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Ok, so in forgery you re-write an objects history in a believable way so could someone who knows and thinks about objects as atoms, could they re-write the history of say pure-Iron to change the number of Protons in it, a small change and create basically anything?

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Not really. Remember that Forgery is based on both the actual and the Cognitive plausibility of the change. Forging a window to have been repaired after it was damaged is far easier than turning that window into something else and forging a piece of lead into something of gold would be almost impossibly implausible since the idea that someone would have used the one in place of the other originally is so unlikely as to be generally impossible. Shai explains this directly in the story. Some kinds of change could be done (Shai herself points out that gold-into-lead is a lot more probable) but simply taking a bit of iron and transforming it into anything else, no. There's another magic system in another of Brandon's books called Soulcasting that's better at 'anything into anything' transformations, though even it has some limitations.

Edited by Weltall
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I doubt it.  How would you "stamp" an atom, after all? Also, it's not the size of the change, it's the plausibility. Changing the atom...you would have to convince it that during its creation, however many billions of years ago, it ended up with a different number of protons, and that everything that had happened since then was different. Don't think that's going to be happening.

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On 11/9/2019 at 3:20 PM, Booknerd said:

Ok, so in forgery you re-write an objects history in a believable way so could someone who knows and thinks about objects as atoms, could they re-write the history of say pure-Iron to change the number of Protons in it, a small change and create basically anything?

Intriguing idea.

Edited by Karger
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On 11/9/2019 at 3:33 PM, RShara said:

I doubt it.  How would you "stamp" an atom, after all? Also, it's not the size of the change, it's the plausibility. Changing the atom...you would have to convince it that during its creation, however many billions of years ago, it ended up with a different number of protons, and that everything that had happened since then was different. Don't think that's going to be happening.

Besides which, why would you want to stamp a single molecule instead of the entire object? And even if you could, depending on what you were trying to achieve, it'd actually make it less plausible to end up the object you wanted by changing a property that fundamental, instead of the backstory.

For example, it'd probably be much easier to Forge an iron fireplace poker into a steel sword than by rewriting its history to make that the smith's goal in the first place, than to Forge it at a molecular level to turn iron into steel, trying to get a stainless steel fireplace poker.

Instead of "the apprentice sat there making a bunch simple iron pokers, one per iron ingot, from a pile in front of him", now the story goes "...but then the master smith ran in, grabbed the ingot from the top of the apprentice's pile, and tossed it into the furnace with some coal to immediately start making that steel sword Lord Whatsisface had commissioned for the ceremony tommorrow morning, that he'd completely forgotten about. Days and Nights!".

But who would bother to want to make a stainless steel fireplace poker in smithy days? You'd have to come up with something much less plausible and further from the object's actual history. Even if you managed it, the stamp wouldn't "stick" very well.

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It is plausible thought that when the star went nova it produced gold instead of iron. 

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On 21/11/2019 at 11:00 PM, Karger said:

It is plausible thought that when the star went nova it produced gold instead of iron. 

No. The curve of nuclear binding energy is against you. What you describe is in fact impossible. Forgery requires plausible changes. The impossible is right out.

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28 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

No. The curve of nuclear binding energy is against you. What you describe is in fact impossible. Forgery requires plausible changes. The impossible is right out.

Most iron is created by the fusion of smaller elements(such as H, He, and Li) correct?

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20 minutes ago, Karger said:

Most iron is created by the fusion of smaller elements(such as H, He, and Li) correct?

Yes. But then the process ends. You need to switch to the r, p and rp-processes, which occur only during the actual detonation of a supernova and cost energy. Therefore iron and nickel will always predominate.

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4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

rp-processes

Which can create any element.  We just rewrite the iron's history so that it was gold made from the rp processes instead.  Alternatively lead is in fact created by the RP-processes it is only a few protons off...

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10 hours ago, Karger said:

Which can create any element.  We just rewrite the iron's history so that it was gold made from the rp processes instead.  Alternatively lead is in fact created by the RP-processes it is only a few protons off...

You are still doing a crime against entropy. And the abundance of lead respectively gold in a planetary crust do not reflect universal abundance.

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3 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

You are still doing a crime against entropy. And the abundance of lead respectively gold in a planetary crust do not reflect universal abundance.

In the books she makes herself in better shape and puts a window back together after breaking it.

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On 11/26/2019 at 7:42 AM, Ookla the Prolific said:

In the books she makes herself in better shape and puts a window back together after breaking it.

It would require very specific information about the origin of that chunk of Iron. It’s possible that it didn’t all come from the same star. Some of it might even be from decayed heavier elements (not sure on the process there and I don’t have time to look).

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9 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

It would require very specific information about the origin of that chunk of Iron. It’s possible that it didn’t all come from the same star. Some of it might even be from decayed heavier elements (not sure on the process there and I don’t have time to look).

I doubt it came from different stars.  The probability of that is after all astronomical!  Fission is possible but it generally only goes to lead in the natural world.  Neither are likely to be of concern to a forger.

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12 hours ago, Ookla the Prolific said:

I doubt it came from different stars.  The probability of that is after all astronomical!  Fission is possible but it generally only goes to lead in the natural world.  Neither are likely to be of concern to a forger.

I guess I’m approaching the problem the wrong way anyway. If you’re going to forge something you don’t need to know its origin at an atomic level, you need to know the history of its cognitive reflection. It likely would not have ever had a reflection until it was taken out of the ground and even then, the reflection would have changed several time as it went from raw ore to molten metal to pig iron or ingots and finally to a finished product. The easiest line of attack there would be the finished product since a craftsman is involved. If you’re trying change metal types you could probably rewrite the target customer of what ever it is, and make it richer or more extravagant with lots of rare materials and ornamentation.

it also occurs to me that rewriting metal in ingot form would be practically useless since you couldn’t make anything out of it without breaking the seal.

 

edit: grammar.

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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This topic came up in another thread recently, in context of using Forgery with Allomancy.  Where it landed is that it would be far, FAR easier (and thus more Investiture efficient) to attempt to forge the history of your own acquisition of the metal, as opposed to the metal's actual stellar origin (which in the Cosmere may or may not have been a natural Process).  So rather than rewriting history so that the star produced a chunk of Iron instead of Lead, you just rewrite your own history of a certain shopping trip to the mineral supply store so that you bought something different.  So long as the store stocked both, you might be able to make the change with only a few days worth of temporal ret-con rather than the literal Billions of years.  And that's assuming that star was natural and not Created like Scadrial or so much of the Rosharan system.  If you tried to retcon the actual creation of Metals on Scadrial, for example, you will eventually be trying to directly manipulate the Investiture working of not one but Two full Shards, which Forgery may simply be unable to overcome.  

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