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Ward

(Spoilers) How do Mistborn Shard phases work again?

Question

I've read Mistborn era 1 twice, as well as the rest of the Cosmere, and have visited Coppermind.net, numerous times. But I can't quite get a grasp on how exactly the shard magic on Scadrial works.

Regarding the physical form of the Shards: Solid=metal, liquid=shardpool, gas=mist? But...

  • Where is Ruin's mist?
  • How come there are only two beads of Lerasium and lots more of Atium?
  • Where is Atium's liquid? What is the phase change process?
  • Once burned, how does it recycle?
  • If the solid/liquid/gas are the physical aspects of the shards, why are the cognitive aspects of the vessels so detached? Or are they?
  • Why can Ati not sense his own body through metal?
  • Once Harmony is in charge, how do all those aspects transfer to him consistently?
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8 answers to this question

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18 minutes ago, Ward said:
  • Where is Ruin's mist?

There aren't Ruin Mist, or at least it will be Ruin's Mist but Ruin had no reason to send them, Preservation left the Mist as part of his plan. You could see a small amount of Ruin's Mist at the Well (to be more precise in the chamber near the well) because they coalescence near to the owner.

Notice that now Harmony sends both Preservation's Mist and Ruin's Mist at night

20 minutes ago, Ward said:
  • How come there are only two beads of Lerasium and lots more of Atium?

Solid form of Shard's power didn't happen naturally, so both Lerasium and Atium exist for a purpose. In the case of Lerasium we don't know the reason Preservation or someone who used the Well made it originally. The Atium's production is a trick Preservation performed with the Ruin's stolen Investiture. The idea was to make this stolen power solid and hide it for Ruin. The amount of Atium and Lerasium are different because they were created to different purposes.

23 minutes ago, Ward said:
  • Where is Atium's liquid? What is the phase change process?

Ruin's perpendicularity (in the same way as the Well is Preservation's Perpendicularity) was somewhere below the Pits of Hatsin. It was moved underground from Rashek, originally it was on surfice, it was called "Black lake" in Alendi's journal and when Alendi and his companions arrived too near to it, the Mist Spirit killed one of Alendi's friend to make them run away.

26 minutes ago, Ward said:
  • Once burned, how does it recycle?

I assume you talk to Atium, once burned the Investiture who make it is released and over some time it return to the source. The same thing happen to all form of Investiture. So The Mist burned by Vin or all the Preservation's power drained by the Allomancer to performe their magic.

28 minutes ago, Ward said:
  • If the solid/liquid/gas are the physical aspects of the shards, why are the cognitive aspects of the vessels so detached? Or are they?

This is an error, there is no link between the Investiture's state and a specific component of the Shard. The Mist, the Well and the Lerasium are the same thing in different states. It's not something like Liquid=Cognitive or something like that

30 minutes ago, Ward said:
  • Why can Ati not sense his own body through metal?

Ati could not see the metal, or to be more precise to him the Metal is too blight and it actual blind him, this happen to all kind of metal and it is a phenomen shared with Preservation. It's the reason the letters write on metal were safe from Ruin.

 

32 minutes ago, Ward said:
  • Once Harmony is in charge, how do all those aspects transfer to him consistently?

I don't understand this one, if you could expand it better, maybe I could answer to this too

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I can answer the question about the metal beads.
Lerasium beads were taken by the LR and given to his companions after his ascension to turn them Mistborn, the two beads were all that were left after that.

And the question why Ati cant see his body, it seems the weakness of Preservation and Ruin is that they cant see metal.

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39 minutes ago, Ward said:

Once Harmony is in charge, how do all those aspects transfer to him consistently?

Regarding your former questions I assume?

  1. Harmony uses both Ruin and Preservation's Mist.
  2. Harmony has his own God Metal, and it is currently unknown if he can produce Atium/Lerasium on their own.
  3. There isn't a "phase change process" as far as we know. The raw power is able to manifest in either state.
  4. Harmonium should recycle Investiture back to him just like Atium and Allomancy do.
  5. As Yata said, solid/liquid/gas do not correspond to the 3 Realms. Investiture is a universal thing in the Spiritual Realm, unsure in the Cognitive, and states of matter in the Physical Realm.
  6. Harmony inherited metal blindness from his predecessors.
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57 minutes ago, Excelsius said:

And the question why Ati cant see his body, it seems the weakness of Preservation and Ruin is that they cant see metal.

That is not the case, they can see metal. However, all metal seems to look the same, so he cannot tell the difference. Or, perhaps, they do look different but the "glare" from the the other metal was too much to see the difference. I'm not sure which it is, but I am nearly certain it is one of those two. They can definitely see metal, if they are at all like Kelsier. I believe it is safe to say they do, as Kelsier is a... Sliver? I think that's the right one. 

Anyway, wanted to clarify that. 

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Just to add on the lerasium bead issue, so far as we know right now there were three unused beads. According to Word of Brandon, Rashek used the power of the Well to make himself a Mistborn rather than obtaining the power through a bead, which is why he was even more powerful than a pure lerasium Mistborn like Elend. We also have a Word of Peter that there were at least twelve beads. Peter didn't mention that Rashek didn't use a bead himself but his math results in us having one more bead than we have known users. Nine original Mistborn who recieved lerasium beads from Rashek (as mentioned by Sazed in the HoA epigraphs) plus Hoid's bead plus Elend's bead... and then there's the 'at least one more' Peter mentions.

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6 hours ago, Yata said:

Notice that now Harmony sends both Preservation's Mist and Ruin's Mist at night

I completely missed this in WW era. Can you provide a quote?

6 hours ago, Yata said:

Solid form of Shard's power didn't happen naturally

See this is what I'm confused about. What determines what phase the Shard's "body" takes? If I understand correctly, All the physical manifestations, be they mist, pool, or bead, make up the total of the Shard's body. Why is Ruin's power diminished just because he doesn't know where his body is?

6 hours ago, Yata said:

The Atium's production is a trick Preservation performed with the Ruin's stolen Investiture.

How is this done? Thank you for the reference to "The Black Lake," I completely missed that. It makes sense that this is below Hathsin, but why/how is Atium produced in those geodes?

6 hours ago, Yata said:

once burned the Investiture who make it is released and over some time it return to the source.

What returns to the source? What is left after the atium is burned? Why does only the liquid pool at the perpendicularity? Why would pure Investiture coalesce  there too?

6 hours ago, Yata said:

there is no link between the Investiture's state and a specific component of the Shard

I meant what's the connection between the Shard's physical body (whether it be mist, pool, or bead) and the mind controlling the power? How was Ruin's cognitive self trapped while his physical self roamed free?

6 hours ago, Yata said:

Ati could not see the metal

I didn't mean "see" the metal, I already knew he couldn't do that, I more meant why didn't he just know or feel where his body was? I don't have to see my hand to know where it is.

And to clarify my last question. Regarding all the answers to the above, what have we seen in WW era that shows that Harmony has the same powers/limitations?

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4 hours ago, Ward said:

I completely missed this in WW era. Can you provide a quote?

At the moment no, but I am sure you could find an explaination on AoL's annotations in Brandon's site and in the AoL's chapter with Wax's plan to catch Miles. In that night the Mist arose (in Era2 the Mist are no more an "every night" phenomen).

4 hours ago, Ward said:

See this is what I'm confused about. What determines what phase the Shard's "body" takes? If I understand correctly, All the physical manifestations, be they mist, pool, or bead, make up the total of the Shard's body. Why is Ruin's power diminished just because he doesn't know where his body is?

How is this done? Thank you for the reference to "The Black Lake," I completely missed that. It makes sense that this is below Hathsin, but why/how is Atium produced in those geodes?

It's not actually the fact He don't know where it is (or at least is a part of it) to diminish him. The fact is Preservation cutted/ripped a portion of Ruin's power so now that power also if it is still Ruin's power is no more Connected to Ruin as the rest. I think you could imagine it as a cutted finger, it is still your finger but you are no more control over it (unless you have some superpower I don't know). The Shards are mostly in the Spiritual Realm (I don't know how much do you know of the Spiritual but for now you need only to know the Spiritual Realm is location indipendent so everywhere is the same place), for a Shard have pieces of his power far from each other is not really a problem because they are still connected to him. Unless someone rips them from you....Now the Power is no more part of your central hub and you are diminished.

Maybe I wrote too much, anyway Preservation ripped a piece of Ruin's Power (I suggest to discharge the "body" metaphor as usually it makes only mess in the fresh minds) and sealed away Ruin's itself (strictly spreaking Ruin wasn't really locked somewhere, simply Preservation puttes in places an auto-counter mechanics, everytime Ruin tried to do things, the "Prison" autocounter it, but again this is tangential to the topic) and Preservation created the Pits or to be more precise a place where the Ruin's stolen power becomes solid in Atium form to make possible to spread that power in a place where Ruin could not easily find it (I think the first thing Ruin's did was to go to the Pits to recover whatever amount of power was still there).

4 hours ago, Ward said:

What returns to the source? What is left after the atium is burned? Why does only the liquid pool at the perpendicularity? Why would pure Investiture coalesce  there too?

The power itself return to the source, the Investiture can't be created or destroyed. The same thing happens when an Allomancer burns regular metals, they use the metal as a gateway to tap from Preservation's power but this drained energy return to Preservation after a while. Same thing when Vin uses the Mis or every user of the Well of Ascension did with the Power of the Well.

The Perpendicularity's topic is a bit tricky because we don't know too much of it. But you imagine a close system where the water make its trip (of course the water in our case is Investiture) and in some places the water slowly accumulate over time. It's a side effect of a Shard's investiment. The System is filled of Investiture and in some places that Investiture leaks and gathers.

4 hours ago, Ward said:

I meant what's the connection between the Shard's physical body (whether it be mist, pool, or bead) and the mind controlling the power? How was Ruin's cognitive self trapped while his physical self roamed free?

I indirectly answer to this before, Ruin isn't properly trapped at the Well, simply Preservation putted in place a system of auto-counter to Ruin's actions. It's mainly as you saw with Vin's Preservation aganist Ruin. Where they counter each other action, simply Preservation's Prison did it automatically.

4 hours ago, Ward said:

I didn't mean "see" the metal, I already knew he couldn't do that, I more meant why didn't he just know or feel where his body was? I don't have to see my hand to know where it is.

ok, again I think I already answered to this before. It's because that part of ruin's power was ripped from him. It's no more Connected to him and not strictly part of him. He could assimilated again in himself once found. But for him in the Mistborn's trilogy is something external to his being (the cutted finger metaphor).

4 hours ago, Ward said:

And to clarify my last question. Regarding all the answers to the above, what have we seen in WW era that shows that Harmony has the same powers/limitations?

Harmony for now inherit the powers of Ruin and Preservation, the powers becan to link and merge when he picked up and maybe over a long time they will become one.

For now Harmony showed us mainly the two Powers of R&P under the same guiding Mind.

- He could manifest Ruin's Mist or Preservation's one, this mean those Investitures are still mainly separated in him.

- He could read people's thoughts and comunicate to the madmen or the spiked one (and control them with enough Spikes)

- He is metalblind (but honestly this isn't a inherit features, everyone who watch the world from where He is, would have the same problem).

- Under the same mind the Ruin and Preservation's powers don't react to each other violently. A Spiked one doesn't repel the Mists anymore.

- If Sazed was killed, He would drop Harmony as a single Shard, not Ruin & Preservation....An effort would be need to split them again.

Honestly this is all I could think about Harmony in relationship to Ruin and Preservation.

EDIT: I manage to find the AoL's Annotation:

Quote

The Mists Form

In writing this book, I had to nail down a few worldbuilding issues I’d been contemplating even before the first trilogy ended. What would happen to the mists, for instance, once Sazed took over and became Harmony?

The mists, obviously, are a big part of the series. It didn’t make sense—either narratively or worldbuilding-wise—to lose them completely. However, they’d been created as an effect of Preservation trying to use his essence to fight against Ruin’s destruction of the world. So . . . wouldn’t they go away?

I decided that Sazed would still send them. They’re part of the nature of the world now. To acknowledge what had happened, they wouldn’t come every night any longer. But they would come. They were changed in that they are no longer simply the raw power of Preservation; they’re now a part of Harmony—so they no longer pull away from Hemalurgy in the same way as they used to. They still have the odd effect of being able to power Allomancy. (And Feruchemy as well—if one knows how to do it.)

The mists are, in part, the raw power of creation. And when one is favored of Harmony, the mists have a greater effect than they might otherwise have. We’ll see more of this later.

 

Edited by Yata
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Great summary Yata!

And I had never seen this...

"And Feruchemy as well—if one knows how to do it."

I'm sure it's been discussed in here before I joined but this...excites me

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