Light In the Darkness

Problems with Nicrosil

18 posts in this topic

Nicrosil is the metal that has bothered me most since reading Bands of Mourning. This stems from 2 problems. The first is how on earth unsealed metalminds happen, because an unkeyed nicrosil metalmind, which is somewhat more plausible, would still need the user to already have Feruchemical Nicrosil. However, after reading up on the distinction, I found that the unsealed ones weren't just unkeyed nicrosil minds, they were completely different. It still bothers me, but I am now confident it will be explained in the books.

The second is much more serious: How do you store your ability to store your ability to store?

No, I didn't accidentally repeat that. That is exactly what I meant.

So far, we have seen Nicrosil only store discreet investiture types, like the ability to use A- or F-brass, iron, copper, etc. However, how are you storing your ability to use F-nicrosil? The others are simplly; while filling the nicrosil mind, you can't do the other thing. It's like closing a pipe so you can open it wider later. But with your ability to use Nicrosil, you are storing your ability to close the pipe. If you are storing at one hundred percent, then you can't store at all. If you are storing half of your ability, does that mean you can store only half as much? in that case, you would only ever be able to store half at a time, never more, because if you are only half as good at tapping/storing Investiture, then your maximum strength of storing while storing is half of your normal strength of storing, so you can only store half of what you normally could, so you can only ever store half. Does that make sense, and is there something I'm missing or got wrong?

If anyone else has a problem with the metal, feel free to ask about that too.

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If it helps at all, F-Nicrosil stores discreet pieces like a Coppermind, rather than "X percent of Y metal's strength" in allomancy or feruchemy. So you'd just shunt your whole F-Nicrosil into a nicrosilmind and then be depowered forever because your F-Nicrosil is locked in a nicrosilmind keyed to you.

At least I assume that's what happens.

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3 hours ago, Light In the Darkness said:

Nicrosil is the metal that has bothered me most since reading Bands of Mourning. This stems from 2 problems. The first is how on earth unsealed metalminds happen, because an unkeyed nicrosil metalmind, which is somewhat more plausible, would still need the user to already have Feruchemical Nicrosil. However, after reading up on the distinction, I found that the unsealed ones weren't just unkeyed nicrosil minds, they were completely different. It still bothers me, but I am now confident it will be explained in the books.

It needs the device called the exciser. We do not know what that is or how it works.
It being developed in the south and southern arcane technologies based on Harmonium we may speculate that the exciser also does so. Lerasium can be used by people who should not be able to use it. In fact, if we go by the history of the metallic arts burning Harmonium should turn you into a Feruchemist. Now I agree it would be simpler to understand if the medaillons themselves contained Harmonium, but filling them with a special device containing Harmonium may also do the job.

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7 hours ago, Halyo_Alex said:

If it helps at all, F-Nicrosil stores discreet pieces like a Coppermind, rather than "X percent of Y metal's strength" in allomancy or feruchemy. So you'd just shunt your whole F-Nicrosil into a nicrosilmind and then be depowered forever because your F-Nicrosil is locked in a nicrosilmind keyed to you.

At least I assume that's what happens.

I'm going to say that's not what happens, because Kelsier, is not de-powering himself to create the Bands.

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To support the idea that nicrosil must have variable storing, consider two things. 1. Other feruchemical attributes, except copper, all store at varying strengths; you don't shunt all of your weight into a metalmind, you store x percent. 2. Allomancy in particular has variable strength. Elend was the strongest mistborn anyone had seen for generations, and allomancy has gotten weaker over time. So, it makes sense that if you were storing the ability to burn metals, you could store at a certain strength. However, when storing feruchemical attributes, it gets more complicated. Has feruchemy gotten weaker over time? How? I saw the topic about making a black hole with Feruchemical weight; maybe a limiting factor on feruchemy is how fast your taping builds up to your target or something? That would give a check on drawing it all out in a planck time, and a mechanism by which you are storing a variable amount of feruchemical ability, and a mechanism for feruchemical potency increasing/decreasing. Thoughts?

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Posted (edited)

This bothered me for quite a while as well, so I will pass on what I've seen on the forums or reasoned through. F-Nicrosil allows you to store any Allomantic or Feruchemical ability, including the ability to store the ability of F-Nicrosil itself. To make an unkeyed Nicrosil metalmind, you would need to have the ability to store your Identity using F-Aluminum. Given that you have an unkeyed Nicrosil metalmind, F-Aluminum, and any other Allomantic or Feruchemical power, you could make a medallion that grants that power. Simply holding a metalmind that has F-Nicrosil gives you the ability, you don't need to tap it to gain the power. It's similar to how the Honorblades work in the Stormlight Archive.

How Southern Scadrians managed to get those things without the Bands of Mourning is not certain. There aren't any people with more than one Feruchemical ability on Scadrial unless they stole it using Hemalurgy. So, either the Southern Scadrians are using Hemalurgy to accomplish some of this or the excisors Kelsier gave them accomplish what one of the aforementioned Feruchemical abilities do in lieu of having both. Excising something could mean excising someone Identity or their Investiture, or it could do something entirely different. So, I don't think we're supposed to understand exactly how they're managing it, Brandon has been tight lipped and we're missing a piece or two of the puzzle. It's a mystery many are hoping gets solved in The Lost Metal.

 

Edited by Harrycrapper
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3 hours ago, Harrycrapper said:

This bothered me for quite a while as well, so I will pass on what I've seen on the forums or reasoned through. F-Nicrosil allows you to store any Allomantic or Feruchemical ability, including the ability to store the ability of F-Nicrosil itself. To make an unkeyed Nicrosil metalmind, you would need to have the ability to store your Identity using F-Aluminum. Given that you have an unkeyed Nicrosil metalmind, F-Aluminum, and any other Allomantic or Feruchemical power, you could make a medallion that grants that power. Simply holding a metalmind that has F-Nicrosil gives you the ability, you don't need to tap it to gain the power. It's similar to how the Honorblades work in the Stormlight Archive.

How Southern Scadrians managed to get those things without the Bands of Mourning is not certain. There aren't any people with more than one Feruchemical ability on Scadrial unless they stole it using Hemalurgy. So, either the Southern Scadrians are using Hemalurgy to accomplish some of this or the excisors Kelsier gave them accomplish what one of the aforementioned Feruchemical abilities do in lieu of having both. Excising something could mean excising someone Identity or their Investiture, or it could do something entirely different. So, I don't think we're supposed to understand exactly how they're managing it, Brandon has been tight lipped and we're missing a piece or two of the puzzle. It's a mystery many are hoping gets solved in The Lost Metal.

 

There are still Feruchemists they are just rare.

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13 minutes ago, Frustration said:

There are still Feruchemists they are just rare.

If by Feruchemists, you mean full Feruchemists, as far as I know that is incorrect. They are trying to breed one, but to our knowledge haven't succeeded. There may have been a few that were born post Catacendre, but at the current point in Era 2, there are said to be none. Supposedly, the genetic mixing of Allomancy and Feruchemy caused Feruchemy to break down to the point where each person only has one metal. To get a full Feruchemist, you would have to have a genetic line that didn't mix with the old nobility and Spook's descendants. And even then, TLR's breeding program had substantially reduced the amount of people who could genetically pass it along. I get the feeling if we ever do see one, they'll be a descendant of Tindwyl.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Harrycrapper said:

 

If by Feruchemists, you mean full Feruchemists, as far as I know that is incorrect. They are trying to breed one, but to our knowledge haven't succeeded. There may have been a few that were born post Catacendre, but at the current point in Era 2, there are said to be none. Supposedly, the genetic mixing of Allomancy and Feruchemy caused Feruchemy to break down to the point where each person only has one metal. To get a full Feruchemist, you would have to have a genetic line that didn't mix with the old nobility and Spook's descendants. And even then, TLR's breeding program had substantially reduced the amount of people who could genetically pass it along. I get the feeling if we ever do see one, they'll be a descendant of Tindwyl.

They're breeding Mistborn, who are actually non-existent but Feruchemists are still around Wax mentioned them in BoM, or was it SoS. Also why do we call them full Feruchemists now, you don't call them full Mistborn, and the individual ones are called Ferrings.

Edited by Frustration
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Frustration said:

Also why do we call them full Feruchemists now, you don't call them full Mistborn, and the individual ones are called Ferrings.

Otherwise, it is unclear whether you are using "feruchemist" like "allomancer" or like "mistborn."

Misting - Ferring

Mistborn - (full) Feruchemist

Allomancer - Feruchemist

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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1 hour ago, Frustration said:

They're breeding Mistborn, who are actually non-existent but Feruchemists are still around Wax mentioned them in BoM, or was it SoS. Also why do we call them full Feruchemists now, you don't call them full Mistborn, and the individual ones are called Ferrings.

It's was just to be sure I knew that's what you meant, but yea Wax mentioned that there hasn't been one in a very long time. Quoted from the Feruchemist page on the Coppermind:

Quote

After the Catacendre, the surviving Terris began to interbreed with the general population. The genes for Feruchemy began to break apart, as a result of mixing with those for Allomancy. Whereas before people had either the ability to use all of the Feruchemical abilities or none of them, Ferrings, who could use only one (analogously to Mistings), began to appear.[11] Conversely, Feruchemists with all of the Feruchemical abilities, now referred to as "Full Feruchemists", have disappeared, though the Terris community began to work on creating one through careful breeding of Feruchemical lineages.

The Set is breeding people to make Mistborn, the Terris elders are breeding people to make a full Feruchemist. One might wonder if that's a coincidence...

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12 minutes ago, ChickenLiberty said:

Otherwise, it is unclear whether you are using "feruchemist" like "allomancer" or like "mistborn."

Misting - Ferring

Mistborn - (full) Feruchemist

Allomancer - Feruchemist

Why call them a Feruchemist, hardly anyone uses the term allomancer, Ferring works just as well.(Yes, I am willing to die on this hill)

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Posted (edited)

3 minutes ago, Frustration said:

Why call them a Feruchemist, hardly anyone uses the term allomancer, Ferring works just as well.(Yes, I am willing to die on this hill)

Since allomancer can refer to both mistings and mistborn, and feruchemist can refer to both ferrings and full feruchemists. They're just more general terms.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Just now, ChickenLiberty said:

Since allomancer can refer to both mistings and mistborn, and feruchemist can refer to both ferrings and full feruchemists.

When was the last time that you referred to someone as an allomancer and not whatever their misting type was/Mistborn

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Just now, Frustration said:

When was the last time that you referred to someone as an allomancer and not whatever their misting type was/Mistborn

It's useful as a blanket term, or when you're not referring to a specific one.

Ex: "Allomancers ingest metal to use their powers."

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Just now, ChickenLiberty said:

It's useful as a blanket term, or when you're not referring to a specific one.

Ex: "Allomancers ingest metal to use their powers."

and? that means you can't use the same word, not like we have a planetary system, planet and a continent with the same name or anything........

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On 5/25/2020 at 3:51 PM, Harrycrapper said:

 Given that you have an unkeyed Nicrosil metalmind, F-Aluminum, and any other Allomantic or Feruchemical power, you could make a medallion that grants that power. Simply holding a metalmind that has F-Nicrosil gives you the ability, you don't need to tap it to gain the power. It's similar to how the Honorblades work in the Stormlight Archive.

to be perfectly clear: the medallions aren't just unkeyed nicrosil-minds.  they are unsealed, which is an additional level of freedom from the normal rules.  an unkeyed metlamind still requires that the user already have the ferruchemical ability to access it.  think about the goldmind that Wayne gets in BoM - he can use it because he is already a gold ferring, but Wax can't, even though it is unkeyed, because he isnt a gold ferring; the members of the set who use them are hemalurgically spiked to have the additional ability.  we know how to create an unkeyed metalmind, as you describe.  we know that unsealed metalminds are a thing (i.e. the medallions and the bands) but Brandon hasn't yet divulged how to create one.

 

On 5/25/2020 at 2:54 PM, Light In the Darkness said:

Has feruchemy gotten weaker over time? How? I saw the topic about making a black hole with Feruchemical weight; maybe a limiting factor on feruchemy is how fast your taping builds up to your target or something? That would give a check on drawing it all out in a planck time, and a mechanism by which you are storing a variable amount of feruchemical ability, and a mechanism for feruchemical potency increasing/decreasing. Thoughts?

I've thought about this some, and my personal opinion is that weaker/stronger ferruchemy probably has to do primarily with bandwidth (for lack of a better word ) - i.e. how much investiture you can store or tap at one time.  basically, if you use a plumbing metaphor here, someone with a bigger pipe is going to be able to handle more investiture at once.  to use weight as an example, since it translates pretty easily to normal units: if I wanted to gain 1000 lbs for 5 minutes, i'd have to tap a certain amount of investiture, and if i wanted to gain 2000 lb for half that time, id have to tap about the same amount total (a little more actually per Sazed's explanation in era 1), but i'd have to be tapping it twice as hard and i migth find that i run up against some limitation.  so following from that example, I would say an iron ferring would have a maximum weight that they are able to add (or subtract, but that likely doesn't come up) at a given time, and a stronger ferring's will have a higher limit while a weaker ferring would have a lower limit.  so a very weak ferring might only be able to add say 200 lbs to their weight at once, while a very strong ferring would be able to add literal tons.

there may also be a secondary aspect relating to that penalty for pulling in a lot of a trait all at once, where it is possible that a stronger ferruchemist may be able to do that more efficiently and with a smaller penalty relative to a weaker ferruchemist.

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13 hours ago, Dunkum said:

to be perfectly clear: the medallions aren't just unkeyed nicrosil-minds.  they are unsealed, which is an additional level of freedom from the normal rules.  an unkeyed metlamind still requires that the user already have the ferruchemical ability to access it.  think about the goldmind that Wayne gets in BoM - he can use it because he is already a gold ferring, but Wax can't, even though it is unkeyed, because he isnt a gold ferring; the members of the set who use them are hemalurgically spiked to have the additional ability.  we know how to create an unkeyed metalmind, as you describe.  we know that unsealed metalminds are a thing (i.e. the medallions and the bands) but Brandon hasn't yet divulged how to create one.

Oops, mixed the two up, I meant unsealed.

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