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Solomonster

Nicrosil Compounding - Why the Lord Ruler was such a powerful mistborn

Question

While listening to Shardcast this week, there was a moment where the team discussed Compounding and how we've seen characters use compounding in order to increase their feruchemy abilities, but we haven't seen compounding to increase a character's allomancy abilities.  This has made me question my understanding of certain events in the whole Mistborn series, so I need someone to fact check me on my thoughts:

After reading BoM, it became clear that nicrosil can store the ability to use innate investiture, such as being able to feruchemically tap bronze (Southern Scadrian medallions), feruchemically tap copper (Wax seeing Kelsier's vision at the end of BoM), allomantically burn iron (Wax dragging the ship back to the ground while tapping the bands), etc.  Theoretically, a full mistborn / feruchemist would be able to store their ability to be a mistborn within a nicrosil metalmind.  That metalmind could then be burned, causing a huge increase in the amount of mistborn power available which is then stored in another nicrosil metalmind to be drawn on later.  By compounding nicrosil, a mistborn would be able to amplify their own abilities to a massive extent.  To me, this perfectly explains why the Lord Ruler was such a powerful mistborn.  This also explains why Wax had such a powerful experience while tapping the Bands of Mourning.  Remember, while Wax was tapping the bands, he was able to Push on the trace minerals in rocks, which is far beyond the abilities of the average mistborn.  Wax's experience only makes sense if Wax was tapping more "mistborn juice" at once than a normal mistborn's abilities. Since we know that Kelsier, who made the bands, was an average mistborn, Nicrosil compounding is the only explanation that makes sense to me.  

Problems that I've already thought of:  

"The Lord Ruler made himself a powerful mistborn as the final act of his Ascension.  He had no need of nicrosil compounding" - I believe Sazed says this, but Sanderson has been known to make characters say things that the reader knows to be false, but that the character believes to be true.  It makes more sense in universe that the Lord Ruler used Nicrosil compounding in order to become such a powerful mistborn.  After all, all of his other miraculous abilities came from compounding.

"But Kelsier could have just stored his mistborn abilities in a nicrosil metalmind over several months, which Wax then tapped over several minutes. Of course he was so much more powerful."  - This could also be true, but it doesn't detract from my original thought.  If the ability to be a mistborn can be stored over months and then drawn on all at once, it actually adds credence to my theory.  Since the ability to be a mistborn can be feruchemicaly stored, the that metal mind can be burned just like any other metal that we've seen compounded.

Let me know what you think,

 

 

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Yes Nicrosil conpounding could be used to make a Fullborn as strong as the Lord Ruler, but TLR had no need to. He was the strongest possible Mistborn without it.

He didn’t use any of the Lerasium beads, he made himself an allomancer when he held the Well of Ascension

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The issue here is in production. They didn't have the tech level required to produce nicrosil in TFE. 

Even if TLR had produced some while he held the well though, it would have been found after his death. They scoured everything in Luthadel looking for the atium stash. If TLR had nicrosil, I think it's a fairly safe bet that they would have been very interested by finding a new metal. 

Edited by Calderis
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They didn't have the ability to produce nicrosil in the Final Empire, and even if TLR knew about it (which he probably did, Ascension's convenient like that) there's no way in hell that he would have allowed it to spread into everyday Allomantic use.  Because hello Leecher Inquisitors.  

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I think that you are forgetting how the original Mistborns were very powerful and the power became diluted as Mistborns had children and intermarried with the Skaa or the bloodline was messed up. When Elend became a mistborn he was much more powerful than Vin because he had consumed a Lerasium bead and she had gotten it through birth.

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1 hour ago, Rainbow Waffles said:

I think that you are forgetting how the original Mistborns were very powerful and the power became diluted as Mistborns had children and intermarried with the Skaa or the bloodline was messed up. When Elend became a mistborn he was much more powerful than Vin because he had consumed a Lerasium bead and she had gotten it through birth.

TLR was still further than that, He wasn't a Lerasium Mistborn, he was far beyond that level...He used the Well to achieve the peak of what was possible with Allomancy.

In short, he cheat to reach the maximum stable power avaliable and then he got a bit stronger through Savantism during the 1000 years of TFE

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7 hours ago, Landis963 said:

They didn't have the ability to produce nicrosil in the Final Empire, and even if TLR knew about it (which he probably did, Ascension's convenient like that) there's no way in hell that he would have allowed it to spread into everyday Allomantic use.

True, but  since there are WoBs that TLR was aware of the wider cosmere and also of interstellar trade happening through the Pits of Hatshin, I have wondered if he couldn't have imported nicrosil from elsewhere for his own use. The Darkside of Taldain might have had the industrial base to produce it, for instance, and we know that it was still possible to travel there and back early in TLR's reign, as that's about when Khriss and Baon would have left their world.

Another interesting question is - where did _the Sovereign_ get nicrosil in sufficient quantities to supply SoScads with the heat medallions? From what we have seen from his copper-mind, their weren't industrially developed when he got there - if they had been, they might have found a solution to the Ice Death without him and likely also without the Metallic Arts.

 

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On 3/11/2018 at 9:11 AM, Solomonster said:

"The Lord Ruler made himself a powerful mistborn as the final act of his Ascension.  He had no need of nicrosil compounding" - I believe Sazed says this, but Sanderson has been known to make characters say things that the reader knows to be false, but that the character believes to be true.

Brandon says this himself.

Quote
Chris King (Miyabi)
This is the last one here we have from Mistborn: Did the Lord Ruler use lerasium to gain his super Allomantic abilities or did he grant that to himself with the Well's power? If he used the bead, does he count as one of the nine original Allomancers that Sazed mentions?
 
Brandon Sanderson
Excellent question. He did not use the bead. In all of this he granted himself basically, he rebuilt himself to be extremely powerful and he did not use one of the beads.

Leinton (paraphrased)
Did Rashek use the Well or a bead of lerasium to become a Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
He didn't know at first, I told him there were interviews with him saying both, and he eventually answered with "I'm canonizing it as he used the Well".


On 3/11/2018 at 9:11 AM, Solomonster said:

If the ability to be a mistborn can be stored over months and then drawn on all at once, it actually adds credence to my theory.

Parts sold separately.

Quote

Necarion
The compounding trick that the Lord Ruler performed. When you're storing Investiture, are you storing your "Mistborn-ness" or all the powers individually?

Brandon Sanderson
All of the powers individually.


3 hours ago, Isilel said:

there are WoBs that TLR was aware of the wider cosmere and also of interstellar trade happening through the Pits of Hatshin, I have wondered if he couldn't have imported nicrosil from elsewhere for his own use.

He knew some things, but not too much.

Quote

Phantine
How cosmere-aware was the Lord Ruler? If a Returned waltzed into Kredik Shaw, would he have any idea what was going on? Or at least be able to recognize 'hey that guy seems endowmenty'.

Brandon Sanderson
Aware enough to know he wasn't alone, but not so aware that he'd know specifics. He didn't hold the power long enough to explore outward very far.

He still could have, but I agree with Landis that he'd have kept Nicrosil a secret. To do that, he'd have to personally involved in that interplanetary trade and I don't see him doing that. Also, to use Yata's age-old argument against Nicrosil, there was no mention of an "unknown metal" on TLR's body after they killed him.

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