theRoyalDingus

Kandra with Metal True Bodies

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So, a friend of mine and I were talking not long ago and this friend said something about Melaan having an aluminum true body in Era 2 because aluminum is allomatically inert and does not react to investiture. This friend theorized that kandra couldn't have true bodies made of metal because of the allomantic qualities of metal and the fact that they do react to investiture. I thought that that wouldn't have anything to do with impeding a kandra or their abilities in any way. And so I'm wondering: What would happen if a kandra had a true body made of metal? Would it affect them in any way, and then would it be in a positive or negative manner?

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If it was Aluminium? Probably something bad if it was inside them. Any other metal though shouldn't affect them unless it was Hemalurgic or otherwise Invested in some way.

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Unless they were against a A-Steel/Iron and F-Nicrosil Twinborn, any metal would also be safe to use. A Normal Coinshot wouldn't be strong enough to push through the body's natural interference.

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I don't think an Alluminium true Body Will produce any problem to a Kandra. But yeah It isn't neither useful.

Anyone strong enough to affect a Kandra's true body will probably be' able to affect the Kandra itself regard of metal or not...at least his Spikes.

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Even if it was an allomatrically active metal, it wouldn't cause any issue for them used as a body. It isn't an activated spike, nor is it being burnt. 

I was more annoyed they would swap from steel. 

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Brandon has confirmed that kandra can have True Bodies made of metal. They can even do crazy hemalurgical things if they want to because their bind points are very flexible, but they don't have to. So there's really no issue and MeLaan could have used other metal. But if you're trying to not stand out, having a body that doesn't immediately identify you as Something Strange to anyone with A-Steel/Iron is obviously a good idea, hence aluminum. Even if an allomancer couldn't push a True Body without help from a Nicroburst, a Coinshot or Lurcher could definitely see the metal in the skeleton, as Wax does when he's able to locate TenSoon from his much smaller (and Invested, so even harder to spot) blessings. And an aluminum body is lighter to carry around when you're not actively using it too.

Quote

focoma

We've seen Kandra True Bodies made of crystal, stone, or wood. Can a kandra use a True Body made of metal? If so, what happens if each metal "bone" had a Hemalurgic charge, and each one is touching an appropriate bind point?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. And that would work, better than you think, because Kandra have fluid bind points. But too many spikes can be dangerous to the psyche, even with Ati not messing things up.

source

 

Edited by Weltall
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On 5/6/2018 at 10:13 AM, theRoyalDingus said:

So, a friend of mine and I were talking not long ago and this friend said something about Melaan having an aluminum true body in Era 2 because aluminum is allomatically inert and does not react to investiture. This friend theorized that kandra couldn't have true bodies made of metal because of the allomantic qualities of metal and the fact that they do react to investiture. I thought that that wouldn't have anything to do with impeding a kandra or their abilities in any way. And so I'm wondering: What would happen if a kandra had a true body made of metal? Would it affect them in any way, and then would it be in a positive or negative manner?

Not to be pedantic, but I mean...kandra are still composed of living tissue, so a skeleton made of any metal that isn't biologically inert (surgical steel, titanium, and gold/titanium I think?) is technically going to poison them as it slowly corrodes or leeches into their tissue. Their ability to heal means this would have very little effect but...Since mass/energy/investiture are more or less conservative in the Cosmere, I assume a kandra using its healing powers to filter metal from itself would cause it to lose a small amount of mass/energy/Investiture (presumably in the form of CO2 or some other some other waste/exertion/byproduct), so theoretically, a kandra with a metal truebody should have to eat slightly more to maintain their mass (maybe in the ballpark of a few crackers to a few slices of bread worth of calories per day depending on what metal and how efficient kandra biological processes are?). Off the top of my head, of the allomantic metals, I would guess aluminum would be one of the least poisonous to make bones out of and the worst would probably be pewter.

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According to WOB it's possible to have an aluminum True Body, but the allomantic benefits (such as they are) are probably outweighed by the structural integrity of the metal. That is to say, aluminum isn't very strong as a structural material. I can imagine an aluminum body being quite fragile in comparison to something like steel. Titanium is both light and strong. And any metalborn strong enough to effect a metal skeleton, invested or not, is probably strong enough to push/pull at the metal in blood also. We're talking Rashek level and above.

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1 hour ago, Bigmikey357 said:

According to WOB it's possible to have an aluminum True Body, but the allomantic benefits (such as they are) are probably outweighed by the structural integrity of the metal. That is to say, aluminum isn't very strong as a structural material. I can imagine an aluminum body being quite fragile in comparison to something like steel. Titanium is both light and strong. And any metalborn strong enough to effect a metal skeleton, invested or not, is probably strong enough to push/pull at the metal in blood also. We're talking Rashek level and above.

But some era 1 kandra made their bodies from fragile crystals.

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True, and I thought of that. The thing with with them is that those were the kandra that rarely left True Home, would never be expected to interact with the outside world in general and allomancers in particular. Presumably the reason a kandra would want an aluminum True Body is because there's a reasonable expectation of encounters with metalborn. The crystal bodies were meant to be pretty. Aluminum isn't pretty. It is inert to allomancy but if the kandra's skeleton is encased in skin then allomancy wouldn't affect the skeleton no matter what it was made of. The exception is of course Rashek+ level allomancers. And for them, if they are pushing then the Kandra is getting pushed regardless. Besides, even if it works as expected And the aluminum body cannot be pushed, its spikes won't be made of aluminum and those can be pushed/pulled. Say I'm Rashek and I push a kandra with an aluminum body. That skeleton may not move but I just pushed your spikes clear outta your body.  I win, you're a mistwraith.

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You're forgetting that the particular aluminum skeleton we're discussing at the moment was also designed so that pieces of it could be pulled and and used as bladed weapons. 

If the bones are removed they're no longer protected, except by what they are made of. 

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The tensile strength of an aluminum blade is weak at best. I'm not sure you could weaponize it. The blocking of emotional allomancy is its only practical use as a battle metal; the skeleton won't stand up to any strike of even moderate force and the blade folds if not breaks against any type of conventional weaponry. I don't know of any process that would harden aluminum enough to make any sort of difference. Detach the arm and use it as a bladed weapon but the obsidian dagger or axe destroys both the blade and the welder without much difficulty.

Edited by Bigmikey357
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5 hours ago, Bigmikey357 said:

The tensile strength of an aluminum blade is weak at best. I'm not sure you could weaponize it. The blocking of emotional allomancy is its only practical use as a battle metal; the skeleton won't stand up to any strike of even moderate force and the blade folds if not breaks against any type of conventional weaponry. I don't know of any process that would harden aluminum enough to make any sort of difference. Detach the arm and use it as a bladed weapon but the obsidian dagger or axe destroys both the blade and the welder without much difficulty.

Most likely a similar aluminum alloy to that they made the guns from. Which is based on a real alloy. 

Wax posits that they are alloyed with "ekaboron" which is another name for scandium. Aluminum alloyed with 1% scandium hardens it to a considerable degree. Nearing, but not matching, steel. 

Aluminum in the Cosmere still exhibits properties beyond that of reality, but it's not as far fetched as I originally believed.

Edit: for completeness. 

Quote

“That’s a fundamental of Allomancy, you see. Steel is just iron with a pinch of carbon in it, but that makes all the difference. This aluminum has something else in it too—less than one percent. I think it might be ekaboron, but that’s really just a hunch. A little pinch. It works for men too, oddly. A tiny change can result in creating an entirely new person. How like metals we are.…” He shook his head, then waved for her to take a seat in a chair against the wall. “But you didn’t come to hear me blather. Come, tell me, what can I do for you?”

Quote

Very little amount of scandium is needed to improve aluminium alloys properties, less than 1wt% (weight percent). For instance, alloying scandium with aluminium-magnesium alloy increases its yield strength by up to 150% while preserving density and resistance to corrosion.

 

Edited by Calderis
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The scandian thing is something I didn't know. That takes care of structural integrity I suppose. Making a bladed weapon out of the material also seems feasible though there are other options that can be produced much more cheaply and would still be stronger than aluminum. Still it seems to me that it would make for a very expensive solution for negligible benefit. You want a skeleton immune to Allomancy with blade weapon add-on's? For metal you could use Silver. Or cut out the metal factor completely and use obsidian. 

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1 hour ago, Bigmikey357 said:

The scandian thing is something I didn't know. That takes care of structural integrity I suppose. Making a bladed weapon out of the material also seems feasible though there are other options that can be produced much more cheaply and would still be stronger than aluminum. Still it seems to me that it would make for a very expensive solution for negligible benefit. You want a skeleton immune to Allomancy with blade weapon add-on's? For metal you could use Silver. Or cut out the metal factor completely and use obsidian. 

It was ridiculously expensive, and it's not normally feasible, but the only options for a metal weapon that can't be pushed or pulled is aluminum (or one of it's still immune alloys... Which I really want to know more about, because as far as I know duralumin isn't immune), or super heavily invested like the bands. 

Silver is allomantically inert, as in it has no allomantic power, but it's not immune. Vin's earring is pushed numerous times in Era 1.

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1 hour ago, Bigmikey357 said:

Still it seems to me that it would make for a very expensive solution for negligible benefit.

Kandra can functionally live forever. Price doesn't always mean the same thing to them as it does to us.

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22 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

Kandra can functionally live forever. Price doesn't always mean the same thing to them as it does to us.

Exactly, see Melaan's response to Wax. 

Quote

“Harmony, I love this body,” MeLaan said, glancing toward Wax with a goofy grin on her face. “How did I ever consider wearing another?”
“Is that whole thing aluminum?” Wax asked.
“Yup!”
“It must be worth a fortune,” Wax said, standing and putting his back to the wall. The balcony was in front of him, the hallway he’d come down to his left. The kill squad would be following soon.
“Conveniently, I’ve had a few hundred years to save up,” MeLaan said.

 

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I see you guys are trying to slay me with textual evidence. It just may be working. However, a couple things to consider. One, Melaan isn't a typical kandra. She's rather an outlier in kandra society; most kandra don't think like her or would even go through the effort. Plus, unlike most Era 2 kandra she interacts with the outside rather more frequently than average. Two, a question. Was her stated purpose of having aluminum bones to prevent allomancy from taking hold on her? I rather think she did it to show off. More of a status symbol than anything practical; it's ridiculously expensive in both monetarily and in time consumption. Lastly, considering kandra wariness of humanity in general and allomancers in particular, if there was a significant benefit in having an aluminum True Body, if it protected them from allomancy to a significant degree, wouldn't we see more examples of aluminum use in the kandra population? 

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@Bigmikey357 MeLaan is definitely outside the norm, and I wouldn't expect to see this display of extravagance in the name of combat readiness from any other Kandra we've met... Well, save Paalm perhaps.

I think it was specifically to resist Allomancy, in the bones that were externally used as weapons, and for the internal it was a mixture of weight to strength consideration. It may help protect against emotional Allomancy control as well, in the same way that an aluminum foil hat protects a human, though the chances of an allomancer being strong enough to use that is unfeasible. 

I've been speaking specifically about the aluminum skeleton we've seen... As a general rule, I doubt it's worth the expense.

Edited by Calderis
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Why did Melaan change from the Aluminum skeleton to the crystalline skeleton? The Aluminum body is not too heavy according to Wax so what is the negative side of having an Aluminum skeleton? 

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 But too many spikes can be dangerous to the psyche, even with Ati not messing things up.

I'd bet a nickel this is a combination of the spikes punching holes in the spiritweb and the jumbles of Identity still on the spikes turning a multi spiker into a big soup of conflicting Identities. 

Also, while we're on the subject of metal true bodies, why Aluminum? You could have any compounder of a cheaper metal just turn each bone into a 'Month of X trait' metalmind and any sub Lord Ruler allomancer ain't gonna be able to do any pushing, and even the Lord Ruler wouldn't have the easiest time shoving those lumps. 

I'd imagine that Steel compounders would be the most in demand for this, assuming allomantic steel isn't so high carbon that it's brittle, and that Copper compounders would provide the cheapest, because they can very quickly do a Smellmind Sightmind and Hearingmind all at once (also it's funny to think of your bones being this random jumble of Senseminds). 

Also, if you get into unsealed metalminds or Kandra with feruchemy spikes it might be possible to have a kindra with either a load of storage of one trait in their bones or a jumble of different traits and a Necrosilmind to give them the Feruchemy necessary to tap it. Although in that case the Necrosilmind bone of their true body would be extremely important to keep inside them, as any attacker who can knock it out in one blow would essentially disable your poor-man's Full Feruchemist Kandra. 

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On 8/3/2018 at 5:26 PM, Solarserpent said:

Why did Melaan change from the Aluminum skeleton to the crystalline skeleton? The Aluminum body is not too heavy according to Wax so what is the negative side of having an Aluminum skeleton? 

Well for starters the Aluminum itself would prevent the kandra from using some metallic arts, (no Healing by WoB and likely nothing else "internal").  With any allomanctic alloy there's also the potential issue of a Leecher being able to get a goo hold on the Kandra at which point (if they have the appropriate allowmancy) they could literally burn away the skeleton.

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41 minutes ago, Quantus said:

Well for starters the Aluminum itself would prevent the kandra from using some metallic arts, (no Healing by WoB and likely nothing else "internal").  With any allomanctic alloy there's also the potential issue of a Leecher being able to get a goo hold on the Kandra at which point (if they have the appropriate allowmancy) they could literally burn away the skeleton.

Eh, due to the inconsistency of aluminum in the Metallic Arts, aluminum may not be safe from chromium anyway. 

Chromium seems to function as external aluminium, and aluminum destroys itself when burned... 

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1 hour ago, Mark_Confidant said:

Also, while we're on the subject of metal true bodies, why Aluminum? You could have any compounder of a cheaper metal just turn each bone into a 'Month of X trait' metalmind and any sub Lord Ruler allomancer ain't gonna be able to do any pushing, and even the Lord Ruler wouldn't have the easiest time shoving those lumps.

I think you may be overestimating the number of compounders in the populace. I imagine for world balance reasons, Brandon makes compounders extremely rare. The Terris people seem to be slightly more cloistered and secluded, making any twinborn very rare. Miles was probably one of (if not the only) natural-born compounder in-world at the time.

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