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Shard of Reading

Could a mistborn walk on walls?

Question

Basically what the title sounds like.

I was thinking that if you had walls made out of metal or had a sheet of metal behind them they could pull themselves too the wall. Then they need to get there feet under them and burn pewter so they don't break bones. I just wanted to know if there were any inconsistencies that I was missing that would make this infeasible.

Also, if this was possible would it be a way to cancel lashings? 

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Posted (edited)

Since Ironpulling doesn't do anything about gravity, any attempt to 'walk' on a wall at an unnatural angle would result in your body quickly contorting itself awkwardly in whatever direction 'down' is. A-Pewter might be able to help repair the damage you'd inevitably do to your muscles but you'd never be a fraction as effective as a Windrunner/Skybreaker who can literally change which direction is 'down' and thus comfortably walk at any angle they storming well please. Also, consider that the process of movement would not be nearly as easy as someone with Gravitation, because the whole way that you apply friction to a surface would be thrown out of joint. Walking 'down' a wall, gravity would be sending you face over heels while walking up, your spine would be trying to bend over backwards and neither of those is going to do good things for your ability to apply the kind of force to the surface of the wall that you need to actually walk. If anything you'd probably need to be crawling to apply the kind of friction needed to move effectively. Think Spiderman, without any of the grace.

2 hours ago, Shard of Reading said:

Also, if this was possible would it be a way to cancel lashings? 

It wouldn't cancel them, but if you have A-Iron/Steel and enough metal in the right places, you could counteract some of the effects of being Lashed. For example, Szeth's favorite trick of sending people flying could be countered if you could pull on a sufficiently anchored metal source below you (or less likely, push on one or several sources above you) so that you stay in position rather than get thrown into the sky. Moving around while your personal gravity was reversed would be all sorts of weird though. Indoors if you had the right anchors you could push/pull yourself 'up' back to what everyone else sees as the floor but you'd have to deal with the fact that the blood would all be rushing to your head if you wanted to right yourself so you're aligned the same way as everyone else... and that would probably be a good idea because once the Lashing wears off, you're gonna fall back down and you don't want to land on your head when you do.

If you really wanted to cancel a Lashing though, burning aluminum would probably be your best bet. We know that in theory it can rid the spiritweb of all kinds of Investiture and Gravitation works by altering your Spiritual bond to the planet, so it might be susceptible to A-Aluminum cleansing.

Edited by Weltall
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This sounds like it would work. It might be difficult, because Pulling on something doesn't cancel gravity. For instance, when a Lurcher pulls themself towards something on a roof, they curve upward as they go.

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I was thought of that, but I think if you were directly on the ceiling it could work because you are being pulled directly to the ground. But walls would be more difficult because you would have to have abs of steel.

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Yes. That would work better. It might be hard to deal with all of the blood flowing to your head.

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A smarter alternative would be to pull on a piece of metal wall above you and run up a wall.  Provided you stay oriented and keep moving this should work.  Like rappelling down or in this case up a cliff.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Weltall said:

Since Ironpulling doesn't do anything about gravity, any attempt to 'walk' on a wall at an unnatural angle would result in your body quickly contorting itself awkwardly in whatever direction 'down' is. A-Pewter might be able to help repair the damage you'd inevitably do to your muscles but you'd never be a fraction as effective as a Windrunner/Skybreaker who can literally change which direction is 'down' and thus comfortably walk at any angle they storming well please. Also, consider that the process of movement would not be nearly as easy as someone with Gravitation, because the whole way that you apply friction to a surface would be thrown out of joint. Walking 'down' a wall, gravity would be sending you face over heels while walking up, your spine would be trying to bend over backwards and neither of those is going to do good things for your ability to apply the kind of force to the surface of the wall that you need to actually walk. If anything you'd probably need to be crawling to apply the kind of friction needed to move effectively. Think Spiderman, without any of the grace.

It would be really difficult if not impossible to do it. 

It’s possible to Push on a specific part of metal so i dont see why you wouldn’t be able to also Pull on a specific part and walk up that metal wall. Though youd have to constantly adjust the point your Pulling on so you’re always pulling directly underneath you

someone who could both regulate the strength of their pull and location they pull on would have an easier time

Identity is the reason its so hard to do

 

now if you had a wall made up of tons of small metal sheets it would be easier because youd now have a ton a points to pull on instead of just one massive sheet thats trying to pull you towards its center

Edited by Eternal Khol
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If you pulled on a piece of metal above, pushed on one below and adjusted your push and pull every once in a while I think it would be possible to walk on the wall, but this would be hard, hard but not impossible

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You could put 2 pieces of metal behind you on the ground, thus pushing yourself up and towards the wall. and using the wall to hold steady, but I really dont see any practical application that his would have over using a third piece of metal to make a tripod like balance.

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I agree, it is possible to walk up a wall for a mistborn but very unpractical(JUST PULL YOURSELF UP!).

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Posted (edited)

If it was a solid vertical sheet of metal (that wasn't aluminum), a Mistborn or Lurcher could burn iron and Pull against any point on that sheet from their COG, right? So I would think it's possible to pull just enough to be clinging to the wall (pressed against it) along any point.

The trick would be in moving around, since Pulling comes from one's center of gravity. Imagine walking while balancing a cup of water on your head without spilling it. It'd be like that. You'd have to pull straight down through your body while standing straight, and also constantly shift your Pull target on the wall to be directly below you. If you leaned forward in any way, especially if you are an adult man whose COG is typically around the sternum and not the middle of your body, the Pulling from COG would make you want to fall over.

Long ago, I got a very interesting physical demonstration of what one's COG means in a HS gym class. The teacher had the mixed assembly of boys and girls kneel on both knees in the gym, on the hardwood, with hands clasped behind their backs. "Now lean forward until your forehead touches the ground... And then try to get up without using your hands or rolling to the side."

The girls could mostly do this without much problem, because their COG was around their waist. As this was in junior or senior year, most boys (except for one or two very scrawny ones) could not: their COGs were high enough that it was all but impossible due to insufficient leverage. And even the one or two very thin guys who could do so, only did so with very great difficulty.

Meanwhile, the most muscled and lean/fit guys of all, like the football players, had it the absolute worst. I still remember one of them in particular, a friend of mine named Sean - as soon as he was near to a 45 degree angle at the waist, THUNK, he head all but smacked into the ground where he was fixed as surely as if he were held by a wrestling pin hold. Pinned down by his own chest and shoulders!

So yeah. An Allomancer could easily and naturally "stand" in a stationary way on a vertical metal wall with an Ironpull; it's the walking on that vertical surface that would take a lot of care, and you certainly would not be able to spar with a Windrunner who'd Lashed "down" to be the wall and could now run, jump, and move about on that vertical surface as if it were flat.

A full Mistborn who could both Push and Pull on metal, well that'd be a different story, but then you're basically able to fly as long as there were a heavy enough metal anchor with a large surface to work off of, with nigh-infinite anchor points along it, with simultaneous Pushing and Pulling to different points.

Edited by robardin
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On 5/26/2020 at 10:03 PM, robardin said:

The trick would be in moving around, since Pulling comes from one's center of gravity

almost:

Quote

Questioner

I have a theory. Because the center of gravity for a female is naturally lower, but when Vin burns iron or steel, the blue lines come from her chest, does that come from her center of self, rather than the center of gravity?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. That's probably a more accurate way to put it. 

Questioner

Would it be possible for that to change, then? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is possible. I should say it like that, because it's not going to actually be... Because center of gravity, where you would actually put it, is not where I'm having those lines come from. You came in costume. You can just make that canon now and we will put that on all of the lists that that is what it is.

Starsight Release Party (Nov. 26, 2019)

 

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What a strangely specific WoB. It felt very mechanically correct to have iron/steel lines be related to one's CoG, but a "cognitive CoG" for an extremely physical effect? Is that just a retcon of sorts for having written Vin's POV with the center of the lines being from what obviously would not be her true CoG (a detail I'd missed or forgotten)? Though the way he answered it, it seems like maybe he did have that in mind already before being presented with the question.

Of course that could just mean he'd realized that error before and had the justification at hand.

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7 minutes ago, robardin said:

What a strangely specific WoB. It felt very mechanically correct to have iron/steel lines be related to one's CoG, but a "cognitive CoG" for an extremely physical effect? Is that just a retcon of sorts for having written Vin's POV with the center of the lines being from what obviously would not be her true CoG (a detail I'd missed or forgotten)? Though the way he answered it, it seems like maybe he did have that in mind already before being presented with the question.

Of course that could just mean he'd realized that error before and had the justification at hand.

If the lines came from your center of gravity, you also wouldn't be able to balance on a single coin.

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2 hours ago, ChickenLiberty said:

If the lines came from your center of gravity, you also wouldn't be able to balance on a single coin.

I would think it'd be much harder to do if it DIDN'T come from one's CoG. It'd be like those sippy birds with the weighted head that bob up and down.

Plus, it was supposed to be incredible/remarkable that Zane was able to do that (neither Vin nor Kelsier could), and had to do with him also being hemalurgically spiked for A-steel (doubling that Allomantic strength) as well as being very talented in Steelpushing.

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Basically what I have understood from this thread is that it is possible but really hard.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, robardin said:

Plus, it was supposed to be incredible/remarkable that Zane was able to do that (neither Vin nor Kelsier could), and had to do with him also being hemalurgically spiked for A-steel (doubling that Allomantic strength) as well as being very talented in Steelpushing.

So the thing that Zane was able to do was push on different parts of the metal (something that Kel could do) and manipulate how much he was pushing on each section of it.

For a lesser Allomancer, they can only push on a single part (the center) of the metal, which would make it very hard to balance on because you are trying to balance a point on another point (a sphere on another sphere, essentially)

So the thing about the center of gravity v. the center of self thing essentially boils down to: Can you extend your arm without changing Allomantic pushing (or pulling)? 

Because if your can't, then the point that you are pushing from is your center of gravity. Moving part of you (that 'matter' :D) will change your center of gravity, but won't change your center of self. 

This allows for Mistborn (or coin shots or lurchers) to be able to do things with their hands and other things (like swinging a sword) more easily and intuitively 

Edited by GoWibble
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6 hours ago, GoWibble said:

So the thing about the center of gravity v. the center of self thing essentially boils down to: Can you extend your arm without changing Allomantic pushing (or pulling)? 

Because if your can't, then the point that you are pushing from is your center of gravity. Moving part of you (that 'matter' :D) will change your center of gravity, but won't change your center of self. 

This allows for Mistborn (or coin shots or lurchers) to be able to do things with their hands and other things (like swinging a sword) more easily and intuitively 

It also gives some interesting options if you want to do a fosbury flop and take a position where your center of mass is outside your body.  You could pull metal past you for example.

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58 minutes ago, Karger said:

It also gives some interesting options if you want to do a fosbury flop and take a position where your center of mass is outside your body.  You could pull metal past you for example.

Wait, but you Push and Pull metal towards / away from your center of self not your center of gravity / mass... (the WoB I cited earlier)

So, yes, you could do really cool things like that if the magic system worked from the center of gravity (on that note, learning Allomantic pushes / pulls would be way harder)

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On 6/4/2020 at 1:45 PM, GoWibble said:

So the thing about the center of gravity v. the center of self thing essentially boils down to: Can you extend your arm without changing Allomantic pushing (or pulling)? 

Because if your can't, then the point that you are pushing from is your center of gravity. Moving part of you (that 'matter' :D) will change your center of gravity, but won't change your center of self. 

This allows for Mistborn (or coin shots or lurchers) to be able to do things with their hands and other things (like swinging a sword) more easily and intuitively 

Excellent point. Specifically, can you extend just one arm out without the other one balancing it in the opposite direction?

And perhaps this illustrates what Brandon was getting at with CoG vs. "center of self", even if the latter is for purely narrative reasons versus "this makes sense in an in-world physics" kind of way. We know we see Vin and Wax doing things like using their arms freely to draw daggers or guns, to pull out and swig vials of metal, etc., while flying - either they were "turning off" their steel momentarily to do so, or their Steelpushing line would have been altered in the act of doing so.

It's probably easier just to say "they are pushing off of themselves, their weight matters, but don't focus too much on exactly where the balancing point is on their body while they're doing so, OK?"

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Posted (edited)

So something that might have confused things is that the Allomantic poster includes this

(top left)

Edited by GoWibble
the image didn't load, so there is a link
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Posted (edited)

In regards to a Mistborn, they could, but it would be uncomfortable and would be rather impractical, I think. The amount of effort expended on pushing and pulling wouldn't be worth the effort to walk on the wall unless you were using it as a form of intimidation or trickery.

Now, Kelsier (Mistborn) and Wax (Twinborn, Steel Misting and Iron Ferring) do things that end with them standing on walls, and even moving along them in Wax's case. In The Final Empire, Kelsier is able to brace himself against an in-wall metal safe, feet on either side of it (effectively standing on the wall) by Pulling on it and flaring his pewter to keep himself from collapsing onto it. The text doesn't mention any strain from gravity, only the pewter, but Kelsier doesn't do this for very long (a few seconds, most like). In Alloy of Law, Wax uses his unique combination of powers to Push against metal lamps and lower his weight with his Iron Metalminds to "nearly nothing", then moves along the wall to a nearby window.

Quote

"Wax blasted out into open air. There was a lamppost on the dark street, a little bit to his left. He Pushed on that while at the same time dropping his weight to nearly nothing. The Push sent him back against the outside of the building; he landed and half ran, half leaped parallel to the ground along the wall." - Alloy of Law, Hardcover First Edition 2011, Page 293, Paragraph 5.

Since Wax isn't a Mistborn, it doesn't really qualify for your question, but I figured it was interesting enough to include either way.

Edited by Eingradd
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On 5/12/2020 at 2:41 PM, Mist said:

This sounds like it would work. It might be difficult, because Pulling on something doesn't cancel gravity. For instance, when a Lurcher pulls themself towards something on a roof, they curve upward as they go.

These are also my thoughts exactly. It wouldn't be as smooth as say, a Windrunner lashing themselves to a wall. I find myself imagining a Lurcher just crashing headfirst into the wall. Fun ideas to ponder though

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