Clarity-Art

The Fused's name for aluminum

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When invading Urithiru through the tunnels below the tower, Raboniel refers to aluminum as "ralkalest" during a conversation with Venli. Ralkalest is a Selish term for aluminum, originating from the Rose Empire. It's mentioned in The Emperor's Soul. This is a really small detail, but given that it's incredibly dangerous to travel to Sel through the Cognitive Realm, I wonder how the term reached Raboniel. We know Hoid has visited Sel, that he spent some time in the Rose Empire, and that he's interacted with the Fused before. Could the term predate Sel and Roshar as we know them today? Is Hoid messing with us again? Am I spitballing like crazy?

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I think [without evidence] that ralkalest is the pre-Shattering [or at least really old] term for aluminum. Or maybe the term diffused before Devotion and Dominion were Splintered.

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The Sibling also uses the term, so I would assume it is from the pre-Shattering times, probably of Yolish origin.

Also, if we're talking of weird linguistic coincidences, Navani uses the word Figgldygrak... Did she lean that from Wit? Or is it some kind of secret clue, maybe?

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We get that name used on Sel as well (the only other planet we know Odium has been to). This made me think that people from Sel came with Odium, and the term name carried over. 

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I honestly think it's the other way round. Look how cosmere aware Shai was- I wouldn't be suprised if the name she knows came from a different world.

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4 minutes ago, LiftIRL said:

I honestly think it's the other way round. Look how cosmere aware Shai was- I wouldn't be suprised if the name she knows came from a different world.

How was she cosmere-aware?

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4 hours ago, spitfireky said:

How was she cosmere-aware?

She was aware of Realms, but I don't think she knew of other planets yet. 

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Shai uses the term with other people, and they understood her, so it is a common term.

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Another (admittedly minor) overlap I noticed between RoW and Emperor's Soul is that the captain of the guards responsible for watching Shai is named Captain Zu, which is also the name of the Stoneward member of of the expedition to Lasting Integrity. As I often find myself saying, it could be nothing, but it's Brandon so it also could be something.

In this case, it seems a stretch too far to find a connection. Captain Zu is male, described as tall with pale skin and dark curly hair. Zu the Stoneward, on the other hand, is an Iriali female with bronze, metallic-looking skin and golden hair.

Then again, just for funsies I'll note that Shai describes Captain Zu as someone who "had a look of eagerness to him" and "fancied himself bound for important things in the future." And through Adolin's POVs  we get some a somewhat murky backstory for Stoneward Zu:

  • she speaks Alethi remarkably well;
  • she was apparently turned out by the Iriali when she first manifested Radiant powers;
  • the Iriali thought her cursed by some strange god whose name Adolin didn't recognize;
  • Adolin says at one point that she was the only Radiant on the expedition who "had held anything resembling a weapon before saying her oaths" but then later when he's introducing the party members to Maya and explaining their pasts, he gets to Zu and hesitates then asks what she used to do;
  • Zu responds that she "made trouble, mostly";
  • Zu later claims that she worked as a guide in the Reshi isles for years, after fleeing there to find a place where people wouldn't, as she put it, keep making rules about how she should live;
  • Adolin later expresses doubts about part of her backstory - she claimed she's picked up scouting skills as a guide in the Reshi Isles, but Adolin thought she moved with too much stealth for that
  • she's later explicitly referred to as "eager and excitable"

I don't know guys. I started thinking there was nothing to the two Zus, but given that we know the Iriali are descended from worldhoppers, that both characters are described as eager, and that Adolin doesn't seem to completely buy Zu's backstory, maybe there's something here?

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20 minutes ago, mdross81 said:

Another (admittedly minor) overlap I noticed between RoW and Emperor's Soul is that the captain of the guards responsible for watching Shai is named Captain Zu, which is also the name of the Stoneward member of of the expedition to Lasting Integrity. As I often find myself saying, it could be nothing, but it's Brandon so it also could be something.

In this case, it seems a stretch too far to find a connection. Captain Zu is male, described as tall with pale skin and dark curly hair. Zu the Stoneward, on the other hand, is an Iriali female with bronze, metallic-looking skin and golden hair.

Then again, just for funsies I'll note that Shai describes Captain Zu as someone who "had a look of eagerness to him" and "fancied himself bound for important things in the future." And through Adolin's POVs  we get some a somewhat murky backstory for Stoneward Zu:

  • she speaks Alethi remarkably well;
  • she was apparently turned out by the Iriali when she first manifested Radiant powers;
  • the Iriali thought her cursed by some strange god whose name Adolin didn't recognize;
  • Adolin says at one point that she was the only Radiant on the expedition who "had held anything resembling a weapon before saying her oaths" but then later when he's introducing the party members to Maya and explaining their pasts, he gets to Zu and hesitates then asks what she used to do;
  • Zu responds that she "made trouble, mostly";
  • Zu later claims that she worked as a guide in the Reshi isles for years, after fleeing there to find a place where people wouldn't, as she put it, keep making rules about how she should live;
  • Adolin later expresses doubts about part of her backstory - she claimed she's picked up scouting skills as a guide in the Reshi Isles, but Adolin thought she moved with too much stealth for that
  • she's later explicitly referred to as "eager and excitable"

I don't know guys. I started thinking there was nothing to the two Zus, but given that we know the Iriali are descended from worldhoppers, that both characters are described as eager, and that Adolin doesn't seem to completely buy Zu's backstory, maybe there's something here?

Couldn't it just mean that the humans that settled the Rose Empire on Sel are descended from the same humans that settled Iri on Roshar? It seems like the sort of name that would stick around like that.

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There's also the Selish linguistic connection of Shalash's name: shao (transformation) ala (beauty) ashe (light).

Edited by Chiberty
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On 11/25/2020 at 5:41 PM, seriodor said:

Couldn't it just mean that the humans that settled the Rose Empire on Sel are descended from the same humans that settled Iri on Roshar? It seems like the sort of name that would stick around like that.

Please correct me if this has been debunked, but my reading of this was ralkalest/aluminum is not naturally occurring on Roshar.
And therefore must come to the planet via trade through the cognitive realm.
The Ire are a group of “merchants” in the cognitive realm, specifically linked to Sel, and seem to be more Cosmere aware than most. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to say the Iriali are somehow linked to the Ire, and that they have been spreading knowledge of the Cosmere, ralkalest, and possibly the metal itself for a very long time. 
The clinking bag Mraize gives Raboniel seems to me to be direct evidence of this, as I assume it’s filled with aluminum but could also be a god metal. 

 

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4 minutes ago, CogitoErgoArclo said:

Please correct me if this has been debunked, but my reading of this was ralkalest/aluminum is not naturally occurring on Roshar.
And therefore must come to the planet via trade through the cognitive realm.
The Ire are a group of “merchants” in the cognitive realm, specifically linked to Sel, and seem to be more Cosmere aware than most. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to say the Iriali are somehow linked to the Ire, and that they have been spreading knowledge of the Cosmere, ralkalest, and possibly the metal itself for a very long time. 
The clinking bag Mraize gives Raboniel seems to me to be direct evidence of this, as I assume it’s filled with aluminum but could also be a god metal. 

 

Aluminum is available on Roshar, they use it in the fabrials that let Birdge Four fly. It's also used in Rysn's hovering wheelchair, and Kaladins flying glove. Navani never says where they source all that aluminum from as far as I can recall, but I feel like it would have been mentioned if they were importing it from offworld. The bag Mraize gave Raboniel had invested sand from Taldain in it.

Edited by seriodor
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17 minutes ago, seriodor said:

Aluminum is available on Roshar, they use it in the fabrials that let Birdge Four fly. It's also used in Rysn's hovering wheelchair, and Kaladins flying glove. Navani never says where they source all that aluminum from as far as I can recall, but I feel like it would have been mentioned if they were importing it from offworld. The bag Mraize gave Raboniel had invested sand from Taldain in it.

Navani definitely does not mention where it comes from, and I think that deliberate on Brandon’s part, but the first reference to Aluminum that I can remember on Roshar is when Hoid brings Azure sheets of it in Kholinar. It’s possible it’s naturally occurring, just very rare(like on earth) but it’s also possible they could be getting their supply from offworld (the Ire, or the Ghostbloods- possibly how they fund themselves), and no one has really thought to ask where it comes from(also like on earth). I think this is why Mraize called it an advance on future payments, he’s promising her a steady supply of aluminum, which Scadrial has an abundance of. 

Also, They might be able to replicate what Hoid had brought them with soulcasting, although that seems unlikely/impossible. 

As for the sand: that was definitely my first thought, but sand doesn’t “clink” in a bag. Unless that is a property of invested sand that I’m missing. 

Edited by CogitoErgoArclo
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22 minutes ago, CogitoErgoArclo said:

Navani definitely does not mention where it comes from, and I think that deliberate on Brandon’s part, but the first reference to Aluminum that I can remember on Roshar is when Hoid brings Azure sheets of it in Kholinar. It’s possible it’s naturally occurring, just very rare(like on earth) but it’s also possible they could be getting their supply from offworld (the Ire, or the Ghostbloods- possibly how they fund themselves), and no one has really thought to ask where it comes from(also like on earth). I think this is why Mraize called it an advance on future payments, he’s promising her a steady supply of aluminum, which Scadrial has an abundance of. 

Also, They might be able to replicate what Hoid had brought them with soulcasting, although that seems unlikely/impossible. 

As for the sand: that was definitely my first thought, but sand doesn’t “clink” in a bag. Unless that is a property of invested sand that I’m missing. 

Garnet is one of the Ten Polestones and it contains Aluminum, so it is present. Or at least it is in red Garnets, which I assume is what they mean, because it's associated with the essence of Blood. The ancient Radiants lined the walls of the bottom tunnels of Urithiru in Aluminum. That's a lot of Aluminum. I doubt they were importing that much metal from offworld when Aluminum is probably very abundant in the environment. Also Aluminum isn't rare on earth, it's the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, it just has to be extracted from other stuff first.

Edited by seriodor
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1 hour ago, seriodor said:

Garnet is one of the Ten Polestones and it contains Aluminum, so it is present. Or at least it is in red Garnets, which I assume is what they mean, because it's associated with the essence of Blood. The ancient Radiants lined the walls of the bottom tunnels of Urithiru in Aluminum. That's a lot of Aluminum. I doubt they were importing that much metal from offworld when Aluminum is probably very abundant in the environment. Also Aluminum isn't rare on earth, it's the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, it just has to be extracted from other stuff first.

All true, and I’ll concede you may be entirely right. But: My biggest issue is it seems strange to have a naturally occurring metal that interferes with investiture, on a planet where the entire ecology is dependent on investiture. 

 My thought is Garnets on Roshar may not be true garnets as we would know them, but are being named for their hue so we recognize them. 

Quote

ceraius

This is involving gemstones and their properties on Roshar. Given that Sapphire and Ruby are actually the same crystal - corundum - differing only in their impurities - how would you explain the differences in their properties, with respect both to their essences and their function in fabrials? For example, I am assuming that two identical fabrials, one made with a sapphire and one made with a ruby, would not function the same. To take it a step further, any corundum that is not ruby red is simply called a sapphire of whichever color it happens to be (blue sapphire, green sapphire, colorless sapphire, etc.). How does this play into things; would a blue sapphire have different properties than a green one or a colorless one?

Brandon Sanderson

This was a big part of the magic for me in working on Roshar, as I wanted the gems to work differently from Scadrials metals in order to avoid repetition. The fact that many gems are basically the same thing was one of the launching points actually. Let me say that you are on the right track.

On Roshar, color of the gem is more important than actual crystalline structure.

/r/books AMA 2015 (June 2, 2015)

As for the amount of Ralkalest at Urithiru: 

1. The Ancient Radiants and the Fused were definitely Cosmere aware and there is no way someone wasn’t trading in Shadesmar during the Heraldic epochs. 
The Ire, the Nalthian merchants, the Ghostbloods, and Raboniel’s knowledge of Taldain’s sands prove this, at least in my mind. 
2. ( just thought of this) All or much of that ralkalest is now missing from the base of Urithiru, and may be the source of most of what Artifabrians are using currently. Although I think the Fused are definitely getting it through Shadesmar. 

You’re right about aluminum not being “rare” on earth. In the sense that the actual mineral is abundant, but the technical knowledge of the extraction is pretty rare, I would posit. 



Edit: Just to clarify: I agree completely with your first post, but thought to expand on it a bit. 


The word “ralkalest” most likely originated on Sel,

the Ire are a group of invested “merchants” that trade in fabrials and investiture. And they definitely come from Sel. 
 

The Iriali are confirmed immigrants from another world, who are cosmere aware, and also use the term ralkalest. 

Most likely, the Ire have been calling it ralkalest as they’ve been trading through the cognitive realm. And it has become the common term used in the worldhopping economy. 

Edited by CogitoErgoArclo
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1 hour ago, Brgst13 said:

Can't a Soulcaster create aluminum?

Quote

ChickenBites

Can you Soulcast aluminum into other materials?

Brandon Sanderson

Aluminum would strongly resist any sort of Soulcasting.

Billy Todd

Would that resistance be overcome? Could be overcome?

Brandon Sanderson

This is the question. Everything can be, right? Aluminum, in the cosmere, was created. And can be created. So, people ask me this, "Can? Cannot?" Like, with a powerful enough magnet in our world, what can you do? Like, is water magnetic? ...But, could you make water respond to a magnet? Yes! You can make anything if you really try hard enough... It's, like, this idea, that when people are like, "Can you, yes or no?" Well... yes! Would it take the power of six Shards of Adonalsium working together? Maybe! Can you? Yes, you probably can. Like, we're talking about a fantasy universe where almost anything is possible, and the impossibilities are contradictions, it's "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" sort of questions when you get into "can you?"

Now, could you Soulcast aluminum using a reasonable amount of energy that an individual could conceivably have in a normal setting and situation? No. If that's what you're looking for.

JordanCon 2018 (April 21, 2018)

 

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I wasn't saying turn aluminum into something else.  I was saying to use a Soulcaster to MAKE aluminum.

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6 minutes ago, Brgst13 said:

I wasn't saying turn aluminum into something else.  I was saying to use a Soulcaster to MAKE aluminum.


Was thinking the same thing, and I’m furiously searching the Arcanum, but I can’t find a WoB with that particular wording. 
My instinct is no, since Soulcasting is transformation via investiture, and the end state would be just as resistant. 
 

Edited by CogitoErgoArclo
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1 hour ago, CogitoErgoArclo said:

All true, and I’ll concede you may be entirely right. But: My biggest issue is it seems strange to have a naturally occurring metal that interferes with investiture, on a planet where the entire ecology is dependent on investiture. 

 My thought is Garnets on Roshar may not be true garnets as we would know them, but are being named for their hue so we recognize them. 

As for the amount of Ralkalest at Urithiru: 

1. The Ancient Radiants and the Fused were definitely Cosmere aware and there is no way someone wasn’t trading in Shadesmar during the Heraldic epochs. 
The Ire, the Nalthian merchants, the Ghostbloods, and Raboniel’s knowledge of Taldain’s sands prove this, at least in my mind. 
2. ( just thought of this) All or much of that ralkalest is now missing from the base of Urithiru, and may be the source of most of what Artifabrians are using currently. Although I think the Fused are definitely getting it through Shadesmar. 

You’re right about aluminum not being “rare” on earth. In the sense that the actual mineral is abundant, but the technical knowledge of the extraction is pretty rare, I would posit. 



Edit: Just to clarify: I agree completely with your first post, but thought to expand on it a bit. 


The word “ralkalest” most likely originated on Sel,

the Ire are a group of invested “merchants” that trade in fabrials and investiture. And they definitely come from Sel. 
 

The Iriali are confirmed immigrants from another world, who are cosmere aware, and also use the term ralkalest. 

Most likely, the Ire have been calling it ralkalest as they’ve been trading through the cognitive realm. And it has become the common term used in the worldhopping economy. 

I guess the Iriali could have come from Sel sometime after all the other humans came from Ashyn. Them being linked makes sense to me. I still think Aluminum occurs naturally on Roshar. I'd say it doesn't effect the Invested life because like here, you can't just mine it naturally, it's bound to other elements as aluminum oxide. Being mixed with something seems to have a big impact on the Spiritual nature of a material. Bronze is just tin and copper yet it acts like it's own thing.

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37 minutes ago, seriodor said:

I guess the Iriali could have come from Sel sometime after all the other humans came from Ashyn. Them being linked makes sense to me. I still think Aluminum occurs naturally on Roshar. I'd say it doesn't effect the Invested life because like here, you can't just mine it naturally, it's bound to other elements as aluminum oxide. Being mixed with something seems to have a big impact on the Spiritual nature of a material. Bronze is just tin and copper yet it acts like it's own thing.

 Good point about the mixing. 
This WoB seems to lend more weight to aluminum oxide occurring naturally: 

Quote

Oversleep42

I got a question about this and last week's epigraph.

The metals Fused use. How come nobody knows, guesses or even suspects that aluminium and its alloys are Investiture resistant? They know you can Soulcast something into aluminium, so they should also know it's impossible to Soulcast aluminium into something else.

And once they know about metal that cannot be Soulcast, they start experimenting with fabrials - they used that in construction of Fourth Bridge - and then the logical step is to test it against Shardblades.Probably experimenting with alloys of aluminium, too.

Yet the metal Fused use to make weapons resistant to Shardweapons is a mystery to them?

I feel like I'm missing something here.

Brandon Sanderson

They're getting to answers here. Problem is, metallurgy just isn't a big science on Roshar. I feel it's one of those things that is more easy to see externally than internally--and do remember that there are things like god metals (Shardblades, for example) that also behave strangely around investiture. They have far more experience with those than aluminum, which is more of a little historical oddity to them than a big revolutionary part of science. Add to that the fact that some of the metals the fused are using aren't aluminum, and...well, I don't think it's as obvious a leap as you're making it out to be.

ImBuGs

So the Fused's fabrials are not 100% aluminum based? Or they are and they are struggling to reach that conclusion?

Brandon Sanderson

I think what you're asking will be answered in the book, so I'll RAFO for now.

Rhythm of War Preview Q&As (Nov. 4, 2020)


But he mentions it as a “historical oddity”  so I’m not entirely convinced. 

But I think it also lends more weight to them trading for it, as they don’t have the process to refine it themselves. 

Edited by CogitoErgoArclo
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On 11/25/2020 at 5:18 PM, mdross81 said:

Another (admittedly minor) overlap I noticed between RoW and Emperor's Soul is that the captain of the guards responsible for watching Shai is named Captain Zu, which is also the name of the Stoneward member of of the expedition to Lasting Integrity. As I often find myself saying, it could be nothing, but it's Brandon so it also could be something.

In this case, it seems a stretch too far to find a connection. Captain Zu is male, described as tall with pale skin and dark curly hair. Zu the Stoneward, on the other hand, is an Iriali female with bronze, metallic-looking skin and golden hair.

Then again, just for funsies I'll note that Shai describes Captain Zu as someone who "had a look of eagerness to him" and "fancied himself bound for important things in the future." And through Adolin's POVs  we get some a somewhat murky backstory for Stoneward Zu:

  • she speaks Alethi remarkably well;
  • she was apparently turned out by the Iriali when she first manifested Radiant powers;
  • the Iriali thought her cursed by some strange god whose name Adolin didn't recognize;
  • Adolin says at one point that she was the only Radiant on the expedition who "had held anything resembling a weapon before saying her oaths" but then later when he's introducing the party members to Maya and explaining their pasts, he gets to Zu and hesitates then asks what she used to do;
  • Zu responds that she "made trouble, mostly";
  • Zu later claims that she worked as a guide in the Reshi isles for years, after fleeing there to find a place where people wouldn't, as she put it, keep making rules about how she should live;
  • Adolin later expresses doubts about part of her backstory - she claimed she's picked up scouting skills as a guide in the Reshi Isles, but Adolin thought she moved with too much stealth for that
  • she's later explicitly referred to as "eager and excitable"

I don't know guys. I started thinking there was nothing to the two Zus, but given that we know the Iriali are descended from worldhoppers, that both characters are described as eager, and that Adolin doesn't seem to completely buy Zu's backstory, maybe there's something here?

Definitely a relation. Read the Ars Arcanum at the end of RoW, Stoneshaping section:

"I have sent my best agent to embed among the Stonewards."

Could Zu be Shai? I can't imagine Brandon not turning Shai into a near immortal worldhopper.

Edited by Leuthie
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I’m almost certain that stuff can in fact be soulcast into Aluminum. I believe it says so in WoR. 

Edit: Yep, confirmed by the Coppermind pages on both Aluminum and Soulcasting.

Edited by Ookla the Disproportionate
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24 minutes ago, Ookla the Disproportionate said:

I’m almost certain that stuff can in fact be soulcast into Aluminum. I believe it says so in WoR. 

Edit: Yep, confirmed by the Coppermind pages on both Aluminum and Soulcasting.

I’m embarrassingly invested in this question now, and I’m really confused. 
I usually trust the Coppermind implicitly, but I’m not sure I agree with it on this. 
The references on both articles on the Coppermind lead back to these two WoBs

Quote

Questioner

In other worlds, are we seeing any magics already? Like, if Allomancy might be on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

You've seen people using Allomancy in Roshar before. 

Questioner

[...] I remember reading in in Words of Radiance you said that the only way to get aluminum [on Roshar] was to Soulcast it, right? I think you said something like that... maybe? I thought I read that. I was wondering how that would work, if an Allomancer were to--

Brandon Sanderson

Aluminum has some weird properties on all of the magic systems, not just Allomancy. It does not have the same effect, but aluminum has some bizarre effects.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing (March 21, 2014)
Quote

Questioner

So, we know that things can be Soulcast into aluminum. But can aluminum itself be Soulcast into something else?

Brandon Sanderson

It resists all forms of Investiture trying to change it to things.

Oathbringer release party (Nov. 13, 2017)

 
And while he doesn’t specifically disagree with the second questioner, I read this as him very specifically and artfully not answering if it they can soulcast other things into Aluminum.  Especially with the addition of this WoB: 

Quote

Questioner

So, I'm intrigued by aluminum, especially the fact that it can only be found by Soulcasting on Roshar. So, how was it discovered in the first place?

Brandon Sanderson

...Did I say you can only get it through Soulcasting?

Questioner

In the Shallan flashbacks, she has the pendant.

Brandon Sanderson

Don't take what she says at 100% truth.

Oathbringer release party (Nov. 13, 2017)


I could definitely be overthinking it, and this may have been argued and layed to rest already, but it really sounds to me like he deliberately hasn’t confirmed that. 

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