Karger

The Mistborn Breeding Program Was Started A While Ago.

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I have been doing a reread of Mistborn Era 2 and I recently came across a couple of people that jarred me.  Push and Pull.  The pair of skilled alomancers that Suit assigned to Miles.  Neither of them are ever described in great detail.  The only things that we know about them is that they are skilled alomancers and intently loyal to Suit.  Willing in fact to kill for him on an order.  They also rarely talk.  Then I got to thinking.  The Set plans ahead.  Their operatives are intensely loyal.  A lot (too many) of them are metalborn.  Suit is always accompanied by 20.   They kidnap woman for alomantic blood during AoL and according to Wax they almost never successfully ID any of the Set's people.  What if a breeding program has already been going on for some time.  Trell's worship certainly has.  Aided by time bubbles they could produce a large number of operatives in a short period of time.  Eventually they will have a Mistborn by breeding them but in the meantime they can loyal operatives that are thoroughly indoctrinated and completely untraceable.

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I always thought that this was going to be the way Mistborn were going to return in era 3. When the Scadrians expand and explore the rest of Scadrial there will be a sect of isolated people like the Terris that will select breed to create stronger Allomancers and Mistborn. 

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This makes sense. The Set could have kidnapped the allomancer women out of necessity to prevent inbreeding.

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It's entirely possible that they did this the same way Straff did in Era 1, and if they did manage to keep a line "pure" enough it would be the best chances of getting a Mistborn as said before. Having an untraceable Mistborn would be a huge deal for the Set and they would probably keep them for something big so they could avoid rumors of their existence. 

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Posted (edited)

A breeding program would seem slightly redundant given that the Set has access to Hemalurgy. I assumed that the women that had been kidnapped were killed for their metalborn abilities.

It might also not be all that effective. Obviously metalborn abilities are genetic, but unless Harmony changed it since era 1, exactly 16% of north Scadrians are mistings or Mistborn. That would make it really difficult to saturate a very small and specific number of people with metalborn abilities, because of how many are already out there. A quick google says that four babies are born on Earth per second. Obviously Scadrial doesn't have our population, but if it did that would mean a misting being born about every six seconds. I think it would be hard to shift that without a global eugenics program (like TFE).

 

edit: I'm wrong, it would be every 1.5 seconds with our birth rate.

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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18 minutes ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

A breeding program would seem slightly redundant given that the Set has access to Hemalurgy. I assumed that the women that had been kidnapped were killed for their metalborn abilities.

It might also not be all that effective. Obviously metalborn abilities are genetic, but unless Harmony changed it since era 1, exactly 16% of north Scadrians are mistings or Mistborn. That would make it really difficult to saturate a very small and specific number of people with metalborn abilities, because of how many are already out there. A quick google says that four babies are born on Earth per second. Obviously Scadrial doesn't have our population, but if it did that would mean a misting being born about every six seconds. I think it would be hard to shift that without a global eugenics program (like TFE).

 

edit: I'm wrong, it would be every 1.5 seconds with our birth rate.

I might be wrong, but I think you are confusing mist snapping with regular allomancers. Mist snapped allomancers, have to my knowledge never yielded mistborn. Those only came about from descendants of the noble houses (Vin and Kelsier) or from non-allomancers burning lerasium (Elend original 10 nobles created by the Lord ruler). As far as we know, mist snapping doesn't occur anymore (the new mechanism for snapping in era 2 is not known) so all of the allomancers we see are descendants of the noble houses that already existed before the Catecendra.

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1 minute ago, jamoliso said:

I might be wrong, but I think you are confusing mist snapping with regular allomancers. Mist snapped allomancers, have to my knowledge never yielded mistborn. Those only came about from descendants of the noble houses (Vin and Kelsier) or from non-allomancers burning lerasium (Elend original 10 nobles created by the Lord ruler). As far as we know, mist snapping doesn't occur anymore (the new mechanism for snapping in era 2 is not known) so all of the allomancers we see are descendants of the noble houses that already existed before the Catecendra.

This point has never really been clear to me I guess. Were the people that got snapped by the Mists already metalborn that simply needed to be snapped, or where they normal people who gained metalborn powers from the Mists. I've never been quite sure so any WoBs would be appreciated.

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3 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

A breeding program would seem slightly redundant given that the Set has access to Hemalurgy. I assumed that the women that had been kidnapped were killed for their metalborn abilities.

We don't know when or how they gained access and if that were true they would have also kidnapped a few men. 

3 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

It might also not be all that effective. Obviously metalborn abilities are genetic, but unless Harmony changed it since era 1, exactly 16% of north Scadrians are mistings or Mistborn.

According to Khriss a bit less then 1/1000 people are mistings.  Assuming that is true you would need to repeatedly breed a lot of the strongest potential people together to get a mistborn.

3 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

That would make it really difficult to saturate a very small and specific number of people with metalborn abilities, because of how many are already out there

We know from the Teris breeding program that Scadrial can make a single women give birth to almost two dozen children.  We also know that cadmium can speed this up.  Breading humans for specific traits is also pretty easy(see the Hapsburg jaw it steadily got more pronounced over only a few centuries).

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11 hours ago, Karger said:

According to Khriss a bit less then 1/1000 people are mistings.  Assuming that is true you would need to repeatedly breed a lot of the strongest potential people together to get a mistborn.

Thanks for pointing that out. I went back a read the relevant part of BoM. It seems that the Mists weren’t actually snapping people at all in era 1. They were actually turning normal people into Allomancers.

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14 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

This point has never really been clear to me I guess. Were the people that got snapped by the Mists already metalborn that simply needed to be snapped, or where they normal people who gained metalborn powers from the Mists. I've never been quite sure so any WoBs would be appreciated.

They didn't get their powers from the mists, but their powers were too weak for them to be snapped in any other way:

Spoilered for length:

Spoiler

Chapter Seventy

The Reason for the Mistsickness

So, it finally comes out. I wonder at this numbers plot, as I think many readers will glaze over it and ignore it. I think others will read into it and figure out what it means very quickly, then feel that the reveal here isn't much of a revelation. Hopefully I'll get a majority in the middle who read the clues, don't know what they mean, but are happily surprised when it comes together. That's a difficult line to walk sometimes.

What is going on here is that the mists are awakening the Allomantic potential inside of people. It's very rough on a person for that to come out, and can cause death. Preservation set this all up before he gave his consciousness to imprison Ruin, so it's not a perfect system. It's like a machine left behind by its creator. The catalyst is the return of the power to the Well of Ascension. As soon as that power becomes full, it sets the mists to begin Snapping those who have the potential for Allomancy buried within them.

Many of these people won't be very strong Allomancers. Their abilities were buried too deeply to have come out without the mists' intervention. Others will have a more typical level of power; they might have Snapped earlier, had they gone through enough anguish to bring the power out.

My idea on this is that Allomantic potential is a little like a supersaturated solution. You can suspend a great deal of something like sugar in a liquid when it is hot, then cool it down and the sugar remains suspended. Drop one bit of sugar in there as a catalyst, however, and the rest will fall out as a precipitate.

Allomancy is the same. It's in there, but it takes a reaction—in this case, physical anguish—to trigger it and bring it out. That's because the Allomantic power comes from the extra bit of Preservation inside of humans, that same extra bit that gives us free will. This bit is trapped between the opposing forces of Preservation and Ruin, and to come out and allow it the power to access metals and draw forth energy, it needs to fight its way through the piece of Ruin that is also there inside.

As has been established, Ruin's control over creatures—and, indeed, an Allomancer's control over them—grows weaker when that creature is going through some extreme emotions. (Like the koloss blood frenzy.) This has to do with the relationship between the Cognitive Realm, the Physical Realm, and the Spiritual Realm—of which I don't have time to speak right now.

Suffice it to say that there are people who have Snapped because of intense joy or other emotions. It just doesn't happen as frequently and is more difficult to control.

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Nameless said:

They didn't get their powers from the mists, but their powers were too weak for them to be snapped in any other way:

Spoilered for length:

  Hide contents

Chapter Seventy

The Reason for the Mistsickness

So, it finally comes out. I wonder at this numbers plot, as I think many readers will glaze over it and ignore it. I think others will read into it and figure out what it means very quickly, then feel that the reveal here isn't much of a revelation. Hopefully I'll get a majority in the middle who read the clues, don't know what they mean, but are happily surprised when it comes together. That's a difficult line to walk sometimes.

What is going on here is that the mists are awakening the Allomantic potential inside of people. It's very rough on a person for that to come out, and can cause death. Preservation set this all up before he gave his consciousness to imprison Ruin, so it's not a perfect system. It's like a machine left behind by its creator. The catalyst is the return of the power to the Well of Ascension. As soon as that power becomes full, it sets the mists to begin Snapping those who have the potential for Allomancy buried within them.

Many of these people won't be very strong Allomancers. Their abilities were buried too deeply to have come out without the mists' intervention. Others will have a more typical level of power; they might have Snapped earlier, had they gone through enough anguish to bring the power out.

My idea on this is that Allomantic potential is a little like a supersaturated solution. You can suspend a great deal of something like sugar in a liquid when it is hot, then cool it down and the sugar remains suspended. Drop one bit of sugar in there as a catalyst, however, and the rest will fall out as a precipitate.

Allomancy is the same. It's in there, but it takes a reaction—in this case, physical anguish—to trigger it and bring it out. That's because the Allomantic power comes from the extra bit of Preservation inside of humans, that same extra bit that gives us free will. This bit is trapped between the opposing forces of Preservation and Ruin, and to come out and allow it the power to access metals and draw forth energy, it needs to fight its way through the piece of Ruin that is also there inside.

As has been established, Ruin's control over creatures—and, indeed, an Allomancer's control over them—grows weaker when that creature is going through some extreme emotions. (Like the koloss blood frenzy.) This has to do with the relationship between the Cognitive Realm, the Physical Realm, and the Spiritual Realm—of which I don't have time to speak right now.

Suffice it to say that there are people who have Snapped because of intense joy or other emotions. It just doesn't happen as frequently and is more difficult to control.

 

Well that muddies the water. So it’s entirely possible that 16% of north Scadrians have Allomantic potential still, but only 1/1000 express it.

edit: Or, it could mean that 100% of Scadrians have Allomantic potential and the Mists only snapped 16% of them as a clue. Wish there was a more straight forward answer.

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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Just now, SwordNimiForPresident said:

Well that muddies the water. So it’s entirely possible that 16% of north Scadrians have Allomantic potential still, but only 1/1000 express it.

I would wager that 16% of the southern Scadrians have it too.

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5 hours ago, Nameless said:

I would wager that 16% of the southern Scadrians have it too.

The mists may have been localized. 

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Just now, Karger said:

The mists may have been localized. 

I don't think that they have been snapped, but I think they would have the same potential as the majority of those snapped by the mists.

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On 4/11/2020 at 9:55 PM, Nameless said:

This makes sense. The Set could have kidnapped the allomancer women out of necessity to prevent inbreeding.

Depends on the size of the initial gene pool. Inbreeding does NOT work the way people think it does. (See Ashkenazi Jewry, who started with six to ten families, for an example.)

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On 5/8/2020 at 4:42 PM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Depends on the size of the initial gene pool. Inbreeding does NOT work the way people think it does. (See Ashkenazi Jewry, who started with six to ten families, for an example.)

To my understanding Ashkenazi Jewry did regularly get influxes of new genetic material to the point where they are not easily distinguishable for eastern europeans.  They also from my research have a higher then average level of "royal diseases" like hemophilia.  Considering that the originators were only a few million people at best and that these breeders are likely distant family relations(the ones Suit wanted were all grandchildren of Spook) inbreeding could easily become a problem.

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On 12/04/2020 at 3:07 AM, Karger said:

What if a breeding program has already been going on for some time.  Trell's worship certainly has.  Aided by time bubbles they could produce a large number of operatives in a short period of time.  Eventually they will have a Mistborn by breeding them but in the meantime they can loyal operatives that are thoroughly indoctrinated and completely untraceable.

Are they running a separate breeding program though? Or are they trying to concentrate allomancy in a subset of the general population, which they then can subsequently use?

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26 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Are they running a separate breeding program though? Or are they trying to concentrate allomancy in a subset of the general population, which they then can subsequently use?

I think it is more like they are recycling "failed" or at least no longer useful members of the program.

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On 4/21/2020 at 11:47 AM, SwordNimiForPresident said:

Well that muddies the water. So it’s entirely possible that 16% of north Scadrians have Allomantic potential still, but only 1/1000 express it.

edit: Or, it could mean that 100% of Scadrians have Allomantic potential and the Mists only snapped 16% of them as a clue. Wish there was a more straight forward answer.

I have always thought it was like this: 16% of Scadrians have Allomantic potential, however that 16% require varying levels of anguish in order to Snap, and so they will also have varying levels of Allomantic ability in terms of power.

Now what I'm curious about is if the 16% rule still holds true in the post-catacendre era, where the mixing of Feruchemical and Allomantic bloodlines has reached its lower limit.

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1 hour ago, vegvisr said:

I have always thought it was like this: 16% of Scadrians have Allomantic potential, however that 16% require varying levels of anguish in order to Snap, and so they will also have varying levels of Allomantic ability in terms of power.

Snapping has "changed."  We don't know how.

1 hour ago, vegvisr said:

Now what I'm curious about is if the 16% rule still holds true in the post-catacendre era, where the mixing of Feruchemical and Allomantic bloodlines has reached its lower limit.

According to Khriss in BoM 1 in 1000 people are mistings as of era 2. 

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10 hours ago, vegvisr said:

I have always thought it was like this: 16% of Scadrians have Allomantic potential, however that 16% require varying levels of anguish in order to Snap, and so they will also have varying levels of Allomantic ability in terms of power.

No, mathematics rules that out. In fact that is how how they noticed. These 16% would be stochastically distributed. Random chance would make it impossible that exactly 16% in each group affected by the mists would become Allomancers.

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On 5/9/2020 at 9:20 PM, Karger said:

To my understanding Ashkenazi Jewry did regularly get influxes of new genetic material to the point where they are not easily distinguishable for eastern europeans.  They also from my research have a higher then average level of "royal diseases" like hemophilia.  Considering that the originators were only a few million people at best and that these breeders are likely distant family relations(the ones Suit wanted were all grandchildren of Spook) inbreeding could easily become a problem.

Every Ashkenazi Jew is the fifth or sixth cousin genetically of every other Ashkenazi Jew. There was very little influx, as converts were usually killed (along with the town) by Christians. Most converts happened very early. Ashkenazi Jewry is only half European; the other half of their DNA is Middle Eastern. The initial group started with four to eight families.

Hemophilia is only homozygous in women. Men will get it if they get a single copy of the faulty gene. The only way to prevent is either a: prevent carriers from marrying or b: pre-natal genetic testing and abortion of all male carriers or c: in-vitro. WHY does everyone bring this one up when discussing inbreeding? It makes no sense due to how it’s inherited! It doesn’t matter how unrelated you are; if mom is a carrier, her son has a 50% chance of getting the disease!

Feel free to bring up Tay-Sachs and Cystic Fibrosis though.

BTW, my husband and I are as closely related as Spook’s descendants; we are both descended from the same Rabbi who lived in the 1700’s. I found out after we had two kids, but wasn’t very surprised. We ARE Ashkenazi Jews; it was inevitable.

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On 5/11/2020 at 11:00 AM, Oltux72 said:

No, mathematics rules that out. In fact that is how how they noticed. These 16% would be stochastically distributed. Random chance would make it impossible that exactly 16% in each group affected by the mists would become Allomancers.

And this is one of the things that always niggled me - shouldn't The Sign have been 1/16 of the popuation, not 16/100 of the population? Though that'd only be 6.25%, so maybe as a practical matter Preservation went with 16%.

Which also means that all Ruin had to do to fudge Preservation's little clue was get a base 12 or 16 (hexadecimal) counting system installed as the Final Empire standard, haha.

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3 hours ago, robardin said:

Which also means that all Ruin had to do to fudge Preservation's little clue was get a base 12 or 16 (hexadecimal) counting system installed as the Final Empire standard, haha.

No. They would still got a sharp peak instead of a bell curve. They did not get the message anyway, as they had no idea that there are 16 metals. They just detected that there is a message.

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4 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

No. They would still got a sharp peak instead of a bell curve. They did not get the message anyway, as they had no idea that there are 16 metals. They just detected that there is a message.

Well, Yomen picked up on it, saying that "sixteen is a number of power" in Ministry doctrine, and that within the Ministry it had long been theorized that the true number of Allomantic metals must be sixteen for that reason.

That said, I was mostly joking. The fact is that a base numbering system based on 12 would be a lot more useful in a lot of contexts than base 10 one anyway, and in our world low-level computer programming involves base 16 (hexadecimal) values, such that not long ago I celebrated turning "the big 0x30" (30 in hex = 48 in decimal) - it is fairly plausible that one of things Rashek might have done, if he were more technically inclined rather than suppression inclined, would have been to institute hexadecimal as the counting system of the Ministry and hence the Final Empire. (With a nigh-infinite zincmind handy he'd have adjusted himself in no time at all!)

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