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Steris and Allomancy

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Copy-pasta from my reddit post because I'm interested in what people think on this:

=> Is Steris an aluminum or duralumin misting? <=

Quote

 

This question came to mind when I started thinking on the differences between Marasi and Steris. Both were targeted for kidnapping by Miles for the Set, yet only Marasi had shown Allomantic power by then that we know of. So if both Marasi and Steris had the same father, and the Set doesn't seem likely to make a mistake at identifying viable Allomancy candidates for their plans, then I have to conclude that Steris either hasn't Snapped, or that she has an ability that isn't considered useful and has been heavily repressed.

As Marasi manifested her powers at an early age, it stands to reason that the "true" daughter of Lord Harms would have also been subjected to scrutiny as well, as an Allomancer strikes me to be a very desirable match in the higher echelons of society, when it concerned marriage (to say nothing of her family's wealth). However, if Steris did in fact Snap and manifested Allomantic powers that were considered *un*desirable, it feels as though her father would have heavily encouraged her to never try to display any Allomantic power whatsoever, similar to how Marasi was encouraged to not reveal that she was a Pulser except dialed up a bit. Combined with Steris's personality, her having an Allomantic ability deemed "useless" seems to me as if it would have the *opposite* effect on attracting suitors. Hence, my question.

 

 

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Steris is honest and rational. She might well for the reasons you gave hide being a gnat in public, but she would mention it in negotiations about a marriage, as it affects the prospective heirs. I think, and I am not alone in that, that she is an atium misting.

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I don't think atium mistings occur any longer @Oltux72. Atium can't be created without Ati.

Edit: went looking for WoBs to see if it's mentioned and found this...

Quote

otomo (paraphrased)

I asked to confirm whether after Sazed's Ascension if there were any more atium or malatium Mistings.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There are no more, in that way...

otomo (paraphrased)

In that way, huh?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*ominous look*

source

Whatever that means... 

Edited by Calderis
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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

I don't think atium mistings occur any longer @Oltux72. Atium can't be created without Ati.

Edit: went looking for WoBs to see if it's mentioned and found this...

Whatever that means... 

I have no idea what that means, other than it's not a good thing. Brandon giving an ominous look is never a good thing. 

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16 hours ago, Calderis said:

I don't think atium mistings occur any longer @Oltux72. Atium can't be created without Ati.

That of course raises the question of what happened to the existing Atium mistings. And if there is no more Atium, how has Silvereyes avoided death by old age?
And are there misting for Ettmetal? It is possible that swallowing it would cause you to explode, but does that mean that there are no mistings for it? Its alloys?

And why were no malatium mistings created, when the mists made mistings? And if you are an atium misting, are you actually an atium misting or a misting of god metals and their alloys?

Edited by Oltux72
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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

And if there is no more Atium, how has Silvereyes avoided death by old age?

No more atium is being produced, but Ironeyes has a bag of it from the end of Hero of Ages, and possibly has found little bits more of it that were spread throughout The Final Empire.

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11 hours ago, Invocation said:

No more atium is being produced, but Ironeyes has a bag of it from the end of Hero of Ages, and possibly has found little bits more of it that were spread throughout The Final Empire.

That is an answer, but it requires him to remain an allomancer and feruchemist of atium. Hence that would mean there are two generations of metallic arts.

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58 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

That is an answer, but it requires him to remain an allomancer and feruchemist of atium. Hence that would mean there are two generations of metallic arts.

There are. 

Quote

Kirrin

Marsh? The book doesn't mention him after he fights with Elend.

Brandon Sanderson

Marsh is alive. I changed this from when I talked to [Peter]. I realized some things about his use of Allomancy that would allow him to survive. Actually, he is immortal. He can pull off the same Allomancy/Feruchemy trick that the Lord Ruler did. (And he knows it too, since he was there when Sazed explained how it was done in Book One.) He's actually the only living person who actually knows this trick for certain. (Though there's a chance that Spook, Ham and Breeze heard about it from Vin and the others.) So yes, if there were another series, Marsh would make an appearance.

Douglas

I thought that trick required atium and involved burning the atium. With all the atium gone and Sazed not making any more, it would therefore not be possible even for a full mistborn/feruchemist. Am I wrong, is Sazed providing atium specifically for Marsh to allow a friend and valuable servant to survive, or what?

Brandon Sanderson

Marsh has the bag of Atium that KanPaar sent to be sold, as well as several nuggets in his stomach. So, I guess 'immortal' is the wrong phrase. He's got the only remaining atium in the world and can keep himself around for a long, long while—but he WILL eventually run out. Unless Sazed does something.

Footnote: Brandon had earlier told Peter that in his mind, Marsh was dead having been "burned out by the sun"
source

Existing atium persists. If you were born with the power to burn it (like Demoux) or are a Mistborn that can just burn everything, you can still use it. 

Edited by Calderis
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15 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

And are there misting for Ettmetal? It is possible that swallowing it would cause you to explode, but does that mean that there are no mistings for it? Its alloys?

Uh, unless the theoretical Allomantic power of harmonium/ettmetal is healing similar to tapping a Feruchemical goldmind, I would think that the first time someone capable of burning it did so would be the last time. Unless there were a Twinborn for F-gold and A-harmonium who was prepared for the attempt?

Are we sure the Northern Hemisphere of Scadrial has no ettmetal/harmonium, or is it simply something they haven't discovered because they are fat and happy (as Harmony implied), and the Words of Founding make no mention of it (since it didn't exist before)? After all, Harmony told them "there are two additional metals nobody know about (and their alloys)", which they've found in chromium/nicrosil and cadmium/bendalloy, so... God's own checklist is now complete, right?

As for Steris: I really like the idea that she's a "gnat". We haven't seen anything about how "gnats" are treated in Era 2, now that such Mistings would be known about, but there are hints that it is indeed something people might keep quiet about.

We know from one of Miles' POV in Alloy of Law that "burning gold" is a proverbial expression meaning "to do nothing useful", regarded as "little better than being an aluminum Misting", which implies that such "gnat Mistings" not only exist but know their own nature.

Miles also reflects on how Allomantic gold was "far less useful than its alloy" (electrum), which was "in turn was far less useful than one of the prime battle metals" (steel, iron, pewter). Also from Alloy of Law, we know that Lord Harms considered Marasi's Allomantic power so embarrassing that he wanted her to conceal it. And that "Allomancer Jak" plays up his being a Misting, threatening a group of koloss with a warning not to trigger him as "an Allomancer enraged", without mentioning the fact that he burns tin (nobody would be all that impressed with "a Tineye enraged").

Allomancy is hereditary but not its specific expression, so you'd think even being a "useless" Allomancer would be a plus in terms of pedigree, but evidently that's not how it's viewed in Elendel society. I guess that's because one's bloodline (if noble) is already kind of well documented, since the Originators were so small in number.

That would also explain Wax's observation that Coinshots and Pewterarms were among "the most common Allomancers", which contrasts with the idea that in principle, there should be an equal probability of becoming a Misting of any of the 16 metals. It's that the most useful Allomancers are the ones most commonly seen or known about, to the point where being known as a "useless" Allomancer could well be worse than being a regular person, especially in those middle school years ("You're an Allomancer, you say? You call that Allomancy? BWAHAHAHA!")

And we know that Sazed changed how Snapping works after his Ascension, in a way we don't understand yet - which may also be how aluminum Mistings now even know about their power at all. Aluminum simply extinguishes all metals, including itself, so what would there be for a Seeker to detect? It's almost like being an aluminum gnat would only be known if New Snapping now endows the Allomancer with an affinity for "their" metal, so that one would know "I could burn this" by looking at it, and then realizing, "But that's aluminum? Rusts."

Given how Lord Harms treats an illegitimate daughter like Marasi's "useless" Allomancy as "embarrassing" when it's actually tactically useful in certain situations, I could see a very logical Steris playing along with concealing being an aluminum gnat her whole life, as "it's just not something someone needs to know about me".

Edited by robardin
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57 minutes ago, robardin said:

Uh, unless the theoretical Allomantic power of harmonium/ettmetal is healing similar to tapping a Feruchemical goldmind, I would think that the first time someone capable of burning it did so would be the last time. Unless there were a Twinborn for F-gold and A-harmonium who was prepared for the attempt?

I gam pretty sure they would also try alloys. And coatings.

57 minutes ago, robardin said:

As for Steris: I really like the idea that she's a "gnat". We haven't seen anything about how "gnats" are treated in Era 2, now that such Mistings would be known about, but there are hints that it is indeed something people might keep quiet about.

We are talking about a woman who puts the numbers of time per week of having sex into a contract.

57 minutes ago, robardin said:

Miles also reflects on how Allomantic gold was "far less useful than its alloy" (electrum), which was "in turn was far less useful than one of the prime battle metals" (steel, iron, pewter). Also from Alloy of Law, we know that Lord Harms considered Marasi's Allomantic power so embarrassing that he wanted her to conceal it.

Inconclusive. It is extra embarrasing if the illegitimate daughter is more powerful than the legitimate daughter.

57 minutes ago, robardin said:

That would also explain Wax's observation that Coinshots and Pewterarms were among "the most common Allomancers", which contrasts with the idea that in principle, there should be an equal probability of becoming a Misting of any of the 16 metals. It's that the most useful Allomancers are the ones most commonly seen or known about, to the point where being known as a "useless" Allomancer could well be worse than being a regular person, especially in those middle school years ("You're an Allomancer, you say? You call that Allomancy? BWAHAHAHA!")

That raises a point. Specific allomancers may move to specific cities for some reason.

But this is getting interesting. The people of Northern Scadrial being aristocrats should study the inheritance of allomancy. It seems to me if there are allomancers of unavailable metals anomalies should show in the data.

 

57 minutes ago, robardin said:

And we know that Sazed changed how Snapping works after his Ascension, in a way we don't understand yet - which may also be how aluminum Mistings now even know about their power at all. Aluminum simply extinguishes all metals, including itself, so what would there be for a Seeker to detect?

IIRC Vin reports that all other reserves were gone. Nevertheless you could get a leecher to leech them for testing.

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The powers are not distributed equally, and we have no idea why. Coinshot are more common per a few WoBs, and we have this from VenDell concerning Feruchemy and the spiritual metals. 

Quote

Wax stepped forward along the cone of light emanating from the machine. “So what do they do?”
“Research is ongoing,” VenDell said. “Ferrings with these abilities are very, very rare—and it is only in the last few decades that we’ve had access to enough of these metals to begin experimenting. Rebuilding society has been a … wearisome process.”

For some unknown reason, certain powers are more common than others. 

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20 hours ago, Calderis said:

The powers are not distributed equally, and we have no idea why. Coinshot are more common per a few WoBs, and we have this from VenDell concerning Feruchemy and the spiritual metals. 

For some unknown reason, certain powers are more common than others. 

Hmm, and this is Harmony's doing as well? Because it was strongly suggested that the probabilities were 1/16 each with the workings of the "mistfallen" Snappings. While 16% of the non-Terris non-Allomancers were raised to "operancy", 1/16 of them were sick the longest, a clue that they were special Mistings (Seers who could burn atium) - but also suggesting that all the other 15 metals were 1/16 in distrubition, too. Because if the whole point of the remnant of Preservation triggering an Emergency Snapping System was to create Allomancers, in particular ones who could burn away the body of Ruin, wouldn't he have made more than 1/16 of them Seers if he could have done so?

Yeah, I know that the recurring "16" was Preservation's numerical hint, but it seemed to me that making the Seers sick 16 times longer than the others was intended as the specific clue as to their special nature - not that 1/16 of them were Seers (while 1/4 were Coinshots or Pewterarms or something, and only 1/64 were gnats or Mistings of an unknown metal).

I looked for WoBs in the Arcanum search for the keywords "Coinshots" and "common" but didn't turn one up saying that Coinshots are actually more prevalent, rather than simply "common" in society (seen and known about), which is the way I took it. I found one that said that Allomancers were common enough in Era 2 that "most people would know a Coinshot"; I guess that could mean that Coinshots are an outsized group of Allomancers relative to the others, or simply that people would know their Coinshot acquaintances as such because they'd be publicly using their abilities, while an aluminum gnat or even a Pulser might be hiding the ability.

Edited by robardin
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OK, this is the WoB in question 

Quote

Kaymyth (parapharased) (paraphrased)

I asked another question about the population levels of Mistings, Ferrings, and Twinborn.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The numbers in the [Alloy of Law Mistborn Adventure Game] supplement are off. (It states the occurrence of Mistings/Ferrings is 1 in 50 people.) He said that they're not terrible, but they definitely are shown as somewhat more common than they really are. But he also said that they're not nearly as rare as people seem to think; for example, he stated that virtually everyone would know at least one Coinshot. So there are definitely a lot of Allomancers around.

And the occurrence of Twinborn would not be a normal statistical spread (alas).  As folks opined before in this thread, the Terris folk do tend to keep somewhat to themselves, so there's not a huge amount of population mix.  So Twinborn will be rarer.

I did point out that there had to be some mix, else we'd be seeing full Feruchemists around, and to that he mostly just smiled and looked mysterious.  As he does.

Footnote: Kaymyth later clarified that Brandon said that the MAG numbers are too high.
source

And her is the post Kaymyth made that that Footnote links to. Emphasis mine. 

On 5/24/2015 at 11:22 AM, Kaymyth said:

 

The MAG numbers are too high.  Mistings and Ferrings aren't quite as common in the population as the supplement states.  (But they're still a lot more common than Final Empire numbers.)

 

Another potential tidbit of amusement that I just remembered:  someone asked how much Sazed "cheated" when it came to the Metalborn distribution.  That was met by more mysterious smiles and even a bit of chuckling.

 

Sorry this is coming in so disjointed, but that Magic tournament ran late last night.  I am too old to be staying up past 1AM anymore.

There's something going on with the distribution, and consider there are "rare" Ferrings, and the genetics that cause Ferrings are allomantic genes (Feruchemy naturally expresses only as full Feruchemists in isolation) I find it unlikely that the allomantic genes themselves are an equal distribution. 

I'll fully admit that I thought there were other WoBs on this and there may be that I just can't remember the wording  to search for them properly. Or there may not, and I'm misremembering. 

1 hour ago, robardin said:

Yeah, I know that the recurring "16" was Preservation's numerical hint, but it seemed to me that making the Seers sick 16 times longer than the others was intended as the specific clue as to their special nature - not that 1/16 of them were Seers (while 1/4 were Coinshots or Pewterarms or something, and only 1/64 were gnats or Mistings of an unknown metal).

The whole mistsnapping mechanism is weird in itself, because of the whole replacement of one of the 16 aspect, and we get absolutely no numbers on anything except for the atium mistings. 

The point of the "sign" was the ones who could burn atium. How the mistsickness itself functioned beyond them is never made clear, and the unknown metals would confuse things further, especially when the metal that was bumped for atium was aluminum. 

Quote

wicktacular

At the end of the first Mistborn trilogy it's really significant that 1/16th of the soldiers who got really sick are now atium Mistings.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

wicktacular

questioner's paraphrase, delete after review: So, were the other remaining group of soldiers that fell sick all still Mistings of the other base metals?

So were there-- were 1/16th of the rest of them just *inaudible* just not significant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Sixteen that he-- when Preservation set that all up. He, number one, was not all there. But he was trying to create sixteen as a symbol to say, "Hey, catch this. I've given you a clue-- uh-- help." And so it was devised specifically for that. "*inaudible* Something's going on here."

wicktacular

But we know that there's more than sixteen metals. Wh--

Brandon Sanderson

No, no, they would have been Mistings of other types as well.

wicktacular

Did he bump one of the other types then to make it sixteen?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

wicktacular

Okay. Do you have in your head *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

Chromium.

wicktacular

Chromium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's right. It would probably have been one of the metals that was difficult to get at that level of technology. It would have been chromium - chromium would be hard gather at that time. Actually, no, it would have been aluminum. *about a minute later, while signing someone else's book* Hold on, there's a caveat to that last answer. Let me finish signing this and expand on that. *pause* So, it would still have been aluminum, but not for the reason your thinking. It would have been aluminum, but there's an asterisk next to that answer.

wicktacular

Okay. Interesting.

Brandon Sanderson

Hard to get chromium.

wicktacular

I've been thinking about--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh no! He bumped aluminum. Yeah, he bumped aluminum. Sorry I had to-- I changed my mind.

wicktacular

Oh!

Brandon Sanderson

*a moment later*

Okay, Chad? I have a <qualification> for you. I'll do this and then we'll...

*a moment later*

So...

wicktacular

On the sixteen or the *inaudible*...

Brandon Sanderson

The sixteen. So the answer is "yes," but it's not something-- it's not what you're thinking it is. 

wicktacular

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

Alright, there's an asterisk on it, okay? There's an asterisk on it, it's not what you're thinking. Uh, you're making-- you're making assumptions. 

source

So, I don't think we have a lot to go. I'll keep looking for those other WoBs, and hopefully my brain isn't grasping at imagined trails. 

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Presumably the process of making you an aluminium misting would block itself, as the mists are also investiture, so you'd burn your own changing power away.

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I believe, that since there were very limited numbers of mistings and mistborn at the end of HoA, it could account for the disparity in mistings, since it's most likely that the most common misting to survive would have been a coinshot or lurcher.

Even assuming a fair and even distribution of allomantic mistings, we wouldn't see a guaranteed equivalent amount after several generations, this is because, given the information at hand - we assume that allomantic ability is recessive and is a sex-linked trait (passed on the X chromosome).

The real question here is whether or not allomancy itself is the trait passed, with the type being determined after birth, or if each type of allomancy has a chance to be passed based on the genetic history - my guess is the latter, which means that in a given family, there would be different chances for the different mistings depending on how many of a specific type were in that family previously.

For example, if Lord Mistborn got together with a Tineye, there would be disproporionate chance that the child born would be a tineye, but there would also be chances that they could be any of the others (including full mistborn) AND a chance that they would be normal.

It's a lot of math, but It would make sense that some of the most commonly born mistings would be the ones who A.) Had more population to begin with, or B.) Were highly valued for their ability, such as lurchers and coinshots.

Man, one of these days I'll have to go to a book signing to ask him about the genetic process for allomancer births.




Sorry for the necro :(


 

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I bet Steris is a Duralumin gnat.  Completely worthless by itself, but scary useful for a group playing around with hemalurgy.

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2 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I bet Steris is a Duralumin gnat.  Completely worthless by itself, but scary useful for a group playing around with hemalurgy.

But her parents would surely test her for allomancy. How could she not know?

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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

But her parents would surely test her for allomancy. How could she not know?

Since duralumin has no actual effects on its own, it wouldnt be a particularly easy thing to test for.  The only tangible effect I can think of is that the metal would still eventually burn off, but it would be hard to tell the difference between having no actual ability and an amateur simply failing to burn that time.  And Duralumin burns at a slow and steady rate, not in a burst like the other metals, further complicating any test protocol

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4 minutes ago, Quantus said:

Since duralumin has no actual effects on its own, it wouldnt be a particularly easy thing to test for.  The only tangible effect I can think of is that the metal would still eventually burn off, but it would be hard to tell the difference between having no actual ability and an amateur simply failing to burn that time.  And Duralumin burns at a slow and steady rate, not in a burst like the other metals, further complicating any test protocol

Right, it would be utterly unscientific to test for it also as it would be completely reliant on the patient self-reporting a vague sense of something in their stomach that has no observable effect.  The placebo and nocebo effects would be enormous.

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8 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

Right, it would be utterly unscientific to test for it also as it would be completely reliant on the patient self-reporting a vague sense of something in their stomach that has no observable effect.  The placebo and nocebo effects would be enormous.

Either that or a lot of rather unpleasant stomach purging...

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16 minutes ago, Quantus said:

Since duralumin has no actual effects on its own, it wouldnt be a particularly easy thing to test for.  The only tangible effect I can think of is that the metal would still eventually burn off, but it would be hard to tell the difference between having no actual ability and an amateur simply failing to burn that time.  And Duralumin burns at a slow and steady rate, not in a burst like the other metals, further complicating any test protocol

I'd think during the testing, they'd be able to find someone who's a Seeker to check.

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9 minutes ago, Invocation said:

I'd think during the testing, they'd be able to find someone who's a Seeker to check.

Quiet You, with your simple and effective logic!

(Don't know why that never occurred to me...)

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5 minutes ago, Quantus said:

(Don't know why that never occurred to me...)

Probably because no one pays attention to Seekers. They don't come up much, especially in Era 2 where there are no Mistborn to burn bronze as a reminder.

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I don't get how suddenly all of these new powers suddenly appeared. When Elund became a Mistborn or when Vin drew on the mists why didn't they get all the new metals? They only got what they had previously used, and now even atium.

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10 minutes ago, Chinkoln said:

I don't get how suddenly all of these new powers suddenly appeared. When Elund became a Mistborn or when Vin drew on the mists why didn't they get all the new metals? They only got what they had previously used, and now even atium.

Perception plays a large role in cosmere magic. Elend while being fueled by Vin, or Vin powered by the mists probably could have used one of the other metals had they known about them. But they didn't, so they didn't look, so they weren't there.

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