Rasarr

Aluminum on Roshar

26 posts in this topic

So we know from Shallan's flashback that aluminum cannot be obtained on Roshar by mining - it can only be soulcast. So the question is - how do Rosharans know about aluminum's existence in the first place? It's not like you can set your soulcaster to "random", so the first soulcaster to figure out aluminum must've known of its existence already. Yet aluminum can only be soulcast, so we've got a chicken-or-egg kind of problem. Unless, of course:

A. aluminum was imported from offworld, but if so, how did it happen and who and why introduced aluminum to Roshar in the first place?

B. aluminum used to occur naturally on Roshar but by the time of Shallan's fashback it has either been mined completely or covered with enough crem to make mining impossible.

C. There a WoB I'm missing that explains it.

I'm not quite sure what to think. Any thoughts or ideas on that?

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I think that like many other things on Roshar, the answer is "Heralds' knowledge".

After all ancient Roshar people recived (letteraly) knowledge of other metals before they can actually mined it (Taln itself said that another Herald would soulcast for them many Steel because it's faster than teach them how to mine and forge it).

On Roshar the mining and metallurgy science is very obsolete. Quite all the metal object you see is wood soulcasted to metal (and thinking about it, when every inc of earth is rock, mining is really hard I suppose)

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Isn't there speculation that some of the heralds are from other worlds? If this is true all it would take is one of the soulcasting heralds (shallash or bethab) to be off-world and aluminum could have been made.

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I dropped some while constructing my tin-foil theories.  Sorry about that.

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5 hours ago, Brackcha said:

Isn't there speculation that some of the heralds are from other worlds? If this is true all it would take is one of the soulcasting heralds (shallash or bethab) to be off-world and aluminum could have been made.

Well, it is possible, but not fully confirmed:

Quote

[...]

Brandon: The Heralds --- so you're wondering if the Heralds come from Nalthis?

Question: Yeah

Brandon: The Heralds do not come from Nalthis, but that is an excellent question.

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@Yata - well noted, somehow I didn't think about it. I suppose I'm still in the camp that doesn't believe Heralds come from offworld (or at least off-Greater Roshar), but I guess Tanavast could've told them.

Which begs the question, why bother? Could aluminum somehow impact - or even nullify - voidbringing?

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Presumably all the shards know about aluminum, so one of the them could pass that knowledge on to the heralds.

It's possible some of the heralds could be worldhoppers beyond Greater Roshar and others native to Roshar. I expect most to be from Greater Roshar though because Brandon has been trying to keep each series self-contained enough that regualr fans, casual readers, etc. can read through them. On the other hand, SA may be where he breaks that rule, or breaks it more than he has in other series (not counting SH). Arcanum Unbound could be a game changer on that front too -- with a CR "starmap", info on each world/system, etc. it does open up possibilities. 

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I still think aluminum was the weapon used to Shatter Adonalsium.

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I think I can shed some light on this. Aluminum, both here on earth, as well as on scadrial, is extremely difficult to find naturally in its pure form. Prior to modern industrial chemistry, aluminum was more expensive than gold; now we wrap it around food and throw it away. I believe the implication is that aluminum is so difficult to find and mine on Roshar that getting it by any means other than soulcasting would be silly. It would be extremely odd for their planet to lack such a common and abundant element, I think it's much more likely that it's just not economically viable to mine aluminum due to their lack of refinement processes, the rarity of naturally occurring pure aluminum, and their ability to soulcast.

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2 hours ago, hwiles said:

I think I can shed some light on this. Aluminum, both here on earth, as well as on scadrial, is extremely difficult to find naturally in its pure form. Prior to modern industrial chemistry, aluminum was more expensive than gold; now we wrap it around food and throw it away. I believe the implication is that aluminum is so difficult to find and mine on Roshar that getting it by any means other than soulcasting would be silly. It would be extremely odd for their planet to lack such a common and abundant element, I think it's much more likely that it's just not economically viable to mine aluminum due to their lack of refinement processes, the rarity of naturally occurring pure aluminum, and their ability to soulcast.

Yeah, but remember that most of the continent is pretty much hardened crem, and we don't really know the chemical composition of crem. The Roshar continent is very, very odd in many ways.

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4 hours ago, Eki said:

Yeah, but remember that most of the continent is pretty much hardened crem, and we don't really know the chemical composition of crem. The Roshar continent is very, very odd in many ways.

But they do have mines for materials. Lin used the soulcaster to make deposits to mine. If such naturally occurring deposits were un-natural, then the general populace would know something was up/going on. 

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1 minute ago, Pathfinder said:

But they do have mines for materials. Lin used the soulcaster to make deposits to mine. If such naturally occurring deposits were un-natural, then the general populace would know something was up/going on. 

That is true. My point was just that we can't necessarily expect Rosharan geology to look like it does on Earth.

Maybe Rosharan mines are really deep though, going below what used to be the bottom of the sea. Then you might reach more "natural" deposits. Or maybe the mines are where there used to be natural islands, that crem just buried.

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On 7/26/2016 at 1:24 PM, Pathfinder said:

Lin used the soulcaster to make deposits to mine.

Didn't he make [granite|marble] deposits? As in, rock deposits? That kind of mining would probably be far more accessible because it is surface level mining whereas I think ore mining generally involves digging deep into the, erm, earth... uhh, planet.

On 7/26/2016 at 9:00 AM, Eki said:

Yeah, but remember that most of the continent is pretty much hardened crem, and we don't really know the chemical composition of crem. The Roshar continent is very, very odd in many ways.

Well, the eastern portions of Roshar are definitely covered in crem but the highstorms get weaker and weaker the farther west they go and, I would assume, the crem content drops off rapidly as well. Shinovar literally does not experience highstorms, right? The western portions of Roshar might be a bit different than the eastern stretches we have been shown.

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13 minutes ago, CaptainRyan said:

Didn't he make [granite|marble] deposits? As in, rock deposits? That kind of mining would probably be far more accessible because it is surface level mining whereas I think ore mining generally involves digging deep into the, erm, earth... uhh, planet.

Well, the eastern portions of Roshar are definitely covered in crem but the highstorms get weaker and weaker the farther west they go and, I would assume, the crem content drops off rapidly as well. Shinovar literally does not experience highstorms, right? The western portions of Roshar might be a bit different than the eastern stretches we have been shown.

You are correct, I just checked and Shallan mentioned it is marble deposits. 

Wouldn't that work in reverse? As the highstorms weaken, more crem would be deposited, so shouldn't there be more crem to the west than to the east?

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1 minute ago, Pathfinder said:

Wouldn't that work in reverse? As the highstorms weaken, more crem would be deposited, so shouldn't there be more crem to the west than to the east?

Um, maybe? I definitely have extremely limited knowledge when it comes to normal weather stuff so I doubt I have any knowledge when it comes to Rosharan weather haha. I would imagine it is possible the level of crem being deposited could possibly be a bit of a bell curve?

Low left side: the highstorm is so strong the crem is kept swirling in the air and very little is deposited
High middle: As the storm weakens over middle Roshar lots of crem gets dropped as the storm no longer has the strength to "carry" the weight of the crem 
Low right side: the bulk of the crem was deposited earlier as the storm weakened and so not too much is left to deposit out west

On the other hand, I think a lot of crem is deposited in the east (Alethkar) because we see Kaladin's mother breaking cremcicles off of homes in Hearthstone. Since a lot of crem build up occurs in the east I made the assumption that, if the highstorm deposits a bunch in the east when it is powerful then it would possibly deposit less in the west when it is weak.

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1 minute ago, CaptainRyan said:

Um, maybe? I definitely have extremely limited knowledge when it comes to normal weather stuff so I doubt I have any knowledge when it comes to Rosharan weather haha. I would imagine it is possible the level of crem being deposited could possibly be a bit of a bell curve?

Low left side: the highstorm is so strong the crem is kept swirling in the air and very little is deposited
High middle: As the storm weakens over middle Roshar lots of crem gets dropped as the storm no longer has the strength to "carry" the weight of the crem 
Low right side: the bulk of the crem was deposited earlier as the storm weakened and so not too much is left to deposit out west

On the other hand, I think a lot of crem is deposited in the east (Alethkar) because we see Kaladin's mother breaking cremcicles off of homes in Hearthstone. Since a lot of crem build up occurs in the east I made the assumption that, if the highstorm deposits a bunch in the east when it is powerful then it would possibly deposit less in the west when it is weak.

Personally I lean towards your bell curve example as that is at least how rivers work. 

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Wasn't there something that Roshar is slowly eroding at one side and growing at the other? The side closer to Origin is destroyed because the highstorm is so strong, while the other side is not destroyed at all (Szeth talks about highstorms in Shinovar being much calmer) so the crem deposits without any trouble?

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You can find aluminum in rubies, sapphires, emerald, garnet, topaz, and other gemstones. Is it strange that Aluminum is present in 4 of the 5 gemhearts/gemspheres being that they are investiture storage tanks and are in 5 or 6 of the 10 gemstones for the 10 essences? Also, since crem is seen used like clay, then it should be noted that most clay minerals contain aluminum. Of course extracting aluminum from anything is extremely difficult without electricity so...Aluminum, Aluminum, everywhere, but not a bit to burn. 

Yeah, just soulcast the storming stuff and be done with it. That's the easy way out.

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So Oathbringer was released last month, which answered some questions above (that's NOT a spoiler. I don't say what the answers are), but I have a question that I didn't see above and I don't know if it's been answered before. It's really a question for Khriss... Is plain old aluminum inherently inert to the magic systems?

From my understanding of Investiture, feruchemy and allomancy require metal from Scadrial, because only Scadrial metal has been invested by Preservation. This is correct, right? If an allomancer tries to burn a metal from another world, which I don't think has been tested yet, then nothing happens? Similarly, if a Leecher touches another allomancer, then the metal remains in the stomach, but the Investiture is gone. They are separable. So when a Shard (not Preservation) sets up on/near a world, does all metal of that world become similarly invested? My guess is no, because if that sort of thing carried over, then I would also expect a 'white sand' or 'Tears of Edgli' equivalent on Scadrial, which there isn't. So if only Scadrial metal is invested (or invest-ible?), then must aluminum be from Scadrial to negate otherworldly magic? We only really see aluminum being used in this way (as a shield from magic) on Scadrial, and all aluminum on Scadrial is already invested, but it doesn't require 'burning' to get this effect. So is the magical negation a property of aluminum itself (i.e. if you got aluminum from another world, it would have the same shield effect without being invested)? Or does the shielding require the aluminum to be from Scadrial, and invest-ible, in order to function that way (i.e. one has to bring aluminum all the way from Scadrial to protect against Dakhor magic on Sel)?

Has this question already been addressed somewhere?

Edited by Witless1der
I made a typo
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My Mama says that aluminum is from magic rays of sunshine that come down when you feelin' blue.

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On 7/23/2016 at 2:45 PM, Rasarr said:

A. aluminum was imported from offworld, but if so, how did it happen and who and why introduced aluminum to Roshar in the first place?

 

I think Ashyn is a likely candidate. Especially if, as Brackcha alluded, the Heralds are from a planet other than Roshar. 

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On 5/12/2017 at 9:52 PM, Witless1der said:

From my understanding of Investiture, feruchemy and allomancy require metal from Scadrial, because only Scadrial metal has been invested by Preservation. This is correct, right?

Actually no, every piece of Iron (and the same for the others) from everywhere in the Cosmere will be ok for Metallic Arts. The power is not in the metal, the metal simply work as filter for the magic. You could have some problems with the alloys as they need to be with the right percentages and probably off planet every alloy is probably off for magical usage

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1 hour ago, Yata said:

Actually no, every piece of Iron (and the same for the others) from everywhere in the Cosmere will be ok for Metallic Arts. The power is not in the metal, the metal simply work as filter for the magic. You could have some problems with the alloys as they need to be with the right percentages and probably off planet every alloy is probably off for magical usage

Really? :huh:  So the metal is like using Aons to access the Dor? That does sound reasonable. But then, what happens when Leechers do their thing? The metal is still supposed to be there, in the Allomancer's stomach, but is changed somehow so that access to the Preservation/Ruin-equivalent of the Dor is blocked?

...I think I've just strayed too far from the original topic. Any recommendations on other threads that discuss this?

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On 8/2/2016 at 11:56 AM, Pathfinder said:

You are correct, I just checked and Shallan mentioned it is marble deposits. 

Wouldn't that work in reverse? As the highstorms weaken, more crem would be deposited, so shouldn't there be more crem to the west than to the east?

This is mostly correct, but the highstorms aren't a straight wind, so to speak.  They twist and spin and deposit things in a pattern rather than a straight line.  The entire continent of Roshar was formed deliberately by Adonalsium, probably by using the highstorms.  If you look at a Julia set (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/transcoded/0/04/Julia_set_3d_slice_animation.ogv/Julia_set_3d_slice_animation.ogv.480p.webm ) you can see how the continent was formed.

And some WoB on it.  https://wob.coppermind.net/basic_search/?query=julia

Edited by RShara
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On Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 7:38 PM, Sam Script said:

 

On Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 2:07 PM, Brackcha said:

Isn't there speculation that some of the heralds are from other worlds? If this is true all it would take is one of the soulcasting heralds (shallash or bethab) to be off-world and aluminum could have been made.

Well, it is possible, but not fully confirmed:

Quote

[...]

Brandon: The Heralds --- so you're wondering if the Heralds come from Nalthis?

Question: Yeah

Brandon: The Heralds do not come from Nalthis, but that is an excellent question.

 

This little tidbit from OB suggests that even if the Heralds don't come from Nalthis, at least one of them might have been there at some point, or Vashar came to Roshar even before WB.

Edit - opps i didn't realize until now that this wasn't the OB spoiler board.  I hope I didnt violate rules.

Spoiler

Part of a conversation between Nightblood and Seth

"No. But sometimes she talked like she did. And after Shashara made me, she argued with Vasher, saying I could be a poet or a scholar. Like a man, right?"

"Shashara? That sounded like Shalash, the Eastern name for the Herald Shush-daughter-God. So perhaps this sword’s origin was with the Heralds."

Edited by TySun
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