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TheBlueShifting

What Does a Forgery Actually Do? Letters from the Cosmere Part 17

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Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a new "Letters from the Cosmere" they added a whole new Form to post to!

Several months ago I lost my Hard Drive which gave out from overwork. With it, I lost my Thumbnails, notes, and Cosmere Art. This setback required and lengthy recovery but we are finally done! Look forward to the return of Letters from the Cosmere!

Forgery is by far the most interesting of the Cosmere's magic systems. it does something that no other Investiture (currently known) can do, alter the past. These changes are temporary and require an intimate understanding of the person or object that is to be affected. So what exactly is happening when a Forger applies a seal?

Here is the full transcript:

Of the many wonders of the Cosmere, Forgery is by far the most fascinating that I have ever come across. Forgers by the nature of their craft must reach a heightened understanding of realmic theory and the fundamental nature of the Cosmere. I suspect that Forgers can be numbered as some of the earliest metaphysical scholars in the post Yolan Cosmere.

Forgery is the expense of Sel Investiture into the Spiritual Nature of an intelligent entity, changing its connection and Spiritual History. This change cascades into the Cognitive Intelligence of the object and subsequently changes the nature of the Objects Cognitive form. This change is then reflected in the Physical realm. As you are likely aware, cognitive and physical changes are relatively common in the Cosmere, especially on Roshar where Soul casting provides the clearest example of this quantum relationship. However, the ability to affect the Spirit Web of an intelligence is far rarer, especially in such specific and dramatic ways.

I appreciate that the mechanics of Forgery can be complex so I will attempt to break them down in the simplest way I can manage. I have read your most current studies into the Spiritual Aspects of Ferrochemy and your understanding of these arts will be the cornerstone of this letter. In Ferrocheme the practitioner can store up the spiritual manifestation of concepts like Fortune, Identity, and Connection. With the storage and pulling of these aspects, the Ferrochemist twists their spirit web, which changes the way intelligent beings interact with them. (Note: intelligences are a reference to both animate and inanimate objects that have a cognitive presence.) This alters the flow of Investiture, power, and even pluck at the strings of fate. Yes, I was surprised to discover that fate is essentially a reality of the Cosmere. When we have Slivers, who can see the future it can be nearly impossible to outmaneuver their plans. Yet Investiture by its nature can change fate by altering the paths taken, dispelling the idea of absolute fate in favor of a dynamic collection of branching conductor fields of existence.

But I am getting ahead of myself. While the ability to manipulate the Spirit Web through Ferrochemy holds incredible potential, these changes are situational and are typically time-locked. While a metal mind does effectively shuttle attributes and investiture through time, they can only store at one point, to then be used at a future time. A Ferrochemist may be able to influence his luck through storage of or drawing out of fortune, they cannot change the events of the past. Forgery takes this into the realm of Quantum entanglement, and actually pushed an objects spirit web into a parallel potentiality of the past, accessing metaphysical information that is beyond the barrier of time dilation. By all accounts this should be impossible. In fact, I haven’t come across any accounts of Shards actively altering reality by manipulating the Spirit Web backward in time. This is a disturbing and fascinating discovery that I feel many of my fellow scholars have overlooked. It can be easy to overlook considering the Cosmere is filled with apparent exceptions to the rules. But Reaching back against the flow of time opens the doors to staggering implications in the realm of Physics and Realmac Theory. Even with my extensive years of study I feel I can barely brush against the momentous truths that this revelation brings.

Naturally, this process is temporary in the best of times, often these changes cannot maintain themselves longer than a day without needing to apply another crafted stamp. The process likely devours investiture at an incredible rate to maintain an effective bubble of altered time along the object’s or person’s past. Despite the incredible powers that I will sound be outlining, keep in mind that the physical limitation of Selian magic and the likely persistent need for Investiture limits the long-term effects of these powers. Perhaps there are work arounds but as of now, I am unaware of any practical methods of changing the current status quo.

As for the mechanics of this miraculous transformation, they are fairly straight forward. Ironic considering the implications of what this power is actually doing to the Cosmere. The Forger creates what is called a stamp out of a stable material. The best materials are those that can be shaped with delicate patterns but then be baked or locked into a ridged shape that is unlikely to break. Often a template is created for stamps that are intended to be maintained over a length of time so new stamps can be crafted and imprinted routinely.

Understanding the culminated history of the person or object that is to be forged is critical in the development of a stamp that is stable enough. Forgers remark on the need of believability for such changes to be made with any sense of stability. I feel that the underlying issue is a result of the instability inherent in the creation and sustaining of time opposing attractor fields. The closer such realities are to the tangible timeline the less investiture the time/space warping costs. By extension, the more likely a history of an object is to the Forger’s desired form, the more stable the stamps can be. For instance, it is nearly impossible to stamp iron into gold by trying to change the metals physical nature. Rather the Forger should learn about the mine where the iron was collected and alter the mines location or change the nature of the trade service that provided the metal. These changes work off an understanding that a mistaken delivery or a production order being placed with a different mine in the same region is far more likely that altering the planets metallic formation. Even so, these changes are likely too unstable to be useful. Intense study and reasoning is required to make any changes. This is why stamps that restore an object rather than replace it are far more common.

Once a stamp has been completed, an individual simply applies the stamp to the surface of the object (usually in an inconspicuous location) where the stamp begins to activate. A properly crafted stamp will resonate with the identity of the object it has been crafted for and will start to bond with it. From my studies, it can be assumed that the stamp at this point begins to bond through all three realms simultaneously which is why it seems to meld into the surface of the object without physically altering or damaging it. The stamp is then locked into place and activated. If crafted properly the stamp will take and the alterations will take hold almost immediately.

Forgery has perhaps the most boundless of practical and fantastical uses of all the Investiture based magic that I have ever seen. However, it also has some of the harshest limitations. Firstly, it is one of the Selian magics which is locked to the geographical location of its native continent. The farther away from its homeland the weaker these stamps become. Perhaps with artificial identity and connection methods, this barrier could be overcome much like how the Ire must exist. Yet there are other issues. Often the practitioner needs an intimate knowledge of an objects or person’s history. This would be difficult for a worldhopper who hasn’t spent decades living on worlds like Roshar or Taldain which have very different geological and physical histories as planets let alone their cultures and technology. Furthermore, the need for a consistent source of Investiture is a large issue. Perhaps a scholar far cleverer than I will find a way to let a stamp feed off a local source of investiture like Rosharian Stormlight, but such knowledge eludes me for the moment. Not to say that it’s impossible but using stamps off of Sel seems unlikely to me given Sels unusual Investiture situation.

I trust this letter finds you well, considering everything that is going on. The Cosmere continues to be a realm of conflict and struggle for both men and gods. Yet as we continue to peel back the layers of mysticism surrounding the Shards I feel we will eventually see wonders beyond our current reckoning. Give my best to Harmony.

 

Elsric

 

P.S. I just acquired some new books in one of the trading posts I passed through on my way to visit Roshar, look forward to a real treat when I return.

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Did you ever get a chance to use my picture? I have more art now, if you look for my Mistborn Tarot posts. (I need to continue that, actually...)

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On 2/14/2019 at 2:53 AM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Did you ever get a chance to use my picture? I have more art now, if you look for my Mistborn Tarot posts. (I need to continue that, actually...)

I'm pretty sure I did, but I will double check. Last year I lost my hard drive including all my links to the art and artists that I've used. Feel free to drop a direct link for me and I'll make sure to feature it! 

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Posted (edited)

Ok. I posted it here, or you can take a peek at my DeviantArt page (same user name.) I’ll have to look for the link. I also need to start working on my tarot deck again...

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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