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2017-02-01 An Evening with Brandon Sanderson - Provo City Library, Provo, UT

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@Argent I just tried to ask him a clarification about Shardblade-Alluminium relationship on Twitter. I hope he will be so nice to answer, usually He doesn't deny a clarification when his words are misunderstood.
I will update you here if he decide to reply

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14 hours ago, teknopathetic said:

You'd think people would be making armor out of Aluminum then, right? Don't we know from the book that it is possible to soulcast aluminum and that the people know of aluminum? (even though Roshar doesn't have accessible deposits). I wonder if Brandon changed his mind on Soulcasting Aluminum?

Aluminum is both rare and expensive to make on Roshar - I think it's very likely that , given how scarce it and Blades are, nobody has ever tried to cut it. Kind of like... if diamond had magical properties, but only after being eaten and... processed... by a polar bear. 

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Has anyone ever asked if a Shardblade could cut through other God metals?  Atium, Lerasium, Harmonium, etc?

 

If not, that will likely be my Oathbringer question in my signed copy.

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1 minute ago, Stark said:

Has anyone ever asked if a Shardblade could cut through other God metals?  Atium, Lerasium, Harmonium, etc?

 

If not, that will likely be my Oathbringer question in my signed copy.

I think nobody asked...but based on other Realmatic interaction of the Atium (Atium doesn't act as High Invested) I would say that a Shardblade could cut through godmetals (at least for how they manifest on Scadrial...A godmetal made by a great amount of concentrate Investiture would stop it)

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I'll be honest, my first reaction on seeing that Twitter reply was "He remembers me! (kind of)" and then when I got over that I felt a little proud that I asked a question with a contentious answer. I guess I can be content with that for now.

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Thanks @Yata.  I only ask because I'm starting to feel that Aluminum may be one of the biggest fakeouts in the Cosmere.  It seems to be inert in all magic systems, or resistant.  Which has me wondering if maybe it is not one of the basic sixteen Allomantic metals (because in world lore about the number of metals and their IDs has been wrong before), and not another God metal.Which could mean that there are another two Allomantic metals out there that fit the table.

 

But more interestingly, if other God metals are resistant to shardblades, which I believe we have a WOB on indicating that the metal of shardblades is honor's God metal, then we have God metals being unable to cut each other.  Or in other words, being inert in other Shard's magic systems.  Which, as Aluminum is inert and resistant everywhere, puts it as a contender for being a God metal too.  Potentially as Bavadin's (as she seems to be everywhere).

 

Or (Linking to Atium being Ruin's body) Adonalsium's body.

 

At the end of writing this, I realize this may not be the best place to discuss this idea, but my next few questions I will ask, when I get a chance, will be in the vein of trying to confirm this - how do God Metal's interact, and do those interactions have similarities to Aluminum.

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8 minutes ago, Stark said:

Which has me wondering if maybe it is not one of the basic sixteen Allomantic metals (because in world lore about the number of metals and their IDs has been wrong before), and not another God metal.Which could mean that there are another two Allomantic metals out there that fit the table.

I don't think you can make a case that Aluminum isn't an Allomantic metal. It has an alloy with Allomantic abilities. It has Feruchemical application (which would be the bigger problem, in my mind, if it can't interact at all with Investiture), as does its alloy.

In Allomancy, metal is consumed, and it shapes how Investiture is used. So, aluminum isn't affected directly by the Investiture in that case. So, even if aluminum is an Investiture blocker, it's not getting in the way of anything, since the user's body is channeling the Investiture in a way defined by a particular metal.

For Feruchemy, we see that aluminum must allow some sort of interaction with Investiture, since you can store Identity in an aluminum metalmind. So, it definitely can hold Investiture. Unless, like Allomancy, the metal itself isn't holding the charge, it's acting as a key to an Investiture reservoir that is not stored in the metal per se, but exists in the Spiritual Realm. By having the right identity and holding the physical key, you can unlock that reservoir. But, then having larger metalminds wouldn't necessarily give you larger potential reserves... so I think it is indeed the metal holding the Feruchemical charge.

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@Pagerunner My counter point is that Malatium was an Alloy of Atium, and had Allomantic properties.  And Atium had Feruchemical and Hemalurgic properties too.

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14 minutes ago, Stark said:

@Pagerunner My counter point is that Malatium was an Alloy of Atium, and had Allomantic properties.  And Atium had Feruchemical and Hemalurgic properties too.

Good point, I hadn't considered that. If aluminum was a true god metal, not just allomantically inert, then duralumin would be one of its sixteen alloys, and we could look at its composition to learn more.

Duralumin consists of:

         Aluminium-95%
         Copper-4%
         Magnesium-0.5%
         Manganese-0.5%

So, magnesium or manganese would be our last pure metal, and the last alloy would be 10% magnesium, 10% manganese, and 80% copper.

Since duralumin is a real metal, and the hypothetical Mg/Mn/Cu alloy almost certainly isn't, I'd be very surprised if that were the case. But, you're right, it's Realmatically more possible than I had originally given you credit for.

In that case, I don't think you could say it's Adonalsium's god metal, since the planet didn't exist until after the Shattering. Ruin and Preservation wouldn't have been able to manifest Adonalsium's god metal, without having Investiture of the other 14 Shards.

Common consensus is moving more towards Trellium as Bavadin's god metal (I was pretty staunchly opposed, but there are some lines in AU that have left me begrudgingly convinced), so I don't think it could be hers, either.

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There are problems to considerate Alluminium a god metal.

1) It is everywhere, also in place completely built by Shards (Scadrial)

2) the alluminium seems to be completely immune to Investiture while godmetals didn't show any kind of Investiture Interference (you can push/pull on Atium and something like that)

3) it's stated that all the metals exept the Atium acts like key to tap Preservation's power...so all the other metals are mundane metals.

4) Harmony didn't wrote nothing about, if it was something "alien" I imagine he would work on the matter.

5) You could Soulcast something into Alluminium, it's stated you may Soulcast something into Atium...but this would need an Hellish amount of Investiture, if an ordinary Soulcaster may performe the casting with a gem's Stormlight this would quite disprove the idea of Alluminium as godmetal.

I remain of the idea of some Spiritual weirdness with the Alluminium who allows it to be a strange matter for the Investiture to interact (I still think of an "Spiritual emptiness" but the proofs are really circumstantial )

Edited by Yata
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I've wondered before if aluminum couldn't be Adonalsium's metal. 

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@Yata you are correct that it is not a perfect theory.  But if we allow for the fact that Adonalsium as a whole was at least an order of magnitude more powerful than any one shard, and was everywhere, permeating all things by being God, I can argue against your points.  The tricky part will be for me to do it without sounding whiny.

On 2/3/2017 at 4:32 PM, Yata said:

1) It is everywhere, also in place completely built by Shards (Scadrial)

2) the alluminium seems to be completely immune to Investiture while godmetals didn't show any kind of Investiture Interference (you can push/pull on Atium and something like that)

3) it's stated that all the metals exept the Atium acts like key to tap Preservation's power...so all the other metal are mundane metals.

4) Harmony didn't wrote nothing about, if it was something "alien" I imagine he would work on the matter.

5) You could Soulcast something into Alluminium, it's stated you may Soulcast something into Atium...but this would need an Hellish amount of Investiture, if an ordinary Soulcaster may performe the casting with a gem's Stormlight this would quite disprove the idea of Alluminium as godmetal.

1) Adonalsium was everywhere, theoretically, pre-shattering.  All investiture that we know of originated from this being.  It is conceivable that the metallic, physical representation of its body (if such a thing exists) would be everywhere, and a bit weird.

2)This one I have the hardest time arguing.  The only thing I can think of is that the Vessels took all of Adonalsium's investiture, more or less.  Maybe it has a similar charge to all other investiture, making it resistant, or non-reactive.  I can't really argue it as my Cosmere theory is not strong enough to make me comfortable doing it, but it is the fact that Aluminum seems immune to all other investiture that makes me wonder if it is of Adonalsium, and either not reacting because that power is gone and divided from its source, or not reacting because its not whole.  

3)For this I'd argue that we have not seen a Mistborn burn any god metals other than Lerasium and Atium.  We have asked about burning shardblade metal, which is supposedly Tanavastium or Cultivation-ium, depending on the spren, but we have not seen what happens.  In the first Mistborn, the Scadrians thought that there were 10 base metals, with Atium being one of them.  They later found that their knowledge was incomplete.  I think the knowledge is still incomplete, and it is possible that we have been misled.

4)Harmony knows a lot.  But he does not know all.  He knows a lot about Scadrial, but has admitted his ignorance about much of the greater Cosmere.  If Aluminum is the body of the long dead deific figure of the Cosmere, a being who died long before Harmony came into existence, it is conceivable that this would be one of the many secrets he may not yet be aware of.  

5)Another really, really good point.  But, if the investiture has been removed from the body, divided into sixteen and spread out, it is possible that the husk would not contain that much investiture.  Part of the problem with Soul Casting Atium was that you were trying to create something permeated with the investiture of a living Shard.  You cannot create something from nothing, so you need to insert as much investiture into that reaction as you would get out of it, and Atium was overflowing.  But, Adonalsium is dead, and their Investiture has been stolen.  It could theoretically be possible that with the investiture gone, it becomes easier to Soulcast the shell.

 

I don't think I've done a fantastic job of arguing, but what it mostly comes to is the idea that we don't know enough to really say definitively one way or the other.  I think it may be the case that Aluminum is in some way linked to what was Adonalsium.  I could very easily be entirely wrong.  But the fact that this one material has a bizarre immunity to all investiture we have seen so far, and is causing a heavy debate in team Sanderson as to whether a Shardblade could cut it (to the point where they don't want to give a canon answer yet), raises huge red flags for me.

 

Which is why, if ever I get he chance, I will be asking if a Shardblade could cut Atium, Lerasium or Harmonium the same way it cuts everything else.  If not RAFO'd, that will hopefully allow me to plan other questions to test this theory.

 

Sadly, Brandon does not often come to Montreal.  I'll have to see if I can get to Toronto for his visit there...

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Re: Aluminum as a god metal... don't see that this theory has any weight.

The few god metals we know of aren't real metals. Atium, lerasium, ettmetal/harmonium... These aren't real things. ALL of the "normal" Allomantic metals (and their alloys) are real.

You could argue that, for whatever reason, Adonalsium or a Shard decided to "take aluminum as it's own" in some sense. To basically modify a "normal" metal rather than having it's own metal. But I don't think that's consistent with what Brandon has done. God metals are simply a natural, physical form that their power takes. It's something "unreal" finding a place in the physical world. So this feels very wrong to me.

You could also argue that the people are just wrong about the metal actually being aluminum. Meaning, it isn't really aluminum at all. It's some incredibly pervasive god metal that is very similar to aluminum, or something like that. This also feels pretty wrong. Brandon likes to pull out surprises, but he doesn't normally outright deceive readers. He calls the stuff aluminum inside and outside of the books. It would be pretty lame if he suddenly revealed that "surprise, it's not actually aluminum."

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2 hours ago, Stark said:

1) Adonalsium was everywhere, theoretically, pre-shattering.  All investiture that we know of originated from this being.  It is conceivable that the metallic, physical representation of its body (if such a thing exists) would be everywhere, and a bit weird.

This goes into 5 a little bit, as it deals with soulcasting. Roshar was "specifically grown by Adonalsium," and is one of the worlds with the largest portions of his ambient investiture. That investiture is in the form of Spren though, and not Aluminum. Secondly, since they soulcast it, would that not imply it is a relative rarity on Roshar?

2 hours ago, Stark said:

3)In the first Mistborn, the Scadrians thought that there were 10 base metals, with Atium being one of them. They later found that their knowledge was incomplete.  I think the knowledge is still incomplete, and it is possible that we have been misled.
4)Harmony knows a lot.  But he does not know all.  He knows a lot about Scadrial, but has admitted his ignorance about much of the greater Cosmere.

Ah, but the number 16 comes directly from Preservation himself. Meaning that if Aluminum was not part of the set, as it is a God Metal, then Harmony somehow didn't inherit that information when he took Preservation. It doesn't sit right in my head, especially since he learned about Cadmium and Chromium when he Ascended.
Secondly, while Duralumin could be written off as a God-metal alloy like Malatium in your theory, Nicrosil and Chromium(which largely mimic the effects of the two) can not be discarded in this way.

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17 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

That investiture is in the form of Spren though, and not Aluminum. Secondly, since they soulcast it, would that not imply it is a relative rarity on Roshar?

True, though I thought that was more a technological limitation than a scarcity issue.  Aluminum was pretty rare in Scadrial Era 1 as they did not have the technology to refine it.  It is more common in Era 2 now that they know its value, and have developed the tech to process it.  Roshar does not have the same drive to develop the requisite technology to mine aluminum, they can just soulcast whatever they need.  Even for us, Aluminum is a relatively recent discovery, within the last 100-150 years.  But still an excellent point!

 

20 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

Secondly, while Duralumin could be written off as a God-metal alloy like Malatium in your theory, Nicrosil and Chromium(which largely mimic the effects of the two) can not be discarded in this way.

This is also very true.  However, initially, we had a Gold/Electrum pairing with Atium/Malatium as the external effects to Atium's internal effects.  They are similar to the point of mimicing, and electrum has been referred to as the "poor man's Atium."  So this does not quite refute.

 

As for the 16 coming from Preservation, 100% in agreement with you.  Preservation set 16 metals to be part of his system to be a hint to try to lead people to confront Ati.  But, I will go back to the core of my theory: In Cosmere scholars have had inaccurate, or outright wrong realmatic theories before that seemed to be true.  We saw this with the "10 basic metals" and we have seen this in some of the recent WOBs on Cognitive shadows - what the scholars believe, and what is presented to us in the books, is not necessarily true.  The characters believe it to be so based on the information they have available.  Brandon has not given all the true information yet, so that our knowledge evolves with the Cosmere characters.

 

So that said, is it not conceivable that Aluminum is a God metal, that has an effect similar to other metals in the table, not unlike Gold/Electrum/Atium/Malatium, and that they got it wrong? That they slotted it into the Allomantic table where it seemed to fit, and stopped looking?  Duralumin was the first alloy in Vin's research that worked, so she stopped looking.  It is possible for their to be another 14 alloys, as with Atium, that are not discovered, because no one is looking, because they think their information is accurate.

 

In fact, if you look at the quartet of Atium/Malatium/Gold/Electrum, those mimic each other far more closely than the actual temporal quartet of Gold/Electrum/Cadmium/Bendalloy.  The external/internal axis in the actual quartet is vastly different (viewing the past/future vs affecting the time-stream).  Same with the physical (metal telekinesis vs physical attribute buffing) and mental (emotional manipulation vs detection abilities) quartets, internal and external powers do not mimic.  But Aluminum/Duralumin/Nicrosil/Chromium as a quartet are extremely close in effect.  This quartet is the odd one out.

 

Knowing how sneaky Brandon can be, I could be completely wrong, but he could also be hiding this right in front of our faces and having us not notice, even though he pulled the same fake-out before with Atium and Gold.  Watch it fool us twice by presenting an Allomantic table that seems to make sense as compared to the original 10 that didn't quite fit nicely together, especially seeing as this quartet of metals are the ones we have seen the least of in any of the Mistborn Eras.  

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On 3/2/2017 at 5:49 PM, Yata said:

Brandon was so kind to reply to my answer about Shardblades and Alluminium: 

Q:  Hi, the Comunity has a doubt, We have two WoB: Shardblades cut Alluminium Shardblades can't cut it Witch one is true one?

A:  Hm. Yes, I wondered last night if I'd ever answered this before. Truth is, the answer is contentious at Team Sanderson.
A: I've been pushing for one answer, but Peter (whom I trust) is pushing back. We will see what ends up in the books as canon.

A: Problem with magic like I do is sometimes you have to wait for the scientific consensus... :) Err on "no" for now

 

So for now there is a no canon answer because honestly even God doesn't know

I quote myself because Peter read my question to Brandon and expanded the answer a bit (three tweets put together)

Peter:  Oh, I think Aluminum would stop Shardblades from magical cutting. But if it's too thin like foil, a sword... would cut it anyway. What I'm arguing is that something else that Shardblades don't cut doesn't need... to necessarily be made of aluminum, for various reasons.

Me: For example Invested objects (metalmind,spike,ecc) or polestones (from some SA's Quote) ?

Peter: RAFO

After made the last question I realized that I swapped "Polestones can't be Soulcasted" with "Polestones can't be cutted" so I din't expect a RAFO and neither an answer at all.

But I think if Polestone can't be cutted by a Shardblade, almost every Alethi will know.

<sarcasm>

Or maybe the "Luckly sphere myth" began when a commoner's sphere stopped a Shardblade....Like the bible and the bullet

</sarcasm>

Edited by Yata
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I think Peter assumed you were trying to figure out whether the Shardblade guards we see in Words of Radiance are made of aluminum, hence the "something else that Shardblades don't cut" (i.e. the guards) "doesn't need to necessarily be made of aluminum."

And it looks like Peter believes Blade could cut aluminum, as long as we are talking about a a thin sheet of it. You know, by virtue of them still being physical objects.

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This of course leads to a hilarious mental image of a full shardbearer being thwarted by a paper thin sheet of Aluminum, further reinforcing the reliance on tin foil hats that protect from emotional Allomancy.

 

It's a funny image.  But it makes sense that the Aluminum would be immune to the magical aspect, but not the physical.

 

Hmmm.  Those half-shard from WoK - the shields that were designed to stop a shardblade, do you figure they were made with an aluminum alloy?  They did work temporarily against Szeth before they broke.  Or do you think it was more using gems to transfer a small amount of investiture to the shield material, giving it the resistance until the gems were cracked and drained?

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36 minutes ago, Stark said:

This of course leads to a hilarious mental image of a full shardbearer being thwarted by a paper thin sheet of Aluminum, further reinforcing the reliance on tin foil hats that protect from emotional Allomancy.

Pretty sure they would just punch through it anyway :)

36 minutes ago, Stark said:

Hmmm.  Those half-shard from WoK - the shields that were designed to stop a shardblade, do you figure they were made with an aluminum alloy?  They did work temporarily against Szeth before they broke.  Or do you think it was more using gems to transfer a small amount of investiture to the shield material, giving it the resistance until the gems were cracked and drained?

I was under the impression that the artifabrians just figure out a way to utilize one of the Surges (Cohesion maybe) so it affects Blades.

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