yurisses

[BoM spoilers] Our incorrect assumptions about medaillons

29 posts in this topic

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The way I see the development of technology in the South is:

 

- The Excisors are stated to be gifts from the Sovereign. Allik states that with a Metalborn and an Excisor you can create a medallion. I suppose for now this involves storing their Metalborn ability into a special nicrosilmind everyone can store into.

- Their attempt to store several Metalborn abilities into one Excisor for simultaneous use repeatedly fail. Problem of incompatible Identities, since Allik say it would work easily if a single person with alll the powers stored their powers into the Excisor rather than pass it to different people which is what gives them trouble.

- They discover the trick of storing Identity to create unkeyed metalminds. This allows them to create metalminds that can be shared among ferrings of the metalmind's metal. However, this does not allow them to create Excisors, which they can't reproduce. But with the Identity discovery, they can now have Metalborn tap an Excisor stored with Trueself powers, and then store their Metalborn power into a second Excisor. A second Metalborn does the same thing into the same Excisor and, for the first time, the Southerners created a medallion that grants two powers! However, they cannot store enough Identity to create Excisors or three-power medallions (which are said to be rare. Maybe creating those involve one Twinborn and one regular Metalborn...??? This idea raises some problems though...).

Edited by yurisses
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I am fairly certain that Excisors are Unkeyed Nicrosilminds (or medallions) that grant aluminum and Nicrosil Feruchemy. This combination would allow other types of Metalborn to crate medallions. The only problem is that of filling the Excisors with Nicrosil and Aluminum investure in the first place, and refilling them. This could be accomplished by compounding.

The Excisors might also be spikes containing F.Aluminum and Nicrosil, which would solve the need for investure input.

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But the way Allik talks about them makes me feel like they're some kind of person, or at least an entity. Not really an object.

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I am fairly certain that Excisors are Unkeyed Nicrosilminds (or medallions) that grant aluminum and Nicrosil Feruchemy.

 

This doesn't make sense, however. You should need to be a Nicrosil Ferring to tap from a medallion. If you don't need to be, why can't anyone tap from any unlocked metalmind?

 

There is something more to this mystery that we don't know.

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I take it that Excisors are some yet unknown object or being (to the readers and NoScadrians), which might be the key to anyone being able to tape a nicrosilmind...

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I think Excisors are Hemalurgic Spikes that grant Allomantic abilities.

 

Here's the one mention (at least, the only one I can recall) of Excisors:

BoM Page 327

 

"These," Waxillium said, plucking the heat-giving medallion off the dash. "You can create these, as you wish?"

 

"If we have the Metalborn to do so, and the Excisors, yes. The Excisors are the gifts the Sovereign made for us."

 

The Sovereign seems fine with Hemalurgy, judging by his eye.

 

I don't think the Southerners have enough Ferrings/Full Feruchemists to have them constantly store significant enough amounts of heat and investiture that a large expedition would require. With compounding it could be attained, but the rarity of Mistings in the South would make natural compounders unheard of. But Spikes would allow 

 

It also makes sense because they would have 'excised' an ability from whoever originally had it.

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On 2/4/2016 at 8:20 PM, Irkutsk said:

I am fairly certain that Excisors are Unkeyed Nicrosilminds (or medallions) that grant aluminum and Nicrosil Feruchemy. This combination would allow other types of Metalborn to crate medallions. The only problem is that of filling the Excisors with Nicrosil and Aluminum investure in the first place, and refilling them. This could be accomplished by compounding.

On 2/4/2016 at 10:33 PM, Moogle said:

 

This doesn't make sense, however. You should need to be a Nicrosil Ferring to tap from a medallion. If you don't need to be, why can't anyone tap from any unlocked metalmind?

 

There is something more to this mystery that we don't know.

 

Am I the only one that thinks we are overthinking this whole f.nicrosil paradox? In BoM, we are shown repeatedly that the medallions don't work unless you know what they are. In other words, you need Intent, which we know is a very important part of magic in the Cosmere. It's a little bit circular, but if you have a medallion that is invested with the investiture needed for anyone to use f.nicrosil, it makes sense to me that you just need the Intent to use it.

We also have WoB that using a nicrosil medalmind works more like a coppermind (take it out, use it, put it back), than like a pewtermind, so some of the questions of how to make and refill an excisor can be easily resolved

Quote

Pagerunner

When you tap the nicrosil portion of a medallion, will it run out over time? Or is it like a coppermind, where something discrete is taken, used, and returned?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question! Like a coppermind.

General Signed Books 2018 (Oct. 15, 2018)

So to make an excisor, the Sovereign would simply need to use f.aluminum to store his identity, then f.nicrosil to store all of his investiture granting him allomancy and feruchemy except for for f.aluminum and f.nicrosil in a separate nicrosil metalmind, then put a little bit of his remaining investiture in the excisor. Then take back all the rest of his power from the first nicrosil metalmind and his identity from the aluminum metalmind. (this may not be necessary if you can store specific parts of your investiture for certain powers, which I assume you can if it works like a Coppermind. I will assume you can below).

Next, you hand an empty brass/nicrosil metalmind and the excisor to a nicrosil ferring. They put on the excisor, dump their identity into an aluminum metalmind, put a little bit of their f.nicrosil investiture into the brass/nicrosil metalmind, then take back their identity.

Now you hand the brass/nicrosil metalmind to a brass ferring. They dump their identity into aluminum, then put a little bit of their f.brass investiture into the brass/nicrosil metalmind, then they take back their identity. Now you have an unsealed brass medallion.

The only issue I see here, is what happens when you take off the unsealed metalmind? Does it automatically take back the f.nicrosil investiture? Could you use Intent to keep the f.nicrosil investiture and effectively re-seal the medallion and make yourself a permanent nicrosil ferring? It would be pretty funny if that is what the Southerners did to the medallions before "gifting" them to Wax...lol

The other issue is that you would eventually deplete your nicrosil ferrings. It is possible that the original excisors were super loaded with investiture, so they have just been tapping off of those to make medallions, and will eventually run out. Or nicrosil ferrings are common enough that they have been able to spread it around enough to still work. 

Alternatively, I'm overthinking this too. Perhaps the mere fact that you have stripped all the identity away means that the investiture stored is basically pure/blank/whatever investiture, like a skeleton key. The fact that it is stored in a metalmind makes it feruchemical investiture, and thus gives all the feruchemical powers of whatever the other metals in the metalmind are. That could explain why there is a limit to how many can stack; just pushing the hack too far.

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On 2/4/2016 at 11:06 PM, Dirigible said:

I don't think the Southerners have enough Ferrings/Full Feruchemists to have them constantly store significant enough amounts of heat and investiture that a large expedition would require. With compounding it could be attained, but the rarity of Mistings in the South would make natural compounders unheard of. But Spikes would allow 

They don't need to.  They have etmetal.

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Excisor...

Hemalurgy is Spiritual excision. 

Quote

Steeldancer

Given a situation where they have perfect knowledge of Hemalurgy--everything is known. Is it possible they could use a Shard-scalpel and spike to carefully...

Brandon Sanderson

To excise without killing somebody? The real damage is to the soul...

Steeldancer

I'm imagining taking out toxic sort of things.

Brandon Sanderson

You've seen Vasher do something similar, so it's not off books that that's possible.

Legion Release Party (Sept. 19, 2018)

Excisor = spike. 

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So Medallions are just unkeyed metalminds. To create unkeyed metalminds, you need something without Identity, requiring a Trueself Ferring, and something that stores Investiture, requiring a Nicrosil Ferring. To make the first one of these, you need a full Feruchemist, but from there you can create a medallion that gives the user the ability to store Investiture and Identity too.

I don't get why an Excisor is required, unless the Excisor is simply the tool for removal of Identity from the metalmind...

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45 minutes ago, InfernalSquid said:

I don't get why an Excisor is required, unless the Excisor is simply the tool for removal of Identity from the metalmind...

We have devices that can use the metallic arts.  My belief is that an Excisor is just a device that can help something store its identity the same way those flying machines store weight.

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If all a medallion is is an unkeyed metalmind, than you should have to tap the Nicrosil in order to use the other ability. 

That does not happen in the book. In both cases we see medallions used that aren't the bands, they don't tap the Nicrosil. Marasi doesn't even seem aware the Nicrosil exists. 

Quote

“What do they do?” MeLaan asked.
“Make you lighter,” the masked man said.
As soon as he said it—as soon as she knew what it did—something inside of Marasi understood. She was holding metal that, somehow, she could feel. It wanted something from her, and she poured it in, filling the metal … the metalmind.
She grew lighter, rising on her seat, the force of her body pushing less on her backside. Telsin gasped, obviously experiencing a similar sensation.

It the same with Wax with the Copper "coin" at the end. 

The bands, on the other hand, are tapped. 

Which is why I think the bands are a "medallion" that only actually grants one ability. Nicrosil Feruchemy, and the rest is just traditional feruchemical storages of all the other abilities. An elaborate trick. 

I fully believe that the Nicrosil portion of a medallion is a Hemalurgic charge stored feruchemically to prevent decay, and augmented via Connection to trick the Spiritual Aspect into believing it has the power. No draining of the Nicrosil because it never actually leaves the metal.

 

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On 2/5/2016 at 9:36 AM, Dirigible said:

I think Excisors are Hemalurgic Spikes that grant Allomantic abilities.

 

Here's the one mention (at least, the only one I can recall) of Excisors:

BoM Page 327

 

The Sovereign seems fine with Hemalurgy, judging by his eye.

 

I don't think the Southerners have enough Ferrings/Full Feruchemists to have them constantly store significant enough amounts of heat and investiture that a large expedition would require. With compounding it could be attained, but the rarity of Mistings in the South would make natural compounders unheard of. But Spikes would allow 

 

It also makes sense because they would have 'excised' an ability from whoever originally had it.

Idk . What if a firesoul getting spent time around a warn fire or a sauna or something , then stored all the uncomfortable heat into the medallions ? I know firesouls aren't fire proof but they should be able to be comfortable in warm places and manage to store up large amounts of heat .

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If an excisor is just a hemalurgical spike, then why didn't the medaillons just translate whatever Allik said as "Spike" or "Hemalurgical Spike". If I remember correctly, Marasi learned about spikes in SoS.

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It's presumably a common-ground thing. Both Allik and Marasi might know what an excisor and a hemalurgic spike are respectively but without either knowing that the two are the same thing, the Connection-based translation probably doesn't have a way of bridging that gap. Ettmetal is another example of this; Northerners might be aware that conceptually Harmony has a godmetal and it would be named harmonium but having no actual knowledge of it they'd have no way of inherently recognizing that ettmetal and harmonium are the same thing, so no translation on their end. And to the Southerners, they don't know about harmonium as a name so the magic can't determine from Allik's intentions what the word should sound like to Marasi.

Edited by Weltall
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6 hours ago, bxcnch said:

If an excisor is just a hemalurgical spike, then why didn't the medaillons just translate whatever Allik said as "Spike" or "Hemalurgical Spike". If I remember correctly, Marasi learned about spikes in SoS.

Hemalurgy is not well known in the north in any way. "spike" is not a formal term, and Excisor is. 

For example, if someone were to take something that is seen as special or holy or whatever.... Say, the eucharist, and say that word in a foreign land under this method of translation. That country probably has crackers, but I doubt that word would be translated as such. 

I think excisor is the translation. Because it's accurate to what the word they use means. That doesn't make it not a spike. 

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Here is the question, is an unkeyed Nicrosilmind automatically unsealed? Because if not then they make no sense based on the knowledge we have about the medallion. You would need to have Nicrosil Feruchemy to ever use them if unkeyed Nicrosilminds aren't unsealed. Unless there is an aspect of Hemalurgy that we are completely unaware of, I don't think that it's necessary for making medallions but I do think Hemalurgic Spikes are the Excisors. If they are automatically unsealed like I hypothesize they are, then all you would need is a Soulbearer and a Trueself.

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34 minutes ago, StanLemon said:

Here is the question, is an unkeyed Nicrosilmind automatically unsealed? Because if not then they make no sense based on the knowledge we have about the medallion. You would need to have Nicrosil Feruchemy to ever use them if unkeyed Nicrosilminds aren't unsealed. Unless there is an aspect of Hemalurgy that we are completely unaware of, I don't think that it's necessary for making medallions but I do think Hemalurgic Spikes are the Excisors. If they are automatically unsealed like I hypothesize they are, then all you would need is a Soulbearer and a Trueself.

I highly doubt that Nicrosil is usable automatically just by stripping identity. Why would it be different than any other metal? 

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10 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I highly doubt that Nicrosil is usable automatically just by stripping identity. Why would it be different than any other metal? 

Under most cases I think it wouldn't, the big difference though would be a Nicrosilmind filled with the power to use Nicrosil Feruchemy I think.

Specifically, if you store your ability to use Nicrosil Feruchemy, how do you get it back?

Edited by StanLemon
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I guess I should elaborate, we know that Nicrosil is the important part of the medallions. It's what gives you the ability to tap the other unkeyed Metalmind in the medallion but what gives you the ability to tap the Nicrosilmind in the first place? If it's something external then why not just use that on the unkeyed Metalmind in the first place and eschew Nicrosil all together? And as I said in my last post, if a Soulbearer stores their ability to store Investiture into a Nicrosilmind then how would they tap it as they stored it into the Nicrosilmind. I can think of two main answers for this, either they still somehow retain the ability after storing it or they don't and they have to tap said Nicrosilmind to get it back (I have a third idea that is somewhere in between but that's a bit more complicated). I think the Investiture "wants" to be used (kind of how Marasi describes the experience with the medallion) and that it just needs the right Intention and the the right Identity (if keyed) to be Connect and be used. Based on the knowledge we have of the medallions, that seems the most likely explanation to me.

To sum up, something has to give the people using the medallions the ability to use unkeyed Nicrosilminds (and if that's the case then why not just use that process on the Metalmind they actually want) or their is something inherently different about Nicrosilminds that let anyone use them if they aren't tied to Identity

Edited by StanLemon
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@StanLemon the stores in the Nicrosil in the bands drain. Just like any other Feruchemy.

Quote

His resources were diminishing. Not merely the metals inside of him, but the reserves stored inside the Bands. Stores that changed his level of Investiture.

The stores in the medallions don't do that. Which is why I've always contended that the the bands are a trick.  A medallion that only grants Nicrosil Feruchemy, and all tee he other powers are stores.

When Marasi uses the weight medallion. She doesn't tap the Nicrosil. She doesn't tap anything. She just fills the iron. 

Quote

“What do they do?” MeLaan asked.
“Make you lighter,” the masked man said.
As soon as he said it—as soon as she knew what it did—something inside of Marasi understood. She was holding metal that, somehow, she could feel. It wanted something from her, and she poured it in, filling the metal … the metalmind.
She grew lighter, rising on her seat, the force of her body pushing less on her backside. Telsin gasped, obviously experiencing a similar sensation.
“Now that,” Wayne said, “that’s right strange.”

Which is why I think the Nicrosil portion of a medallion is doing exactly what you say. It directly providing the touch bond that grants the ability to tap the metal. I don't think it's traditional Feruchemy at all. I think it's a Hemalurgic charge, compounded for purposes of mass production, and stored feruchemically somehow to prevent decay, and using a Connection hack to make it act as though it's a part of the person's own spiritual aspect. 

Quote

Questioner

So nicrosil.  Wax couldn’t use a blank gold metalmind because he’s not a gold ferring, why can he use a blank nicrosil metalmind?

Brandon Sanderson

So this will all come out eventually but the idea is there are certain ways to connect yourself to magic, to hack the magic and make it think you have the Spiritual DNA that you don’t actually have.  And this is one of the ways.

Questioner

So then the people who made this medallion have this thing that a regular nicrosil Ferring couldn’t--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you’re picking up on it. We’ll dig deeper into it as the series progresses.

Calamity Seattle signing (Feb. 17, 2016)

I don't think just stripping the Identity is enough for that. An unkeyed Nicrosilmind should only be accessible to a soulbearer. Just like the unkeyed gold. 

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3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

@StanLemon the stores in the Nicrosil in the bands drain. Just like any other Feruchemy.

The stores in the medallions don't do that. Which is why I've always contended that the the bands are a trick.  A medallion that only grants Nicrosil Feruchemy, and all tee he other powers are stores.

The issue is that even the Kandra postulate that Nicrosil can store the ability to use a type of Investiture. I personally think that a lot of things fall under the "Investiture" umbrella for Nicrosil, one aspect being the ability to store an ability and another being able to store raw Investiture that can can be used like a fuel so to speak.

3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

When Marasi uses the weight medallion. She doesn't tap the Nicrosil. She doesn't tap anything. She just fills the iron. 

She might not consciously tap it because she was told it was for filling weight, but as I've postulated on another thread I'm of the opinion that someone can unconsciously tap Metalminds.

3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Which is why I think the Nicrosil portion of a medallion is doing exactly what you say. It directly providing the touch bond that grants the ability to tap the metal. I don't think it's traditional Feruchemy at all. I think it's a Hemalurgic charge, compounded for purposes of mass production, and stored feruchemically somehow to prevent decay, and using a Connection hack to make it act as though it's a part of the person's own spiritual aspect. 

I might need more elaboration on this one. I don't see how this is different that storing the ability to use something but just more convoluted. Unless you mean that the ability to grant someone powers is Hemalurgy's domain alone and that the Investiture of the Spike is drawn out and stored into the Nicrosilmind completely. Wouldn't they still need to be able to tap the Nicrosilmind to be able to access the stored Investiture?

3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I don't think just stripping the Identity is enough for that. An unkeyed Nicrosilmind should only be accessible to a soulbearer. Just like the unkeyed gold. 

I can understand where you are coming from here, I just disagree as I think that the stored ability itself is what supplies the ability to use it. I think that even one trait medallions would need at least two Nicrosilminds, one with the trait to use F-Nicrosil with it having the power itself to use it stored into it all I think it would need is a Connection and Intent to use, one that has the ability to use the trait they want stored in which the previous Nicrosilmind would allow you to access and then finally the metal that you want to store and tap.

 

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@StanLemon I've already posted my theory in this thread, but here it is again.

No I don't think it's the domain of Hemalurgy alone... But if it were straight Feruchemy, they should feel the reserves of the medallions draining just like Wax does. 

I don't think you can tap metalminds instinctively. Feruchemy requires intent, not only for storing and tapping but also for the rate at which it happens. Other than the use of the Nicrosil with the weight medallion, and the coin that Wax uses to see the memory at the end of BoM, which I think aren't mentioned because they aren't tapped, I'm unaware of a single instance from the PoV of a person using Feruchemy that the action of storing or tapping isn't acknowledged. 

And the last WoB I posted in my last post says that the medallions require something that even a Nicrosil ferring doesn't have to access them. 

Quote

Questioner

So then the people who made this medallion have this thing that a regular nicrosil Ferring couldn’t--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you’re picking up on it. We’ll dig deeper into it as the series progresses.

Calamity Seattle signing (Feb. 17, 2016)

 

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Here's my 2 cents on the creation/function on the Medallions, since they seem to be tonight's hot debate.

Firstly, a step-by-step on how a Medallion is prepared, after the metals are physically arranged as desired.

1. Have F-Aluminum and F-Nicrosil. (By whatever means is most feasible for you)

2. Spike someone else's Feruchemy out of them. (Optional: perhaps have them store their Identity in aluminum as well)

3. Spike yourself with the stolen Feruchemy spiritweb fragment as needed to make the power manifest in you.

4. Store identity, and then store the spiritweb fragment inside the Hemalurgic spike inside the Nicrosil of the Medallion. This is the critical difference between a Soulbearer and a Medallion. A Soulbearer would be storing their own spiritual ability without it being "excised" by hemalurgy. With this, the entire chunk of actual spiritweb is discreetly removed and placed into the Nicrosil.

5. Charge the second metal with unkeyed Investiture.

6. Complete! Now you have a working Medallion.

The reason the medallions work the way we see them work is because of that critical difference between a normal Soulbearer ferring and this "fragment" soulbearing. This way, an unkeyed piece of spiritweb that "encodes" for a feruchemical power in it's sDNA is sitting inside Unkeyed Nicrosil. And I think that makes all the difference. Scadrians apparently all have a natural, teeny tiny spark of Feruchemy (or it feels like it was implied during the explanation in BoM, I can't remember the quote off the top of my head). With that, the spiritweb fragment inside the unkeyed Nicrosil has no problem reaching out and "binding" to the spiritweb of the wearer like it was in the spike, if the person knows it's there. The cognitive awareness of the spiritweb fragment, even subconsciously, allows your spiritweb to reach out and Connect to it, granting the power it encodes. And then from there, you can tap or fill the unkeyed metalmind the Nicrosil is attached to! Easy.

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@Halyo_Alex there's still the problem of how the medallion connects to the person. It doesn't have to be a scadrian. The medallions will work for anyone. 

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