14 posts in this topic

It's been a while since I've been on, but I had a thought while rereading Hero of Ages that is worth some consideration.

Allomantic Savants are created by constantly flaring an allomantic metal long enough that it causes physical changes to the body. This prompted a 2 part question.

1) Can someone who gained their allomantic ability via a hemalurgic spike become an Allomantic Savant?
2) If so, what would happen if the spike was subsequently removed?

I have my own ideas, but I'm curious what the Shard's hivemind thinks before I taint the pool with my original thoughts. 

So please, discuss. 

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Savantism is caused by using a power so much and for so long that it changes your spiritweb. So yeah, it doesn't matter how you get that power, if you use it to that point, you would become a savant.

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Yes, savantism is more about over-use or over-exposure to Investiture which causes a warping of the Spirit-web that has become infuled with invetiture so much that it causes changes to the physical form.   A similar thing happens on Roshar to people that over-use Soulcaster fabrials.  I dont think we know what would happen if you removed one from a savant.  Assuming you could survive the removal of the spike (depends on where it was implanted) I could see you retaining some shadow of the original abilities, but since narrative savantism is supposed to be a down-side, I think it more likely that you'd have withdrawl symptoms  just like a normal allomantic savant who stops flairing. 

No idea if you could use Gold or Regrowth to heal the savantism away.  

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54 minutes ago, Quantus said:

No idea if you could use Gold or Regrowth to heal the savantism away.  

While the situation of savantism via a (later removed) spike would be unusual, I suspect that F-Gold or indeed any method of Cosmere healing would not do anything to the effects of savantism in that situation, whatever they might be. As far as the magic is concerned, there's nothing wrong with you that needs to be 'healed'.

 

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3 minutes ago, Weltall said:

While the situation of savantism via a (later removed) spike would be unusual, I suspect that F-Gold or indeed any method of Cosmere healing would not do anything to the effects of savantism in that situation, whatever they might be. As far as the magic is concerned, there's nothing wrong with you that needs to be 'healed'.

damnation, that honestly makes even less sense to me, though I read the WOB the same way you do.  I understand the whole "there's nothing wrong with you to heal" in the context of not healing things like Kaladin's natural chemical Depression, or various genetic abnormalities that can always be debated as evolution rather than damage, but the change that happens with savantism is the result of external forces on the spiritweb, more akin to Shardblade damage I would think.  Though the same could be said for Snapping and/or the Nahel bond and Cosmere healing doesnt touch those.  Curiouser and Curiouser. 

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25 minutes ago, Quantus said:

damnation, that honestly makes even less sense to me, though I read the WOB the same way you do.  I understand the whole "there's nothing wrong with you to heal" in the context of not healing things like Kaladin's natural chemical Depression, or various genetic abnormalities that can always be debated as evolution rather than damage, but the change that happens with savantism is the result of external forces on the spiritweb, more akin to Shardblade damage I would think.  Though the same could be said for Snapping and/or the Nahel bond and Cosmere healing doesnt touch those.  Curiouser and Curiouser. 

Calling F-gold healing is not completely accurate. F-gold is the ability of the body to conform to a person's spiritweb. When you become a savant, you warp your spiritweb, and as a result gold just keeps you a savant. The blueprint that good uses to heal you is changed by savantism, not just the body.

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3 minutes ago, HSuperLee said:

Calling F-gold healing is not completely accurate. F-gold is the ability of the body to conform to a person's spiritweb. When you become a savant, you warp your spiritweb, and as a result gold just keeps you a savant. The blueprint that good uses to heal you is changed by savantism, not just the body.

Whatever you want to call it, it heals damage to the spiritweb such as what is caused by a Shardblade or even being the donor for a hemalurical spike, meaning it can regenerate large portions of the web that have been entirely removed.  If it were purely using the Spiritweb as a blueprint to alter the physical aspect, that would not happen. 

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The point is that the 'blueprint' that represents a healthy you has been altered by savantism's warping of the spiritweb so that whatever it looked like before you became a savant is no longer relevant. Healing magic will restore you based on the new savantism-altered template and attempts to heal damage to the spiritweb itself will also restore the modified spiritweb rather than your original one.

The only example we have of 'healing' savantism was Sazed restoring Spook's spiritweb at the end of Hero of Ages and that's not only dealing with Shardic levels of power and access to the Spiritual Realm but a potentailly unique case given how deeply the power of Preservation and Ruin permeate everything on Scadrial. Even if another Shard could look at someone and say 'yes, this is what their spiritweb looked like before they became a savant' they might not be able to change it the way that Sazed was able to change Spook.

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Just now, Weltall said:

The point is that the 'blueprint' that represents a healthy you has been altered by savantism's warping of the spiritweb so that whatever it looked like before you became a savant is no longer relevant. Healing magic will restore you based on the new savantism-altered template and attempts to heal damage to the spiritweb itself will also restore the modified spiritweb rather than your original one.

 

Im not seeing your point.  How is healing the change to the spiritweb caused by a Blade or Spike different from healing the changed caused by over-exposure to Investiture.

For the record, I 100% agree that you are correct by the evidence, Im just having trouble grasping the Why of it.  The only difference I see is Warping damage vs Cutting/Ripping damage.  Maybe it keys of the presence of unnatural edges in the web?

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2 hours ago, Quantus said:

Im not seeing your point.  How is healing the change to the spiritweb caused by a Blade or Spike different from healing the changed caused by over-exposure to Investiture.

Let me try a programming analogy and say that your spiritweb is a computer program. When your spiritweb is damaged (say, because some Shardbearer took a swing at your left arm) the damaged portion is like code that's been commented out. The code that tells you how your arm works is still there, it's just not currently on speaking terms with the rest of your spiritweb. Healing then fixes this damage by repairing the block that keeps the rest of your spiritweb from interacting with the damaged portion, like a programmer removing the comment and allowing the code to be run again.

With savantism however what's happening is that the underlying code is being rewritten so that it's no longer the same as what it used to be. Therefore the healing doesn't do anything because there's no 'damage' to repair as far as it's concerned.

Does that help any?

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3 hours ago, Weltall said:

While the situation of savantism via a (later removed) spike would be unusual, I suspect that F-Gold or indeed any method of Cosmere healing would not do anything to the effects of savantism in that situation, whatever they might be. As far as the magic is concerned, there's nothing wrong with you that needs to be 'healed'.

Well, the spike is missing and hence an ability. Would the gold restore it?

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8 minutes ago, Weltall said:

Let me try a programming analogy and say that your spiritweb is a computer program. When your spiritweb is damaged (say, because some Shardbearer took a swing at your left arm) the damaged portion is like code that's been commented out. The code that tells you how your arm works is still there, it's just not currently on speaking terms with the rest of your spiritweb. Healing then fixes this damage by repairing the block that keeps the rest of your spiritweb from interacting with the damaged portion, like a programmer removing the comment and allowing the code to be run again.

With savantism however what's happening is that the underlying code is being rewritten so that it's no longer the same as what it used to be. Therefore the healing doesn't do anything because there's no 'damage' to repair as far as it's concerned.

Does that help any?

I like where you are going.  How would that reconcile with the more extreme Hemalurgic case, where whole working chunks are removed?  Some sort of RAID array redundancy?  It still feels like the Savantism should be Corrupted Code, rather than simply being rewritten.

And while we're chasing the Computer Code analogy (which I find myself defaulting to a lot), how would you describe Forgery vs Soulcasting?

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Posted (edited)

48 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Well, the spike is missing and hence an ability. Would the gold restore it?

I don't think so. The 'ability' comes from the spike and it's been described as something stapled onto your spiritweb, so once the spike is removed there's nothing there on your spiritweb to be healed, just the original template. Now, the purely Physical manifestations of having a removed spike (ie, the hole in your body) would be healed, but that's sort of a separate issue.

46 minutes ago, Quantus said:

I like where you are going.  How would that reconcile with the more extreme Hemalurgic case, where whole working chunks are removed?  Some sort of RAID array redundancy?  It still feels like the Savantism should be Corrupted Code, rather than simply being rewritten.

And while we're chasing the Computer Code analogy (which I find myself defaulting to a lot), how would you describe Forgery vs Soulcasting?

You mean like the hypothetical person who survives being a hemalurgic donor? Kind of hard to say since we know practically nothing about them other than nobody knows how to do that right now and if it could be done, the victim would be worse than a Drab. It might be similar to what we see in Stormlight Archive:

Spoiler

Where the 'Deadeye' spren have had a large chunk of their soul ripped away, something Brandon's likened to having a cybernetic implant in your brain that was simply torn out

But as far as the damage to the spiritweb itself, the 'worse than a Drab' thing sounds like it's doing far more damage to the soul than just taking away the bit that says 'you're an allomancer with A-Steel' or whatever it is the spike steals, since that would leave you at the 'baseline human' level and we know that's not the same as being a Drab.

Actually, the fact that Sazed could heal Spook tells us that there's got to be some record of what your spiritweb looked like in the past (an earlier code revision, let's say) that could be reverted to. But since humans perceive time moving in a linear fashion, they don't have the means to access these previous versions of the spiritweb. Sazed with his much greater ability to perceive the Spiritual Realm could do what an ordinary human, even a highly Invested one, couldn't.

As for Forgery and Soulcasting... well, in the latter case the most common uses are to change one thing into a pure essence. I'd imagine that what happens is that you'd look at the parts of the code that say 'these are your bones and composed of this, these are your muscles and composed of that, etc.' and replace all of that code with whatever the Essence is. So, you get the criminal whose soul suddenly tells him that he's actually made entirely of quartz, or the Wind's Pleasure suddenly getting all of its code for the wood, caulk, rigging, fastenings, sails and everything else suddenly changed to 'water'.

Forgery is like hemalurgy in that your original code is still there, it's just gotten something added to it on a non-permanent basis. In the case of living things, maybe the best analogy would be that the Soulstamp is like a virus that tricks you into running modified code (whatever the stamp is programmed for) until such time as the antivirus software is able to remove the virus, at which point the Soulstamp fails. More plausible stamps would be like a better-programmed virus that takes longer to detect. The analogy kind of falls apart since there are stamps that can persist indefinitely for inanimate objects but even the best stamp will only last a day or so on a human, but it's close enough I think.

Edited by Weltall
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Posted (edited)

@Weltall  back up for a sec, where do you get the "worse than a drab" bit?  That's new to me and would wildly change my outlook on the entire topic.  It would be the difference between F-gold/Regrowth being able to reattach a finger vs regrow a whole new one, and the more regenerative option is where a lot of this is based on.

EDIT: so I found these two, and Im not sure he was answering the actual question asked, as he just reiterates that a spike donor doesnt have to die but is loosing a big piece of their web. Admittedly though, all the WOBs I thought confirmed it worked outright are either euqally as vague, or else RAFO'd, so I think it's time I backpedal my stance... 

EDIT again:  One last thing, on the topic of Sazed being able to heal Spook because of some record of his previous Spiritweb, I think the Onmi-temporal nature of the Spiritual realm fully supports that such a thing exists, but I'd also say there's a very real possibility that Sazed could pull it off specifically because he is the Power of Preservation

 

Quote

Volratho

If someone was tapping gold, would spiking a separate ability out of them kill them? Or would it work at all?

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible to spike someone without killing them. But they'd never be the same. It would be worse than being a drab.

source

 

Quote

The_Vikachu

I remember reading you answer earlier that a person being used to charge a hemalurgic spike does not necessarily have to die. Would that victim be similar to a Drab from Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, making a spike rips off a piece of someone's soul. So...yeah. I'd need to see my exact quote from before, but let's say it's not going to leave a person in good shape.

source

 

Edited by Quantus
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