Eagle of the Forest Path

Realmatic mechanics of Feruchemy

3 posts in this topic

I'd like to explain how I see the mechanics behind Feruchemy.

It's easy enough to say that it stores different human attributes inside bits of metal, but that doesn't really offer any explanation on how exactly that happens.
For starters, how does it affect the metal when an attribute is stored in it.
Since the metals remain allomantically sound, i.e. they can still be burned by an allomancer for the same effect(disregard compounding for now), we know the molecular structure of the metal remains the same. Nor are there any visible changes to the metalminds. This makes me quite certain that the attributes aren't stored in the Physical realm.
That leaves the Cognitive and the Spiritual realms. Since not much is known about either realm, this leaves the next part open for discussion, so your conclusions might and probably will differ from my own.One of the few things we do know about the differences between the two realms is that in the Cognitive realm distance matters, while in the Spiritual realm it does not. It might be said that touching something could constitute a Spiritual connection, but to me it seems more a matter of distance.
You've probably already caught on that I believe Feruchemic attributes are stored in the Cognitive version of a Feruchmist's metalminds. My main reason for discounting the Spiritual realm is that filling an object with a part of your self, is IMO a very personal action, which should create a deep and lasting connection between a person and said object. If the metalmind's Spiritual side were the important one, I imagine it could be accessed from anywhere, however, it is only with physical contact that a metalmind can be filled or tapped.
So, the cognitive realm. If you accept what I've written here, this means that Feruchemy is the type of magic that can be metaphorically represented by a tube. Just like Allomancy and AonDor. Contrary to those two magic systems, where the power flows in only one direction (from the Spiritual to the Allomancer or from the Cognitive to the Elantrian), with Feruchemy the power, which is basically the human attribute turned into investiture, can flow both ways. From any aspect of the Feruchemist to the cognitive aspect of the metalmind when storing. And in the other direction when tapping.
So attributes from the physical and hybrid quadrants go from the Physical aspect of the Feruchemist into the Cognitive aspect of the metalmind. Spiritual quadrant attributes go from the Spiritual aspect of the Feruchemist into the Cognitive aspect of the metalmind. The cognitive quadrant attributes stay in the Cognitive realm and only get transferred from the Feruchemist to the metalmind. (Leaving aside the Brass=heat mess-up)
I'd like to illustrate this with a conversation inspired on one between a certain redhaided Lightweaver and a certain pointy wooden object.
An iron ring in its natural state would say: "I am an iron ring."
When it has been used to store mass: "I am an ironmind." 
More specifically: "I am an ironmind, storing 50 pounds of weight."
And even more specifically: "I am Waxillium Ladrian's ironmind, storing 50 pounds of weight."
In general that becomes "I am <Feruchemist XX>'s <metal YY>-mind storing <amount ZZ> of <attribute yy>."
That <Feruchemist XX> part is important in the case of aluminum. By WoB we know that the metalmind checks that the person trying to access it is not <Feruchemist AB> or <Feruchemist QK>(for example), but doesn't specifically check that it is in fact <Feruchemist XX>. So if he can store away the "XX" part of his identity, a Feruchemist can potentially access the metalminds of "AB", because the metalmind can't check against "<Feruchemist _ _>".
Now, I'd like to take a closer look at the cognitive quadrant metals: Zinc(mental speed), Copper(memories), Bronze(wakefulness) and Electrum(determination) ... I know, I know, Electrum is in the hybrid quadrant, but Brandon has admitted that was a mistake and determination should properly be the attribute stored by Brass.
Anyway, mental speed, wakefulness and determination could be imagined to have a Physical or Spiritual component aside from the Cognitive one. Memories, or as I see it: Knowledge, is the Feruchemic attribute that is most strongly linked to the Cognitive realm. If you accept my theory that Feruchemic storage happens inside that Cognitive realm, this offers an explanation of some of the many oddities of copperminds.
Unlike any other metalmind, where the attribute returns to normal levels when you stop storing, when a memory is stored inside a coppermind, it doesn't return until you retrieve it by tapping the coppermind. This can be explained by the more often mentioned oddity that copper stores specific pieces of memory(knowledge), as opposed to an amount of general attribute. I envision this as a pitcher underneath a running tap: if you pour water out of the pitcher and then stop pouring,the pitcher fills up again, but never with the same water.
The other oddity I'll mention is that copper storage seems to happen instantaneously, one moment the knowledge is inside your head, the next it's just gone. It doesn't fade, it doesn't disappear one word at a time. One instant you remember the contents of an entire book and the next you have a blank space. To explain that you'd need to take a look at the nature of knowledge in the Cosmere, preferably after achieving a masters in philosophy. (and maybe saying a short prayer to Kurkistan, since he seems to have a handle on this sort of thing)
Lacking a philosophic education, I'm reduced to relying on narrativium
So here's a little question about books. What would the Shadesmar bead of a book say?
"I am a book."?
"I am the book <insert title here>."?
Would it offer a short summary?
If the way I see the Cognitive realm is correct, somewhere inside that bead is the entire contents of that book, whether it immediately tells it or not. (as well as the entire history of the book as an object, but that's beside the point)
Translating that from data in a book-bead to data in a brain-bead (i.e. a memory), what you are doing when storing a memory in a coppermind is transferring a packet of knowledge from one bead to another. You don't have to cross realms, you don't have to cross a distance inside a realm. It's not proof, but it's a start to explaining why copperminds work instantly.
Returning from that tangent to the topic I started with for a final tidbit.
Investiture. In my model of the mechanics of Feruchemy, the investiture in a metalmind is not the stored attribute that has been converted into investiture. It is instead a bit of power that maintains the additional information that has been added to the Cognitive aspect of the metalmind.
So, a huge chunk of pretty abstract text. If you've made it here, I hope I made some sense, and I hope you can agree with me. If not, I look forward to reading why. :D
Edit: I made the font larger (I copy-pasted this from somewhere, didn't realise it came out so small)
Edited by EagleOfTheForestPath

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As a personal request, if you could avoid making your font so small it would help with reading a lot. I'm on a small tablet screen, and it doesn't like zooming.


Also, this seems like a better fit for Cosmere Theories if we're going into Cognitive Realm mechancis, so I'm moving this there.



Here's a question: when you take in Breath or Stormlight, in what Realm is it stored?


That's sort of a trick question. I don't think it makes sense to speak of something Invested having its Investiture in only one Realm. Everything exists in all three Realms (albeit not as strongly in some), and when Investiture becomes a part of you, I don't see why it would be any different. Breaths are a part of your soul, and Stormlight can be used to heal your soul, but they also both affect the Physical around you.


So when you Invest a metalmind, I don't agree with the proposition that it must necessarily end up in one Realm.


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So when you Invest a metalmind, I don't agree with the proposition that it must necessarily end up in one Realm.


I think there's been a bit of a miscommunication there.

When you invest a metalmind, I also believe it is invested across all three realms (since investiture crosses the 3 realms anyway, it has to be).

But the investiture over the Physical and Spiritual realms only acts as a link to the Cognitive and as a source of energy to maintain the additional information forced into the Cognitive aspect of, say, a nose-ring by turning it into a metalmind.


In my model attributes aren't converted into investiture (well, the theory on the forum seems to be that everything is investiture at some level, but that just gets confusing), they're converted into information instead. If the Shadesmar bead of an item is like a piece of computer code (I'm thinking xml file), then it normally contains a number of data-objects that describe the make-up and history of the item. What I think Feruchemy does is add a data-object. (as an aside, what I think Forgery does is alter lines in the existing objects)


Maybe look at it like a teleport. On one end an item is deconstructed and saved as digital data, then that data is sent somewhere else and used to reconstruct the item. But in Feruchemy instead of an item you have an attribute, and instead of sending it somewhere you carry it around with you. Does that clarify or just confuse things further?



I'd considered putting this in Cosmere theories, but as I only talked about Feruchemy... I decided on Mistborn instead. Oh well...  ^_^ 


Breath and Stormlight...


I don't know if you can say stormlight is stored when you've breathed it in, because at that point it's "active" (and also because it leaks out).


Breath (which only becomes active when you use it to awaken something, but that terminology is debatable) is definitely stored across the three realms, which I actually deduced from some similarities to certain Feruchemical attributes. The Life sense from Breath seems similar somehow to Duralumin's Connection; so, Spiritual. The enhanced senses (colour, pitch, ...) are Physical, obviously. And the instinctive commands for Awakening you get at the upper heightenings deal with knowledge and are therefore Cognitive to me.


Now if you hold Stormlight or Breath and store it in a Nicrosilmind (assuming that's possible, damnation those RAFO's) according to my model it would then cease to be investiture and become information instead, until such time as you decide to tap the Nicrosilmind.  B) 


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