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Translation of the Cover page of 'The Treatise Metallurgic.'


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Woah, looking at mdmilosz's chart, I realized a few of the symbols look roughly like the English letters they represent. Tin, for example, the spike and the dot resembles an "i" and turn it sideways and there's an "e". Granted, they don't all do that and some are a real stretch, but I think it's interesting. Gold and electrum, as another example, gold has two spikes and electrum has one. m and n have one and two curves, respectively.

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I also did some quasi-universal observation like that each symbol has either two shells or at least two spikes (with exception of electrum, #19 and #22) or that the relative arrangement of the curves and spikes is in some way conserved (especially when looking at the cadmium-bendalloy, chromium-nicrosil or aluminium-duralumin pairs), but the only rule that seems to appear everywhere is as follows:

The pushing metals have the dot inside the curves. The pulling metals have it either outside (tin) or on the circumference.


What bugs me is whether the unknown symbols stand for some additional metals or are just fillers. And if the former, are they pure non-god metals (thus breaking the rule of 16), pure god metals (but then, where do they come from?) or some additional alloys, e.g. of atium (less logical, less systematic, but makes sense after all). Has there been some discussion about it on the forum I have missed?

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Welcome to the forums mdmilosz!


That is a very nice chart <have your first upvote =) >. (Although atium being in temporal is misleading. You could adjust it to have a single Temporal line and have a Shard line.).

The location of the dots has been noted before though, despite I don't know how much time searching, to my knowledge none of us have ever found a meaning to the number and placement of the spikes/curves.


There has been some occasional speculation on what the last 4 symbols are. Brandon has stated that we know all of the base metals however there could possibly be alloys of the base metals that we are unaware of. That is very uncertain though. It is also possible that they represent alloys of Atium or Lerasium though personally I do not think this is the case because:
-They appear to be 2 pairs, with the dot locations indicating a pull/push pair.

-They bear almost no resemblance to atium or lerasium. Most of the alloys bear some resemblance to the symbol of the base metal.


So basically we are all fairly clueless. I would be interested to hear any theories you come up with :)



I went and looked at the chart of symbols from Hero of ages. As the symbols from mistborn 1 era were derived from these I was hoping that the older symbols, being closer to the origins of the language, might hold more clues, and I actually found something interesting!


It may be nothing, but in this older script each of the unknown symbols correlates very closely to one of the other metals.


(I'm going to call the parts that jut out spikes for now, as they are what became the spikes in the more modern texts.)


19 Add an extra "spike" to 19 and you have Zinc.

20 Add an extra "spike" to 20 and remove a small one and you get Aluminium.

21 This is the most uncertain. You can get Zinc with 1 remove and 1 add or Duralumin if you add 3.

22 Add an extra "spike"/curve/thing to get Gold.


It could be nothing, but there is more similarity than I expected.


Here's the chart for reference.


Edited by lord_Ffnord
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O, there is the chart expanded:


It combines the most ancient set (the HoA symbols), the most recent one (the AoL symbols) and the feruchemical signs (for those metals that could be found). It seems that the last one is related, even if distant.

Here is the same, but with the late order. (And reflecting the separate lines.)


Edited by mdmilosz
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By far the best steel alphabet tables I have seen. Good work!


To my knowledge the feruchemical symbols are a form of the steel alphabet that was used by the terris people in the time of the book series (or maybe just the keepers). They also developed from the Hero of Ages symbols. (Fairly certain on this though I can't find the confirmation :(  )

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  • 1 year later...

Let the sacred spike of blessed metal pierce the heart of the sacrifice, to consume the soul and power. 

This seems to sort of confirm the theory that if you are the person that a spike is made from you have problems with the aferlife as it says that it "consumes the soul" of the sacrifice. 

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This seems to sort of confirm the theory that if you are the person that a spike is made from you have problems with the aferlife as it says that it "consumes the soul" of the sacrifice. 


The writers of this weren't super cosmere-aware and didn't seem to be very Realmatically-aware, so what they say shouldn't be taken as the truth I think.

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