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Soulcasting: Mass and Volume Preservation


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Brandon Sanderson has stated that soulcasting is mass-conservative, not volume-conservative:



Is Soulcasting mass-conservative (Soulcast a 1kg goblet, you get 1 kg of blood)?

Brandon Sanderson

In most circumstances, yes.

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Also, he said that there are strange things going on to prevent explosions.


Sorana (paraphrased)

Is Soulcasting volume- or mass-preserving?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It's mass-preserving, but there are some strange things going on and that's why we don't get as much explosions as we should. You can see a bit of what is going on when Jasnah Soulcasts air, there are some little reactions, but not as strong as you ought to get.

However, these accounts do not seem to be consistent with what we have seen in the books. For instance, important dead people are often soulcast into stone, which is denser than flesh. Even if some "strange things" occur to prevent explosions, shouldn't the statues end up smaller than the corpses? Also, different parts of the body likely have different densities. I would imagine that the teeth and bones would be denser than the soft tissues, and maybe the tooth enamel and outer parts of the bone would be denser than the stuff inside each tooth and the bone marrow. How do these differences in density not result in the soulcast corpses becoming distorted, with different parts shrinking by different amounts?

Also, it was remarked at some point that a piece of armor was made by soulcasting clay into metal, as seen by the fact that it was covered in fingerprints. The fingerprints should be shrunken in this case, right?

If you soulcast something into something else, then does it expand or contract by the same amount in all dimensions? Can this be controlled?

Edited by arandomperson1234
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Soulcasting has a ton of basic Default settings that can be overridden (from the Essences down), with the caster's Intent adding the details.  It is mass conservative when the goal is just the material itself (poop to smoke, stone to food, etc) but when the Form is the whole point and they just want to change the material (rope to bronze, corpses to statues, the armor example) then it become Volume conservative.  It would be interesting to find out eventually if there is a difference in the Investiture cost of the two circumstances.  

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