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Testing Metals for Allomantic Viability


Eric

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If your theory was true, than a (for example) smoker would be able to burn steel, but he'd die for it. Instead, he just doesn't feel the reserve.

Actually, do we know this for a fact? We know that Allomancers can detect feruchemical storages in metals that they can burn, so there would be precedent to being unable to access a power despite feeling it. If this is the case, how would the metallurgist Vin used have known that a certain alloy showed promising results if he didn't have any way to tell if you could burn it? Was he randomly slipping samples to another friendly Mistborn, destroying the advantage Vin was looking for in a metal only she had access to? If it's not the case, he could just have a Misting somolier try them and say "It feels about right, maybe with a hint of lime". Is there a way to tell chemically?

Anyone have any direct information on this?

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My gut feeling would be that he noticed physical properties that were in some fashion similar to those of other allomantic metals be that specific properties or its similarities/differences to aluminium.

However I have no justificstion for that other than the logistics of it, there werent that many mistborn around for one to be acting as a secret metal tester

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In the beginning of the first book, when kelsier is testing vin, he gives vin a vial of 2 different metals. then he either took the fact that vin could acccess the reserve as proof she was mistborn, or he actually rquired her to burn the metals. I don't remember and don't have the books available. Someone should check.

If kelsier was satisfied with vin feeling the metal, then it proves you need to be able to burn a metal to feel it. otherwise, it proves nothing.

But I don't think a mistborn could burn any metal with no allomantic properties. if that was the case, then they would feel traces from the water all the time. there are 90 elements occcurring in nature, and most of them are metals. so a mistborn should feel dozens of sources all the time. shouldn't they feel a big source from all the sodium, magnesium and calcium that are commonly dissolved in water? and lesser ones for all the other metals?

So I guess it must have some affinity to an allomantic metal for you to feel it.

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Best thing I can think of is when Spook is given pewter, he makes a reference to the fact that he's never felt this reservoir of power before or something like that, I'll try and find the quote but I would say that no Mistings cannot even sense other power wells.

On the subject of testing the alloys they can't have had another mistborn trying them or they wouldn't have needed Vin to test each alloy but we also know that you wouldn't be able to tell if an alloy is right just by sensing the power, otherwise Vin wouldn't need to burn them each time. My guess is that there would just be a certain number of viable alloys to make with Aluminum and they were just going to keep trying them and slowly hone in on it, there could be some way to tell chemically whether or not a metal can be Allomantic but then Brandon said he originally tried things like color but in the end they turned out pretty random so I don't think so, could be just the subtle influence of Ruin to keep Vin alive or something but IMO it was basically just trial and error.

As for Allomancers sensing Feruchemical stores, they can use it but only if it were made by them, if you non-lethally gave an allomancer feruchemy and they made a store and then removed the spike, they should still be able to burn that store because it's still allomancy that you're using.

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In the beginning of the first book, when kelsier is testing vin, he gives vin a vial of 2 different metals. then he either took the fact that vin could acccess the reserve as proof she was mistborn, or he actually rquired her to burn the metals. I don't remember and don't have the books available. Someone should check.

If kelsier was satisfied with vin feeling the metal, then it proves you need to be able to burn a metal to feel it. otherwise, it proves nothing.

He actually required her to use it. She couldn't even tell that there were two reserves until she tried to do the opposite of what she usually used her Luck for (riot instead of soothe), and realized suddenly that it wasn't all the same.

But I don't think a mistborn could burn any metal with no allomantic properties. if that was the case, then they would feel traces from the water all the time. there are 90 elements occcurring in nature, and most of them are metals. so a mistborn should feel dozens of sources all the time. shouldn't they feel a big source from all the sodium, magnesium and calcium that are commonly dissolved in water? and lesser ones for all the other metals?

So I guess it must have some affinity to an allomantic metal for you to feel it.

Agreed, to a point. Allomantic metals have to be sufficiently pure to be used, but Kelsier explicitly calls out the fact that insufficiently pure metals won't do anything when you try to burn them, or at worst make you violently ill. You can sense an impure metal well enough to try burning it even though it won't work. A pure metal that with no Allomantic properties at all, such as lead or silver, wouldn't be sensed, or Vin would have thought something about it when Zane gave her the Atium-plated lead ball.

@Voidus: You are correct about Spook. "Then -- reaching within himself -- he found something completely unexpected. Something he'd never thought he'd ever see, something that shouldn't have existed. A new metal reserve." Spook was obsessing enough about being useful that I'm good with taking his word. Of course, now I'm back to square one on this. What makes an alloy more promising to the metallurgist...?

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Yeah I'm guessing that it was largely just trial and error since they knew it had to be an alloy of aluminum, after all the ministry was trying for a thousand years to find new metals, although they probably didn't always have the advantage of a nearby mistborn to test them.

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I remember the Ministry trying to find new Hemalurgy stuff. I don't recall them trying to find more metals. There was a guy working independently in the MAG fiction who discovered Malatium, so I don't think it would have been that hard.

Actually, I guarantee it would be easier for them. The Lord Ruler could just touch a metal and tell them.

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I remember the Ministry trying to find new Hemalurgy stuff. I don't recall them trying to find more metals. There was a guy working independently in the MAG fiction who discovered Malatium, so I don't think it would have been that hard.

Actually, I guarantee it would be easier for them. The Lord Ruler could just touch a metal and tell them.

TLR knew all the metals, he just kept some secret. Others (like chromnium) he probably couldn't find.

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That actually could be a really good way to check for new allomantic metals- check them feruchemically. I don't think any poor side affects are mentioned for trying to store something in a non-feruchemical metal, besides that Sazed says they come out "weaker". But for discovering new metals, that could be useful in getting in the right ballpark.

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That actually could be a really good way to check for new allomantic metals- check them feruchemically. I don't think any poor side affects are mentioned for trying to store something in a non-feruchemical metal, besides that Sazed says they come out "weaker". But for discovering new metals, that could be useful in getting in the right ballpark.

Which begs the question of how the Feruchemical metals are determined. How exactly did someone figure out that by touching iron they could store their weight in it? Feruchemy has never struck me as an instinctive art.

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Was there any mention of the Metalurgist being Terris? Or maybe there's some science behind the percentages we're not aware of. It's not like people can afford trial-and-error with expensive metals (See AoL: Bendalloy)

Edited by Observer
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