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CAUTION: Potential Changes to Savants

41 posts in this topic

Luckily, with Wax in particular, Brandon has a pretty easy "out" should he choose to continue this line of thought. (That of: Wax should be a savant with how much he's burning, but isn't)

Harmony. We know Sazed has invested interest in Wax and Co, and that he's been keeping close tabs on Lord Ladrian in particular (See: Shadows of Self's entire plot, lol)
It may feel like a cop-out to an author so smartly-written as Brandon, but if Harmony (or even just the nature of Harmony's spike Wax uses as part of his religion) wanted to "stem the tide" of damage Wax is doing to his soul, it very much could be used as the scapegoat for why Wax isn't as messed up as other Savants. After all, Allomancy itself requires a bit of "broken soul" and Harmony's earring technically is a hemalurgic construct bolting something onto Wax's soul too... It all sets up quite nicely for Harmony to influence and have a hand in the formation and degradation of Wax's spirit-web at the hands of savantism.

It's also paralleled with his reparation of Spook at the end of HoA.

Is it hand-wavium? Yeah a bit, but it has historical and fundamental merit and gives Brandon that breathing room he's looking for with savantism.


Sidenote: Thanks for sharing! Good to see Brandon clarifiying (and that he's as human as the rest of us and gnaws on his characters back and forth as much as the rest of us writers!)

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That "manifestation of the way shards combine" gives some interesting insight into the possible origins of Feruchemy.

Thanks for following up on this and getting clarification.

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Actually this post is quite odd, I always thought that a Savantism may have bad side-effect (like we see with Spook) but that He has not to be always in that way. For example Copper Misting almost always became Savant without even notice it (yeah their coppercloud became greater but nothing they may notice)

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Another relatively simple out is the mechanics.  Using Lestibournes as an example, he was burning tin non-stop.  which pushed him over the edge into being a Savant.  Wax burns a lot of steel, but is not constantly burning.  He mostly burns it for combat, or flashy transportation.  But he is not constantly fighting or flying through the cities.  He may be approaching Savantism, but he is not yet burning steel all the time, night and day.  He hasn't reached that addicted state we saw with Spook.

 

His Iron though, that is a bit more problematic, as I think he mentioned that he is almost always running at 75-80% his normal weight.For that, he should have likely reached iron ferring savantism.  But you could argue that he is dangerously close to the line with steel, but not quite over it yet.

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The big issue there...is that it's pretty likely (if not outright stated) that Kelsier was a savant which he got in...two years? 

If Wax isn't a savant now..well...when would he be? 

It is possible that being a Resonant Savant might well be different to strictly allomantic savantism.

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Where is it stated that Kelsier was a savant? I can't think of anything about him that would imply that... I mean, he was really good at Steel and Iron, but not in savant-y ways, I don't think.

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14 hours ago, Eki said:

Where is it stated that Kelsier was a savant? I can't think of anything about him that would imply that... I mean, he was really good at Steel and Iron, but not in savant-y ways, I don't think.

Until now, the feat of have multiple Steel lines to a single object was a sign of a Steel/Iron Savant and the Kelsier's ability to made metal spin pushing-pulling in different point place him to an Steel and Iron Savant.

Of course when we saw baby Wax do it something like that, this sign lost a great of his own meaning. Because a little Wax probably had not time to develop Savantism.

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But... Seekers are commonly becoming savants without even realizing it. Kelsier was a steel & iron savant (developed savantism really quick). No way Coinshots are not becoming savants - I mean, you can use steel all the time without problems and that's a straight way to savantism.

(Not to mention TLR being a full savant or almost full savant)

I always thought that savantism doesn't have drawbacks (like in "you get a boost but also this flaw") but only consequences - tin savantism doesn't really have a drawback, it's just a consequence of having heightened senses, period. So some savantisms would be more dangerous and some wouldn't be at all (Copperclouds or Seekers).

I just don't really like the idea of going back on something after seven installments in the series. We're nearing halfway in Mistborn (Era Two almost finished which leaves us with two Eras to go).

Edited by Oversleep
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I am with @Oversleep here, or the change is something that is retrocompatible with the older books (once we understand how to look it of course) or probably it's a Cosmere's flaw and I will be really sad with it.

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1 hour ago, Oversleep said:

But... Seekers are commonly becoming savants without even realizing it. Kelsier was a steel & iron savant (developed savantism really quick). No way Coinshots are not becoming savants - I mean, you can use steel all the time without problems and that's a straight way to savantism.

(Not to mention TLR being a full savant or almost full savant)

I always thought that savantism doesn't have drawbacks (like in "you get a boost but also this flaw") but only consequences - tin savantism doesn't really have a drawback, it's just a consequence of having heightened senses, period. So some savantisms would be more dangerous and some wouldn't be at all (Copperclouds or Seekers).

I just don't really like the idea of going back on something after seven installments in the series. We're nearing halfway in Mistborn (Era Two almost finished which leaves us with two Eras to go).

I've always thought of it this way as well.  Spook had Savant consequences because of the nature of his Allomancy.  On the opposite side, Copper Savants (as I believe has been stated in the books?) become Savants without ever realizing it, because there is no natural negative to having an increased Coppercloud.  Brandon could always write in some consequences native to Steel Savants we may not have thought of, but I never read anything that implied drawbacks solely because of Savantism.

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On 16/12/2016 at 3:43 AM, Pagerunner said:

That "manifestation of the way shards combine" gives some interesting insight into the possible origins of Feruchemy.

Thanks for following up on this and getting clarification.

That was the first thing i noticed. Its like the entirety of feruchemy is a resonance caused simply by being scadrian.

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Brandon says, 
 
Quote

... using the power so much that it permeates your soul can be dangerous, a kind of uncontrolled version of a spren bond.

 

So having lots of Investiture in your soul can lead to bad consequences. But isn't Nalthis a counter-example to that idea?
 
So let's disregard the God-King who has stuff going on we don't know about and the Returned, who have divine shardic influence. Any citizen who is rich enough, can get lots of Breath. I'm talking Bill Gates type of rich. Normal guy, Lots of extra breath. Like thousands. No consequences, right? From what we know, as Breath piles up, you just get more and more benefits.
 
So I was thinking about possible consequences for Wax, and Seekers and Copperclouds, who were mentioned earlier and are extremley likely to become savants. So taking Spook as the premier (only?) example, he used so much Tin, that eventually, when he wasn't burning metal, he felt blind, and all the other senses were muted as well. But, he wasn't actually blind, he still saw normally, it just felt that way to him. So I'm going to use a lot of metaphors in this post. Anyway, instead of his eyes being able to adopt between "burning metal" and "no metal" and being able to process the info, the extra investiture permeating his soul made it so that only while he was using investiture he could process what he was seeing (and hearing). Which lead to over-enhanced senses. Anyway, my metaphor is that when a person is in a dark room, and light flashes, it takes time for the eyes to adopt back to darkness. Spook's eyes stopped adopting back to normal.
 
Now, looking at Wax, we have storing weight, which he does a lot of. A consequence of that could be that when he is at his normal weight, he feels heavy. Maybe at normal weight he feels like a normal person would under heavy gravity. Maybe it makes him clumsier/more awkward if he's not storing weight. If he's pulling weight to make himself heavier, he's not awkward becuase the investiture compensates. This is all pure speculation. 
As a Coinshot, the only think I could come up with for Savantism is: you know the feeling when you hold your hands, plams facing each other, shoulder-width apart, pushing out, and another person is supporting your hands so they're not actually moving. Then when you try moving your hands together you get an odd, resistancy feeling. So for Wax, if he's not Pushing anything, maybe he has that type of feeling. Yes I know this is a weak idea, but it's fun to come up This post has been reported for attempting to skirt the rules stuff, even if it's wrong :)
 
So next up, Seekers. Perhaps, the consequence for them is a feeling like a heavy silence pressing down on them or feeling like missing a sense, like being deaf.
For Copperclouds, perhaps it would be feeling exposed, or over-exposed, something at phobia levels, or like a warm comforting blanket is missing.  
 
Then I was thinking metaphors for why too much investiture is bad. Using Brandon's own phrase, maybe it's like a deflated balloon on a smaller scale. Brandon decribed TLR as a deflated balloon after he used up the Shardpool. Maybe savants are deflated balloons on a smaller scale. If you burn metals but are not a  savant, the balloon can return to normal shape, if you're a savant, it stretches too much, the balloon deforms, so consequences occur. I was imagining threads in a balloon, when a ballon deforms threads reach differently, or end up in different places. That's when you're not burning. While burining, the investiture running through you compesnates for anything that's happening.
 
Or knitting, you have a knitted piece, alternating yarn is investiture, if it gets too thick, the whole thing deforms, stitches pulled too tight, loose areas etc.
 
 
So Stormlight "rages" and metals are "burned" OTOH, Breath seems like a calmer thing. Breath -assiciation - meditation. My metaphor for people on Nalthis is that they have a two part soul. Instead of Investiture being interwoven into the fabric of the soul, there are two knitted pieces. One is Investiture-less, what you keep when you become a drab. Other is completely made up of investiture, can become large without affecting the other. 
 
So these are just a couple of my ideas I came up today. 
 
Also, examples of people holding large amounts of investiture: the God-King, TLR, and all Vessels. Well, the consequences for vessels skip the soul and go straight to burning the body, at least at first. :) But for God-King and TLR, we don't see any horrible consequences of the sort that were very obvious for Spook. Maybe too close association to a Shard for the God-King (Divine Breath) takes care of all the problems, and TLR held the same power as Harmony when he fixed Spook, so was able to pre-empivley make sure nothing would happen to him. I repeat, this entire post is pure speculation.
 
Except for the question about wealthy Nalthians with lots of Breath and no consequences.
Edited by yulerule
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13 hours ago, yulerule said:

Except for the question about wealthy Nalthians with lots of Breath and no consequences.

Breath is designed to enhance people holding it, therefore, by design, mitigating any negative effects. Most of what savantism is regarding however is unintended effects of having too much investiture in a container which the investiture was not designed to be in, nor the container designed to hold. Unconstrained investiture in a foreign environment has negative effects, leading to straining of the container/body until it changes enough to "fit" the investiture. Breath is both constrained and designed to be in a human body, its default medium, and the one it fits the best, which is why no side effects of all that investiture is present. In addition, the Nalthian body is designed to hold breath.

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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On 12/21/2016 at 9:36 AM, What's a Seawolf? said:

I've always thought of it this way as well.  Spook had Savant consequences because of the nature of his Allomancy.  On the opposite side, Copper Savants (as I believe has been stated in the books?) become Savants without ever realizing it, because there is no natural negative to having an increased Coppercloud.  Brandon could always write in some consequences native to Steel Savants we may not have thought of, but I never read anything that implied drawbacks solely because of Savantism.

If you take Spook in HoA as the best (only clear) example of an Allomantic Savant exhibiting the damaging consequences, it's that he's hyper-sensitive all the time, and when he finally turns off his tin, his senses are all but completely off (rather than restored to normal human levels).

So a Copper savant would probably suffer from being hyper-susceptible to emotional Allomancy if they ever turned it off.

A Bronze savant? Hard to figure that someone with Bronze would become one, as there is little obvious reason to be "constantly flaring" one's bronze.

Edited by robardin
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1 hour ago, robardin said:

If you take Spook in HoA as the best (only clear) example of an Allomantic Savant exhibiting the damaging consequences, it's that he's hyper-sensitive all the time, and when he finally turns off his tin, his senses are all but completely off (rather than restored to normal human levels).

So a Copper savant would probably suffer from being hyper-susceptible to emotional Allomancy if they ever turned it off.

A Bronze savant? Hard to figure that someone with Bronze would become one, as there is little obvious reason to be "constantly flaring" one's bronze.

Maybe. My interpretation is that single power savantism, by virtue of sticking investiture to your soul, kind of gives you a bit of your power passively. So Spook, while burning tin, has a lower threshold for sensory input, it takes less stimulus to trigger his sensors (and so a lot of stimulus overloads him). Part of this "threshold lowering" effect carries over when he is not burning tin, so it now takes less to overload him. 

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12 minutes ago, Argent said:

Maybe. My interpretation is that single power savantism, by virtue of sticking investiture to your soul, kind of gives you a bit of your power passively. So Spook, while burning tin, has a lower threshold for sensory input, it takes less stimulus to trigger his sensors (and so a lot of stimulus overloads him). Part of this "threshold lowering" effect carries over when he is not burning tin, so it now takes less to overload him. 

I like where you are going here, but I don't see the evidence behind it. I thought that this negative effect was just from his physiology not being able to handle the overuse of tin, just like someone in our world suffering hearing loss from listening to loud music all the time. 

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This night (thanks Insonnia) I had an Idea, maybe it's not the best one...but it's simply and functional. The Savantism is a problem who arose mainly in the metallic arts (with so many powers, it easy to have some continuity issues with their wild developments) but we know Harmony has some control over them.
Brandon may explain some minor change to the Savantism with an Harmony's action to slight change the Allomancy's inner work.

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2 hours ago, Lantern2814 said:

I like where you are going here, but I don't see the evidence behind it. I thought that this negative effect was just from his physiology not being able to handle the overuse of tin, just like someone in our world suffering hearing loss from listening to loud music all the time. 

That's kind of what I was going for, actually. His physiology has changed, which is why he is experiencing drawbacks - not because there is anything inherently bad with being a savant.

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43 minutes ago, Argent said:

That's kind of what I was going for, actually. His physiology has changed, which is why he is experiencing drawbacks - not because there is anything inherently bad with being a savant.

In SH,

Spoiler

Kelsier does see Spook's soul as being very damaged though, which is probably pretty bad even if we don't know exactly what it means.

Part of that was of course the hemalurgic spike and normal trauma, but I'm sure a lot of it was the savantism.

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On 12/22/2016 at 4:27 PM, Eki said:

In SH,

  Hide contents

Kelsier does see Spook's soul as being very damaged though, which is probably pretty bad even if we don't know exactly what it means.

Part of that was of course the hemalurgic spike and normal trauma, but I'm sure a lot of it was the savantism.

That's a great point! I didn't put that together. I have a feeling that we'll be waiting for a WOB on this. 

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The draw backs could also be subtle. F Iron is easy enough; the body loses its ability to hold itself. The same thing that happens to astronauts.

The side effect of being a Crasher could be premature aging. The constant weight shifts and trauma caused by the effects of the pushes could easily have that effect just slightly heightened.

There could also be different levels of savantism. On an early level it just translates to tremendous skill. In later levels the skill increases but so do the side effects making it dangerous to try.

There could also be a difference between gradual savants and enforced savants. Graduals become savants over long periods due to basic metal usage. They may not even notice. Enforceds burn their metals almost constantly prompting growth which does not allow their soul, mind, and body to adapt.

I think the last might be the best solution as people would be far too wary of using the metallic arts if long term use produced such damaging effects. Since that does not appear to be the case either basic long term use does not result in a savant, or becoming one does not adversely effect the individual to the point of inconvenience.

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I recently, because of this discussion, decided that I think of people's spiritwebs like windshields. If you have some high emotion, which is associated with Snapping, it is like a rock hitting the windshield. Some people don't really experience anything because of the snapping. The difference with Allomancers is that the windshield cracks in a certain location. Burning metals, then, is like applying pressure to the windshield. Normal pressure of burning doesn't really affect it much, unless done over an extended period of time. So someone like Wax burning often and a lot is like taking your thumb to the glass and forcing the crack to grow until it is complete, and then getting it repaired at the local shop so it can't expand any more than that (I have done this in that past, several years ago, and my windshield is just fine now). And someone like Spook is like taking a mallet to the windshield so that it really cracks up. There isn't a ton you can do to fix a windshield like that, so Harmony had to basically replace his. Harmony can totally patch up Wax's web, though, since the damage to it is less extensive.

This also implies that the side effects of savant-hood of Wax's type are much less than those experienced by those of Spook's variety.

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On 12/22/2016 at 10:14 AM, robardin said:

If you take Spook in HoA as the best (only clear) example of an Allomantic Savant exhibiting the damaging consequences, it's that he's hyper-sensitive all the time, and when he finally turns off his tin, his senses are all but completely off (rather than restored to normal human levels).

So a Copper savant would probably suffer from being hyper-susceptible to emotional Allomancy if they ever turned it off.

A Bronze savant? Hard to figure that someone with Bronze would become one, as there is little obvious reason to be "constantly flaring" one's bronze.

I always assumed a physical metal has drawbacks in the physical sense... But emotional or mental or other allomancy would have emotional or mental or other effects.

Bronze, I always saw that Seeker Savants would be paranoid w/o their metal burning. They'd be so used to knowing what's going on around them, allomantically, that they'd feel blind or suffocated when not using it. The benefit would be things like identifying specific metal pulses, detecting other forms of investiture, or similar... But the drawbacks would be a mental handicap in the sense that they feel everything, and lacking that extra "sense" they'd feel strangled and, as an effect, paranoid.

Copper? A Savant should feel exposed or vulnerable. Emotionally susceptible, even if they're not under Zinc/Brass influence. Naked and singled-out, even in a crowd. A mental-state that affects a Savant counter to their metal's abilities. 


Tin is physical internal, and it screws up a savant's body physically.
Pewter is a physical internal, it should do the same, warping a Savant's body.

Steel is an external physical metal? It shouldn't necessarily mess with Wax's body... But keying to that much investiture SHOULD have effects. If the boon is the more precise control over your pushes, then the drawback should be aligned with that. As to what it could be? I can't fathom. Maybe he feels slow or constrained when not burning his metal? Maybe in the grand scheme of cosmere-karma he's more likely to get shot, lol. No clue,

Emotional savants should feel socially awkward or emotionally unstable/introverted/unable to connect when they're not tapping into their metals and messing with emotions.
 

We've seen what happens to Soulcaster Savants, they start to take on attributes of the physical materials they change. For people who control the states of materials and exert their intent on changing such things, it seems fair that the drawback would be an alteration of their own physical states. Their Transformation surge lashes back onto them.


But man, I'd hate to see what a Gravitation Surge Savant's drawback is... Or, worse, a Growth Savant...

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7 hours ago, Zmann966 said:


But man, I'd hate to see what a Gravitation Surge Savant's drawback is... Or, worse, a Growth Savant...

I don't think we will see another Surge Savant. The RK are quite immune to this, thanks to their Stormlight's healing. Other Surge Fabrial will be probably not used as frequently as the Soulcaster (with the exception of a Progression Fabrial but in this case, you may heal your soul with the Fabrial itself)

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