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Honorless

ruin
Who powers Feruchemy?

Question

So we've been told that Feruchemy is of both Preservation and Ruin.

Allomancy preserves the Allomancer, allowing them to burn metals which act as keys to Preservation's power

Hemalurgy allows one to steal attributes. Ruin's Investiture steals part of the Spiritweb from the... donor, keyed to both the metal used and specific bindpoints and grafts it on to the recipient's soul, while ensuring that the spikes being driven through their body itself doesn't end up killing the recipient.

Feruchemy allows one to store an attribute and tap or access it later. It is end-neutral, the Feruchemist doesn't gain or lose their attributes, making it of Preservation. In order to tap the attribute later, the attribute being stored deteriorates, making it of Ruin.

My question is: how can it also be of Ruin? Doesn't giving his own Investiture go against his Intent?

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1 hour ago, Honorless said:

My question is: how can it also be of Ruin? Doesn't giving his own Investiture go against his Intent?

1) The intents of the Shards aren't related to what you can do with the magic but how you access it in the first place. Allomancy lets you preserve your own strength by drawing on Preservation's power, hemalurgy results from an intent to ruin someone else, feruchemy lets you ruin yourself in the short term and preserve your strength for when you need it.

2) The intents of the Shards are not inwardly-directed, which is how Preservation can 'give' Investiture in the first place. Ruin has no problems giving a tiny bit of his Investiture to power hemalurgy (which results in a net increase in entropy) or however it works in feruchemy, since that evens out to neutral but doesn't really go against his intent either way. End result is still going to be the same.

3) Ruin isn't 'just' entropy or destruction, he's capable of creating for the purpose of destroying. Sazed puts it well in one of the epigraphs.

Quote

Ruin could plan and carefully plot, knowing if he built one thing up, he could use it to knock down two others. The nature of the world is that when we create something, we often destroy something else in the process.

 

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Feruchemy is powered by the soul of the Feruchemist. 

You "ruin" yourself at one time to "preserve" yourself at another. 

Feruchemy as the ability is of both Shards. By power, it's of neither. It's completely internal. 

Quote

drughat

Is the reason why Allomancy creates allomantic pulses visible to Seekers because it is an external magic drawing upon Preservation's power? In other words, is the reason why Feruchemy is much, much harder to detect by burning bronze because it is an internal magic?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

/r/books AMA 2015 (May 25, 2015)

 

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This WoB may help:

Spoiler

Questioner

What is Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard in specific? Yes, they talk about that in the books.

Questioner

Ok, it's like, of Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could say that.

Brandon Sanderson

Because it seems like one Shard, one magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, it's more that-- They, in their philosophy, say that it's kind of a hybrid between the two, but you could kind of feel that it's more--

Questioner

It seems more Preservation.

Brandon Sanderson

It seems more Preservation, but in-world they think it's kind of a hybrid. The philosophy says that one was kind of net-positive, one was kind of net-negative and one was a hybrid. That's their in-world philosophy. I personally would place it more with Preservation.

Questioner

Ok so more than one magic system can be tied to one Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Questioner

Ok, that's what I wanted to know.

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, the definition of magic system can be, is so fluid. Like you can look at this book and say "how many magic systems are there?". Is Surgebinding one or is it ten?

Questioner

Allomancy's 16--

Brandon Sanderson

Is Allomancy 16 or one, and things like that. So yes multiple magic systems can be tied to a Shard.

Firefight San Francisco signing (Jan. 17, 2015)

 

Then there is this:

Spoiler

Czanos

Preservation can fuel Allomancy, (minus atium.) but can Ruin fuel Hemalurgy? (Or atium?) And could Sazed fuel all three Metallic Arts?

Brandon Sanderson

Both gods could, if they wanted, fuel all of the Metallic Arts. Preservation is stronger at fueling Allomancy, Ruin stronger at fueling Allomancy or Feruchemy when it has been given via a spike. Both are balanced when it comes to Feruchemy. But this rarely comes up in the books, as it required expending power in a way that the gods were hesitant to do.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide (Oct. 15, 2008)

 

Edited by asmodeus
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47 minutes ago, Honorless said:

My question is: how can it also be of Ruin? Doesn't giving his own Investiture go against his Intent?

So we have 100's of WoB's mentioning the nature of investiture being something like this: There is Matter, there is energy, and there is Investiture, right? But they are actually all the same thing. Matter and Energy are expressions of Investiture.

Ruin states that his intent "To Ruin" is not the same as erasing, in a way, it is transformation. Taking something complex and grinding it down into something simple. Entropy.

So I believe, as it is intended, Feruchemy converts the energy of the user "storing" into a form of investiture in the metalmind. In that act, they are ruining that energy by converting it into investiture. You ruin wakefulness by taking that energy and being tired, you ruin speed by taking that energy and being slow, etc. etc.

The fact that the Feruchemist get's to store that energy for later use is of course, the preservation side of the magic.

EDIT: So in response to your question: I believe the actual feruchemist is the one powering the magic. There is no use of preservation or ruins own investiture involved, other than perhaps making the metalmind operate in the first place, or bestowing the capability to do so into the spiritweb of the feruchemist.

Edited by Lunu’anaki
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Being of Ruin and being powered by Ruin are two different things. The Shards are giant masses of Investiture, sure. But they also represent concepts. Every time some dies on say, Roshar, that's still Ruin. Ruin's presence on Scadrial interacted with the local system, influencing Feruchemy. Hence why part of Feruchemy copies Ruin, the ability to ruin stores of energy. But that is powered by the user, not by Ruin. At least, that's my understanding of it. 

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I don't know if this helps, but I had a DM WOB from reddit that Feruchemy was given to the Terris as a gift. Brandon didn't say by who or why, but thats how they got it. 

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2 hours ago, teknopathetic said:

I don't know if this helps, but I had a DM WOB from reddit that Feruchemy was given to the Terris as a gift. Brandon didn't say by who or why, but thats how they got it. 

Would it be possible for you submit this to the Arcanum?

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On 11/12/2019 at 8:59 AM, asmodeus said:

This WoB may help:

  Hide contents

Questioner

What is Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard in specific? Yes, they talk about that in the books.

Questioner

Ok, it's like, of Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could say that.

Brandon Sanderson

Because it seems like one Shard, one magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, it's more that-- They, in their philosophy, say that it's kind of a hybrid between the two, but you could kind of feel that it's more--

Questioner

It seems more Preservation.

Brandon Sanderson

It seems more Preservation, but in-world they think it's kind of a hybrid. The philosophy says that one was kind of net-positive, one was kind of net-negative and one was a hybrid. That's their in-world philosophy. I personally would place it more with Preservation.

Questioner

Ok so more than one magic system can be tied to one Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Questioner

Ok, that's what I wanted to know.

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, the definition of magic system can be, is so fluid. Like you can look at this book and say "how many magic systems are there?". Is Surgebinding one or is it ten?

Questioner

Allomancy's 16--

Brandon Sanderson

Is Allomancy 16 or one, and things like that. So yes multiple magic systems can be tied to a Shard.

Firefight San Francisco signing (Jan. 17, 2015)

 

Then there is this:

  Hide contents

Czanos

Preservation can fuel Allomancy, (minus atium.) but can Ruin fuel Hemalurgy? (Or atium?) And could Sazed fuel all three Metallic Arts?

Brandon Sanderson

Both gods could, if they wanted, fuel all of the Metallic Arts. Preservation is stronger at fueling Allomancy, Ruin stronger at fueling Allomancy or Feruchemy when it has been given via a spike. Both are balanced when it comes to Feruchemy. But this rarely comes up in the books, as it required expending power in a way that the gods were hesitant to do.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide (Oct. 15, 2008)

 

I've been thinking about this one for a while. I agree with @Wandering Investor about a shard not needing to be tied to a magic system. Now, the WoBs are evading the question about what shard is tied to Ferrochemy. He talks a lot about what they think in-planet, but nothing concrete. I have a theory that Ferrochemy was actually tied to Trell. There are clues about Trell in Era 1. Even if Trell is an avatar of Autonomy. The WoB do say more than one magic system can be associated to a shard. 

 

About who fuels it, sure the power that's being stored comes from the person. However, something needs to fuel the transfer from and to the storage. That would be like having a pen drive, it doesn't need electricity to keep the memories in. But you do need it to store it or fetch it. My guess is, Trell gave the power to the Terris. But Preservation was fueling it on Scadrial. Which is why there's a loss of power the more you tap at once. Its weaker that it should be.

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@danox46 we've been told told explicitly that Feruchemy is a mixed system of Preservation and Ruin.

Quote

Questioner

With Allomancy is of Preservation, and you have Hemalurgy, which is of Ruin. Is Feruchemy a joint effort between the two? Or is it a third party?

Brandon Sanderson

Joint effort.

FanX 2018 (Sept. 8, 2018)
Quote

Questioner

Allomancy is of Preservation, correct?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes...

Questioner

What are Feruchemy and Hemalurgy of?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgy is definitely of Ruin.

Questioner

Is it of pure Ruin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. That's a very Ruin thing. And Feruchemy is more of a blend. Though… there is more philosophy to that and human construct—like the Allomantic table—than I think I’ve made clear before.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing (Oct. 12, 2015)
Spoiler

Argent (paraphrased)

Feruchemy is the "balance" between Ruin and Preservation. Would any combination of Shards create a "balance" magic, so to speak, or are only certain Shards compatible?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Feruchemy ended up being a balance system, because of how polar Ruin and Preservation were. Any world with at least two Shards will result in a similar phenomenon. 

Argent (paraphrased)

Like Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Like Roshar. There is something like that going on there.

Steelheart Chicago signing (Oct. 5, 2013)

 

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3 hours ago, Calderis said:

@danox46 we've been told told explicitly that Feruchemy is a mixed system of Preservation and Ruin.

  Reveal hidden contents

Argent (paraphrased)

Feruchemy is the "balance" between Ruin and Preservation. Would any combination of Shards create a "balance" magic, so to speak, or are only certain Shards compatible?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Feruchemy ended up being a balance system, because of how polar Ruin and Preservation were. Any world with at least two Shards will result in a similar phenomenon. 

Argent (paraphrased)

Like Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Like Roshar. There is something like that going on there.

Steelheart Chicago signing (Oct. 5, 2013)

 

" Though… there is more philosophy to that and human construct" that's not clear to me...

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6 minutes ago, danox46 said:

" Though… there is more philosophy to that and human construct" that's not clear to me...

And the other two newer and non-paraphrased WoBs are much more clear. 

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54 minutes ago, Calderis said:

And the other two newer and non-paraphrased WoBs are much more clear. 

Which two do you mean?

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3 minutes ago, danox46 said:

Which two do you mean?

Quote

Questioner

With Allomancy is of Preservation, and you have Hemalurgy, which is of Ruin. Is Feruchemy a joint effort between the two? Or is it a third party?

Brandon Sanderson

Joint effort.

FanX 2018 (Sept. 8, 2018)

Quote

Argent (paraphrased)

Feruchemy is the "balance" between Ruin and Preservation. Would any combination of Shards create a "balance" magic, so to speak, or are only certain Shards compatible?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Feruchemy ended up being a balance system, because of how polar Ruin and Preservation were. Any world with at least two Shards will result in a similar phenomenon. 

Argent (paraphrased)

Like Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Like Roshar. There is something like that going on there.

Steelheart Chicago signing (Oct. 5, 2013)

Sorry. I got confused on which of the WoBs you quoted, because one of mine ended up in a Spoiler on accident so it was actually in your reply. 

The newest says it's a joint effort of both Shards. And the older and paraphrased one calls it a balance between the two. 

For it to be of any other shards would require another Shard to be invested into Scadrial... Which by everything we've been shown, isn't even true of Trell yet. 

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6 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Sorry. I got confused on which of the WoBs you quoted, because one of mine ended up in a Spoiler on accident so it was actually in your reply. 

The newest says it's a joint effort of both Shards. And the older and paraphrased one calls it a balance between the two. 

For it to be of any other shards would require another Shard to be invested into Scadrial... Which by everything we've been shown, isn't even true of Trell yet. 

Yeah "Feruchemy ended up being a balance system, because of how polar Ruin and Preservation were. Any world with at least two Shards will result in a similar phenomenon. " is clear enough for me, thanks. Theory dead :(

 

That also explains that Sel has multiple magic systems too.

Edited by danox46
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23 hours ago, danox46 said:

I agree with @Wandering Investor about a shard not needing to be tied to a magic system.

You may have misunderstood what I was getting at. Feruchemy is most definitely tied to the shards of Preservation and Ruin, its just not directly powered by them. There are some magic systems that you could argue are not tied to a shard, such the basic spren of Roshar and the worms from First of the Sun. But that doesn't apply to any of the metallic arts.

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On 11/12/2019 at 9:55 PM, teknopathetic said:

I don't know if this helps, but I had a DM WOB from reddit that Feruchemy was given to the Terris as a gift. Brandon didn't say by who or why, but thats how they got it. 

Checked it on Reddit, thank you @teknopathetic! This raises a few interesting questions...

Also found this WoB:

Quote

Questioner

So for the Old Magic, in this classification system of end-positive, end-neutral, and end-negative, where would that fall under?

Brandon Sanderson

So, almost every magic in the cosmere is end-positive, almost every magic is relying upon an external source of Investiture to power it. So that phrasing is mostly more relevant to Scadrial than anywhere else, because that concept is how I'm dealing with things like the laws of thermodynamics, and even what they call end-neutral is relying a little bit on the power of Investiture to facilitate. So even an end-neutral magic system as they define it on Scadrial is actually not end-neutral. What you get put in you get out, but the power is facilitating that transfer… So that phrasing is kind of a... Take that as a science on.. Scadrial that does not extrapolate well, and may not even be 100% accurate.

Moderator

That would have been a great thing to know before we did the cosmere magic panel. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

I look at it as, is an Investiture externally powering the magic, and if you look at Allomancy, yes it is. You are drawing that power out. Feruchemy, you are putting Investiture in from your own body, it's your energy transferring to Investiture, which is being stored, which you are then drawing out, and things like that. But that changing forms is facilitated by the magic. Whereas you're stealing stuff with-- So you could look, for instance at the magic on Nalthis, you could look at that one as being-- as kind of working as end-negative, meaning "I am taking it away from someone else", or end-positive depending on if you're the one receiving it or not. So again, it's a phrasing that can be useful as a tool but doesn't scale well to the other magics.

JordanCon 2016 (April 23, 2016)

 

Edited by Honorless
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