 and 1% in metalmind #4 (burning #4 and so on).

 

Of course, if this is what you mean by loop, I have no problems with it. I assumed you meant someone would burn a 1% charged metalmind, get a 10% charged one, then burn that for a 100% charged metalmind and then burn that - in my model, this wouldn't work, it wouldn't give you more power, you'd get a ton of power from the 1% metalmind and it would be equal to a 100% metalmind burned.

I think both our models are the same - however why Burn a Metalmind with a small amount of charge and only fill up one new Metalmind when you could Burn a full Metalmind and make like 10 new fully charged Metalminds? It's much more efficient. I was just using the figures 1% to 10% to 100% as an example, really you would just fill one Metalmind, burn it to create 10 full ones (or however many Compounding boosts your charge by)

But yes, the 'looping' is just repeating the process over and over to get a lot of charge.

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I think both our models are the same - however why Burn a Metalmind with a small amount of charge and only fill up one new Metalmind when you could Burn a full Metalmind and make like 10 new fully charged Metalminds? It's much more efficient.

 

I don't think our models are the same. You seem to believe that burning a fully charged metalmind will get you much more charge than if you burn a weakly charged one. I don't - I think that, no matter how charged the metalmind is, so long as it is a metalmind, you'll get the same amount of Feruchemical charge out.

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On the multiplicative question: My own position, to be clear, is that for every "charge" of Feruchemy you burn you'll get some multiple of that charge back through compounding. So if you have 1 gram of steel, fill it to the brim with speed, then burn it for the win, you'll have enough speed at that point to fill (say) 10 grams of steel. If you had 2 grams of steel and only filled it halfway, then you'd still get 10 "units" while burning that first gram, but the second gram would just burn as Allomantic steel.
 
Moogle, it seems that you're saying that if you burn a 100% charged metalmind then you'll get exactly 0 benefit from compounding it: you might as well just tap it. Am I reading you correctly?
 
---
 
 

Thank you for yet another characteristically good post!

 
I do try (though one negative is that I'm replying less quickly because these things take more time/though). Thank you as well.
 

Re: Spiritual overlay model, I really really like that, actually. It solves a lot of my issues. It wins on the elegance score. I'm not sure if I believe it - the idea of charge spreading itself over the metalmind like, well, electric charge, just seems too intuitive to me.

 
Hmmm... I might be able to rope you in here.
 
Okay, let's say the charge is like an electric charge. It's spread evenly throughout the metalmind. But by this model if you ground one part of the metalmind, then all the charge should rush out of that point, correct?
 
So that's what I'm saying is (possibly) happening with compounding. You have some finite Feruchemical charge diffusely spread over the entire object. But when you run investiture through the metalmind for Allomancy, the charge is attracted to it, combines with it, and reshapes it. Each time this happens, though, the Feruchemical charge is diminished. Still spread out, still suffusing the entire metalmind, but less than it was before the Allomancy came barreling through and burned off a bit of the Feruchemy.
 
 

1. Vin's situation is a bit strange because, as we know from our Compounding WoB, the Feruchemical charge is overwritten when you don't own the metalmind. Because of this, I'm not sure I can get behind the whole "requiring an instant of Allomanctic burning before you can Compound" train.
 
I would expect a metalmind to seem like the regular metal to an Allomancer until they start to burn it. Compounding only happens because Investiture is hijacked by the Feruchemical charge - whatever mechanism allows an Allomancer to detect their metal reserve is probably not running Investiture through it that will be hijacked, it just sees the lump of steel or pewter or whatever and says "yep that's that". (An exception might be made for a Feruchemist since when they touch a metalmind they presumably know how full it is, and maybe their body combines this with info about Allomantic reserves.)
 
Once the burn starts to happen... well, why would there be an instant of Allomantic effect? We know that the Investiture duplicates the Feruchemical attribute stored. Why would it take time to start doing this? Vin is not a very good example because she was overwriting the Feruchemical charge from moment one.


I believe the metaphor I've used in the past is "circuit breaker". So the investiture comes along running through the metal as normal, making some Allomancy. Then it "trips" and is re-routed into Feruchemy-land. But the tripping can't happen until some amount of Allomancy has started flowing through the metalmind, so just the tiniest smidgen of regular Allomantic power seeps through.
 
To a large extent my faith in this model is based on the whole "aluminum compounding is impossible" thing, so I can understand if you don't want to buy into this because we're not reading the quote the same way. 
 

2. This is a much, much more difficult question to wade through. In particular, I point towards this WoB:
<WoB>
 
So presumably, if you burn two separate parts of a coppermind, you're burning different charges and get different results.

<model>


Aha! I'd been looking for that one. Thanks.

I'll sidestep discussing your model for a moment in order to be annoying and just ask questions again:

 

Let's say for the sake of argument that 1 gram of copper corresponds to exactly 1 distinct memory, say an image of a flower. Let's also just assume for the sake of discussion that the effect of compounding copper is to etch it perfectly into your memory (though this is more for clarity of discussion than anything else, feel free to suggest an alternative effect).

 

Carl the Copper Compounder really wants to remember what this flower looks like, down to its tiniest detail, forever. So he takes out his newly-bought, empty coppermind, which masses at X grams, stores the memory, and then burns it.

 

Scenario 1: X=1. Carl fills up the entire coppermind, then swallows and burns it.

Result: The flower is etched into his mind perfectly. I think we can both agree on this scenario, no?

 

Scenario 2: X=10. Carl fills up 1/10th of the coppermind, then swallows and burns it.

Result: This is where we have fun.

 

I would say that Carl should burn off 1 gram, get his memory, and then start just burning copper for Allomantic effect.

 

What, exactly, do you say should happen? Will Carl have to burn all 10 grams to get a memory as crisp as he would get in Scenario 1? Will he get a memory as crisp as Scenario 1's after burning the first gram, and then no further effect as he keeps compounding the same memory? Will he get a memory that's better than Scenario 1's: the first gram equaling Scenario 1, every gram after that doubling down and somehow making the memory more vivid?

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To a large extent my faith in this model is based on the whole "aluminum compounding is impossible" thing, so I can understand if you don't want to buy into this because we're not reading the quote the same way.

 

The main reason I support the must-burn-allomantically-first is how expressly in Final Empire it's pointed out that Vin starts to feel Sazed's reserve... after she begins burning allomantically. Obviously this is weird, because she's not a feruchemist and it's not her reserve, and if she were a feruchemist she'd be able to feel the reserve there whether or not she could tap it before she burned it (by virtue of the fact that by being in her stomach it's axiomatically in contact with her) and if it were her reserve she'd be able to feel and tap it. Seeing what happened if Miles swallowed someone else's goldmind would be fascinting. Or... I guess while I'm wishing, I could just wish we could see Miles simply compound from his own perspective.

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Moogle, it seems that you're saying that if you burn a 100% charged metalmind then you'll get exactly 0 benefit from compounding it: you might as well just tap it. Am I reading you correctly?

 

This is not what I believe, no. To be more precise in my position: mathematically, you gain some amount of Investiture I for every gram of metal burned. It does not matter whether the metal is not a metalmind, a partially filled metalmind, or a full metalmind, you will receive the same amount of power.

 

However, I believe this amount I is greater than that contained within a full metalmind, so there's likely some benefit to burning a full metalmind. You'd just be more efficient tapping it to near-0 before you burned it because then you'd get I + (amount of Investiture in the metalmind) rather than just I Investiture. (I leave open the possibility that the amount of stored attribute in a metalmind will be released when you burn it, so that there's not actually a benefit to tapping before burning, however. I just believe it will always be beneficial to burn.)

 

The trick with Compounding in the model is not that you multiply the amount of charge stored, it is that you can just gain nearly-free power to use with your Feruchemy that does not require (well... it still does to a small degree) the usual downside to Feruchemy of having to store.

 

Okay, let's say the charge is like an electric charge. It's spread evenly throughout the metalmind. But by this model if you ground one part of the metalmind, then all the charge should rush out of that point, correct?

 

I like this.

 

I believe the metaphor I've used in the past is "circuit breaker". So the investiture comes along running through the metal as normal, making some Allomancy.

 

As you predicted, I don't really buy into this because of my issues with the aluminum WoB. (Sorry. I tried again, I still cannot see how you're interpreting it that way. I still feel awful.)

 

From my perspective of seeing the aluminum WoB differently, this seems really really weird. It's not like the Feruchemical charge is gone, so why should anything have to be switched? Preservation's Investiture would still have to flow through the charge in the metalmind, and should presumably still be affected.

 

What, exactly, do you say should happen? Will Carl have to burn all 10 grams to get a memory as crisp as he would get in Scenario 1? Will he get a memory as crisp as Scenario 1's after burning the first gram, and then no further effect as he keeps compounding the same memory? Will he get a memory that's better than Scenario 1's: the first gram equaling Scenario 1, every gram after that doubling down and somehow making the memory more vivid?

 

The last option; the Ferucharge-density may be 1/10th the 1 gram metalmind, but it will still override the Allomantic charge, so he should get 10x the memory out of burning a metalmind 10x the size.

 

I find this slightly counter-intuitive. I like your model better for this situation (and I like mine better for non-copperminds).

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Moogle: In two different books, we have two different people, both in a position to know, specifically mentioning a tenfold increase in the amount of power stored. What is your basis for ignoring this in favor of your own model?

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Moogle: In two different books, we have two different people, both in a position to know, specifically mentioning a tenfold increase in the amount of power stored. What is your basis for ignoring this in favor of your own model?

 

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.

(source)

 

This was at an Alloy of Law signing. I would not trust the characters even if I did not have this WoB - Wax says it's a ten-fold increase, but he's not a Compounder himself, so I'm not liable to trust him on exact specifics.

 

Hopefully you can understand why someone would have some skepticism - the characters don't even know that the metal itself is not providing the power, as far as I know. We as readers are in a much better position to understand the mechanics behind Compounding than characters in a world in which people who study have studied Allomancy don't even know what Compounding is.

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I've been thinking a lot about how copper compounding works, myself. There's a WoB that says it would do very interesting things.

The HD memory is a popular theory, but that doesn't make sense to me. Copper stores your own memory. For it to become HD, extra information would have to be added, which means that Preservation (or Harmony, now) would have to step in and add details. That doesn't really seem likely to me.

Another possibility: Compounding copper creates a ton of copies of the memory. You never have to put a memory back to preserve it because there's always another copy. What's left of the fading memory that is still in your mind lets you find the pertinent information easily. So you seem to have perfect recollection because you're constantly pulling out pristine memories, any time you need them.

The thing is, neither of these possibilities seem particularly interesting to me--not compared to the other stuff that goes on with powers in the Cosmere. So this is what I think: copper records your memory by imprinting the brain activity involved in feeding a memory into a coppermind. Compounding copper compounds that brain activity, creating a sort of neutral network, like magical AI.

The utility to the user outwardly seems to be perfect recall but is in fact access to something like a second brain--one that is entirely devoted to memory but a second brain, nonetheless.

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This was at an Alloy of Law signing. I would not trust the characters even if I did not have this WoB - Wax says it's a ten-fold increase, but he's not a Compounder himself, so I'm not liable to trust him on exact specifics.

 

Hopefully you can understand why someone would have some skepticism - the characters don't even know that the metal itself is not providing the power, as far as I know. We as readers are in a much better position to understand the mechanics behind Compounding than characters in a world in which people who study have studied Allomancy don't even know what Compounding is.

 

The mechanics, sure... but you don't have to know the mechanics to see an outcome. If a car were magically transported back to Victorian England, and it completed a 10 hour trip in an hour, anyone could tell you that went 10 times as fast. They don't have to understand internal combustion or how fossil fuel was made in order to measure the output.

 

This is a simple, solid, concrete number provided twice, once by a scholar, once by someone who was a close acquaintance to an actual compounder. (And is, himself, twinborn. And is the grandson of a feruchemical matriarch.) If it were obscure, or subjective, or in-depth, I might agree with you that what they say could be suspect. I don't see why they would both give us a definite number, and have it be the same one, especially if the actual 'estimate' based on your model is... hundreds. Sazed spends a week filling a goldmind ring and, near as we can tell, was nowhere near capacity. If Miles stored in a ring for ten seconds, but was able to get the entire ring's worth of health, that would be... well, more than a hundred seconds. By a lot. Back-of-the-envelope calculations puts it at a factor of 25K, and that's assuming Sazed maxed out his capacity (and only stored for ten hours a day). Now, I'm willing to grant that these guys are off by quite a wide margin, and that they misunderstand a lot of the finer details. But Brandon saying, "I can explain this better in person, their knowledge isn't perfect" is by no means a reason to suspect that they're so utterly incompetent, they think a car travels at the same speed as a horse.

 

Can you point to anything else about the Metallic Arts people are wrong about, in-universe? Apart from the rather pedantic "where the energy technically comes from." That's pretty in-the-weeds, not easily tested or confirmed, and not the basis for any further false assumptions. Whereas the factor of power returned is easily tested and confirmed, concrete, and repeated twice across centuries.

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This is a simple, solid, concrete number provided twice, once by a scholar, once by someone who was a close acquaintance to an actual compounder. (And is, himself, twinborn. And is the grandson of a feruchemical matriarch.)
 
Sazed's tenfold number was spit-balled, nothing more than a guess. It was not based in concrete fact. Here's the scene, for reference:
“However, if the Feruchemist were also an Allomancer, he might be able to burn his own metal storages, releasing the energy within them tenfold. Mistress Vin tried to burn some of my metals earlier, but couldn’t access the power. However, if you were able to make up the Feruchemical storages yourself, then burn them for the extra power…”
Marsh frowned. “I don’t follow you, Sazed.”
“I apologize,” Sazed said. “This is, perhaps, a thing that is difficult to understand without a background in both Allomantic and Feruchemical theory. Let me see if I can explain it better. What is the main difference between Allomancy and Feruchemy?”
“Allomancy draws its power from metals,” Marsh said. “Feruchemy draws its powers from the person’s own body.”
“Exactly,” Sazed said. “So, what the Lord Ruler did—I presume—was combine these two abilities. He used one of the attributes only available to Feruchemy—that of changing his age—but fueled it with Allomancy instead. By burning a Feruchemical storage that he himself had made, he effectively made a new Allomantic metal for himself—one that made him younger when he burned it. If my guess is correct, he would have gained a limitless supply of youth, since he was drawing most of his power from the metal itself, rather than his own body. All he would have to do was spend the occasional bit of time aged to give himself Feruchemical storages to burn and stay young.”
 
And I wouldn't call Wax a "close acquaintance" to Miles:
“Miles did good work,” Waxillium said. “But he was judgmental and harsh. We respected one another, though mostly from a distance. I wouldn’t call us friends. But out in the Roughs, anyone who stands up for what is right is an ally.”

...

“I’m not surprised,” Wayne said. “Did you ever hear how he spoke of people in Elendel, Wax? He’s a brutal man, Miles is.”
“Yes,” Waxillium said softly. “I hoped he’d stay focused on keeping order in his town and let his demons slumber.”
 
Reading this, I don't get the impression that they were very close.
 
Wax's grandmother hates the mixing of powers; what makes you think she's studied Compounding in enough detail to have told him "oh it gives you x times more power" for a very accurate value of x?
 

 
We have yet to see Compounding happen on-screen, or have an actual Compounder explain the process. You're welcome to believe the quotes provided are strong evidence, but to me they are extremely weak evidence. (Wax's quote is stronger, but not strong.)
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I agree with Moogle. The tenfold figure is probably not particularly scientific. The whole concept of science is pretty new on Scadrial, compounders are exceedingly rare, and the only people who seem to be doing systematic experimentation with powers are the Terris, who apparently are not interested in compounding. It's not that tenfold is necessarily wrong; it's just that they're basically saying, "a bunch more."

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I'm also highly skeptical any time someone gives a figure like it's 10x mroe or 100x more, the fact that it's rounded to a power of ten usually shows that it's a human based figure, nature doesn't have any strong preferences for the number ten.
In both cases I think the characters were using hyperbole. 

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I agree with Moogle. The tenfold figure is probably not particularly scientific. The whole concept of science is pretty new on Scadrial, compounders are exceedingly rare, and the only people who seem to be doing systematic experimentation with powers are the Terris, who apparently are not interested in compounding. It's not that tenfold is necessarily wrong; it's just that they're basically saying, "a bunch more."

 

Would you please go to this thread and tell people all of that, please?

 

 

 
Sazed's tenfold number was spit-balled, nothing more than a guess. It was not based in concrete fact. Here's the scene, for reference:
“However, if the Feruchemist were also an Allomancer, he might be able to burn his own metal storages, releasing the energy within them tenfold. Mistress Vin tried to burn some of my metals earlier, but couldn’t access the power. However, if you were able to make up the Feruchemical storages yourself, then burn them for the extra power…”
Marsh frowned. “I don’t follow you, Sazed.”
“I apologize,” Sazed said. “This is, perhaps, a thing that is difficult to understand without a background in both Allomantic and Feruchemical theory. Let me see if I can explain it better. What is the main difference between Allomancy and Feruchemy?”
“Allomancy draws its power from metals,” Marsh said. “Feruchemy draws its powers from the person’s own body.”
“Exactly,” Sazed said. “So, what the Lord Ruler did—I presume—was combine these two abilities. He used one of the attributes only available to Feruchemy—that of changing his age—but fueled it with Allomancy instead. By burning a Feruchemical storage that he himself had made, he effectively made a new Allomantic metal for himself—one that made him younger when he burned it. If my guess is correct, he would have gained a limitless supply of youth, since he was drawing most of his power from the metal itself, rather than his own body. All he would have to do was spend the occasional bit of time aged to give himself Feruchemical storages to burn and stay young.”
 
And I wouldn't call Wax a "close acquaintance" to Miles:
“Miles did good work,” Waxillium said. “But he was judgmental and harsh. We respected one another, though mostly from a distance. I wouldn’t call us friends. But out in the Roughs, anyone who stands up for what is right is an ally.”

...

“I’m not surprised,” Wayne said. “Did you ever hear how he spoke of people in Elendel, Wax? He’s a brutal man, Miles is.”
“Yes,” Waxillium said softly. “I hoped he’d stay focused on keeping order in his town and let his demons slumber.”
 
Reading this, I don't get the impression that they were very close.
 
Wax's grandmother hates the mixing of powers; what makes you think she's studied Compounding in enough detail to have told him "oh it gives you x times more power" for a very accurate value of x?
 

 
We have yet to see Compounding happen on-screen, or have an actual Compounder explain the process. You're welcome to believe the quotes provided are strong evidence, but to me they are extremely weak evidence. (Wax's quote is stronger, but not strong.)

 

 

Sazed's number might be spit-balled, but by your own quote, he's a scholar of both allomantic and feruchemical theory. No, that doesn't mean he's got it perfect, but it does mean he probably knows a ton of things about both arts that we, the readers, do not yet. You're making it sound like he got the number by rolling dice. His knowledge isn't perfect, and no one is saying it is, but can you point to another time Sazed firmly stated something when he was actually just guessing? This is Sazed. The shyest, humblest man ever. Tindwyl gets upset at him because he won't even speak up to defend himself when he is both certain and right; upon what are you basing the assumption that he'd firmly state a solid, concrete number if he had absolutely no basis for it?

 

Wax and Miles: The quote you posted seems to support... everything I say. I didn't call them bosom chums, I called them acquaintances. "Allies, but not friends" seems to fit. "Mostly" from a distance, so they have spent some time together. Elsewhere, Wax talks about how lawmakers are a special alloy and they have to keep watch on each other; the specifics of Miles's powers are exactly the kind of thing he'd know a lot about, and be sure of; after all, look at this scene, where he knows so much about Compounding, when apparently the 'general populace of Elendel' doesn't even believe it really exists. I'm sure the number is vague and inexact, and not "exactly ten", but it's a good reference point. It's also an absolutely perfect time for him to say, "If he stores any health at all in a goldmind, he can burn the entire goldmind, and get health from the whole thing." Instead, he does give us a concrete number.

 

So you're asking us to believe that the resident 'person who knows anything about Compounding' not only doesn't know as much as you do, but that he's so wrong about a crucial aspect (based, apparently, on a firm commitment to making the exact same assumptions someone else made three centuries prior) that he doesn't just say "I don't know" or "some amount more", he gives us an exact number, yet is totally and completely wrong.

 

I'm sorry. Look at my feelings on Teft. When someone in the book has a track record of being wrong about things, I am absolutely willing to believe it's simply faulty "in-universe" knowledge. However, you're asking us to dismiss a lot of evidence from the book itself from people who are both quite knowledgeable on the subject, because there's a small chance that they don't know everything, yet in both cases uncharacteristically firmly and definitively state something they are absolutely positive of, is easily checked and confirmed, yet are totally and absolutely wrong. Yes, I know they're mistaken as to the specific source of the power, and while that's interesting and fundamental in a profound way, it doesn't have a lot of impact on the day-to-day use, and it's not exactly the kind of thing you could simply check with a basic experiment.

 

Wax's grandmother, perhaps I shouldn't have brought her up; she's not good evidence one way or the other. However, you're very, very mistaken if you think someone is ignorant on a subject just because they hate it. "Know thy enemy". "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." "A man you love to hate." All throughout human history, we've understood that hatred is at least as attractive an emotion as love. Granted, this is poor evidence, but she does state that the mix of feruchemy and allomancy has always been bad, it's too much power in one person; the Sliver ruled the world through its mix. If you think someone like Granny V would deliberately leave herself ignorant of something she thinks is so dangerous... you got a very, very different impression of her than I did.

 

On that subject, let me touch on something somewhat ancillary; keep in mind that when Wax talks about the Sliver's immortality, he amends it, "according to legend." Not historical fact. Recall that Sliverism is a powerful religion in Elendel, and their dogma is likely not "oh, the Sliver was never actually divine, it was just a trick." Like I've said a few times now, there's not just one story going around; that's why Marasi hears about Miles, and dismisses it as hyperbole. Because there's not one "true" story, nor are there a dozen stories but one that is magically hashtagged as "this is what really happened." Wax has two reasons for being more knowledgeable than average on this fact; the first, of course, we now know is his Granny, who clearly preaches the evils of people like Rashek mixing the powers. The second, he's a Pathian. In Alloy, he thinks to himself that it is the Path to study all old religions, and divine the truth from them. The Words, even the Historica, are long and sometimes seen as metaphor, like how Aradel assumed MeLaan's talk of his snoring was an allegory for the Constables. Marasi struck me as someone who would read it for Elend's political theories and Harmony's plans for the city, not for obscura about a type of arcana widely assumed to be impossible anymore. Remember, the Words alone account for literally everything that was in Sazed's copperminds; doesn't he state once that he spent years making them, having another Keeper recite them out to him, word for word? There's a lot to cover, and while I'm sure there are scholars out there on the entirety, I'm equally sure most people know only certain portions well at all. Maybe the section of them that discussed the Sliver's immortality was an assignment she did in grade school and hasn't thought about since. (Maybe she Pulsed through that chapter...)

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You know, now that I think about it, there actually could be some good information about the degree to which compounding expands a power. I think it's too rare in the post-Catacendre world to have been comprehensively studied (not to mention the social barriers). With the Lord Ruler as the only pre-Catacendre compounder of note, it's hard to say how much information there would be on it.

Harmony may or may not have been able to access that on his ascension. However, Marsh could compound. Sazed absolutely could have put detailed information in the Words of Founding.

That said, the tenfold quote really sounds like a guess to me. I can't remember if anyone quotes it in Alloy or later, but in the first trilogy, no matter how educated the guess, I don't think there was adequate information to have much certainty.

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