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When a Misting tries to burn the wrong metal


Swimmingly

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In the series, it's implied that a Mistborn can burn any metal, if they don't mind becoming violently sick/dying. So what about Mistings? When they try to burn an Allomantically active metal other than their own, what happens?

 

My ideas:

1) It just burns away with no effect, similar to Vin's first Duralumin burn, before she burnt another metal

2) Nothing. Mistings can't even try to use other metals than their own - although intuitively, I get the feeling that they should still be able to burn bad alloys of their own metals.

3) Violent sickness. Death. Fever. Hallucination. Mental fatigue and hypothermia. Diarrhea. Cancer. Sneezing.

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Pretty certain it is number 2. If a thug swallows tin they won't feel any reserve for it. It's not a "mistings can't get power from any other metal", mistings cannot burn any other metal. (Though an argument can be made for atium and its alloys, that's really a different question.)

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Pretty certain it is number 2. If a thug swallows tin they won't feel any reserve for it. It's not a "mistings can't get power from any other metal", mistings cannot burn any other metal. (Though an argument can be made for atium and its alloys, that's really a different question.)

Hmm. So what about bad alloys?

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I was going to say technically, they're the same metal, but actually no, technically they're not. What if it's the cognitive aspect that decides? Either 1. the Misting thinks of it as whatever metal they can burn so there is a burning but it doesn't end up right, because it really isn't what they thought or 2. The Alloy thinks of itself as Tin or Pewter or whatever metal it is mostly composed of.

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Followup question: if you could fight through the headaches (with Feruchemical gold?), would it be possible to get a non-Allomantic metal to do anything interesting? Perhaps it could be used as Investiture with Feruchemy?

Edited by Moogle
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It would depend on how impure the metal/alloy was. If it was only a little impure it might make them feel sick and would give less power, just like for a mistborn. If it too impure though it would be considered a different metal/alloy and they would not be able to burn it.

 

In answer to your follow up question I don't think so. But I am uncertain I am properly understanding your question.

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It would depend on how impure the metal/alloy was. If it was only a little impure it might make them feel sick and would give less power, just like for a mistborn. If it too impure though it would be considered a different metal/alloy and they would not be able to burn it.

 

In answer to your follow up question I don't think so. But I am uncertain I am properly understanding your question.

Improperly mixed alloys, corrupted metals, etc. Vin is able to burn these, apparently, but she only suggests it, and we don't see the effects.

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Oh right, got it now. Understood the main part before, I was just a tad slow getting the follow up question properly.

 

I would be reasonably sure that you could not get any new powers out of bad metals/alloys. Recall if you will that Vin tried to burn a number of alloys of aluminium before finding duralumin and all it did was make her very sick. It is vaguely possible that it gave her powers she didn't notice just like it took her a bit to figure out duralumins effect. I don't think this is the case though.

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I wonder if the sickness caused by the alloys is connected to the specific metal - i.e a bad tin would give you omnisensual hallucinations, a bad pewter would make you alternately weak and strong in specific parts of your body, a bad iron would make ironsight flicker and anything you try to pull drop a few inches occasionally, etc.

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I'd think that the alloy would at the least need to be partially composed of the mistings own metal for them to try to burn it, although I'd think that those who burn pure metals wouldn't be able to burn any alloys.

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I think they could burn it up to the point where you could actually call it a tin alloy rather than just pure tin. At that (rather fuzzy) line it stops being tin and starts being a different metal allomantically speaking. At that point they could not burn it, if they could, then a tineye could burn pewter. I would guess the line might have something to do with cognitive identity (or forms).

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I think there's a difference between a tin alloy and impure tin. Tin with a bit of other stuff in it is still basically tin, it isn't really an alloy yet. A Tineye would be able to burn it, get some tin power, and the more impure it is, the less power he'd get and the more sick he'd get. A tin misting wouldn't register pewter, period, despite it having a lot of tin in it, because at that point it's not simply "impure tin" it's an alloy, i.e. a different metal. A pewter misting would be able to burn pewter that's off the pure allomantic standard of pewter, to the same stages, until it becomes so impure that it's functionally a different alloy (or pure Tin).

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I postulate that they affect people by the same mechanism that the 

incomplete Aons do in Elantris. Here, as in there, we have an incomplete gateway to the power of a Shard/Shards. Though I suppose it's less horrific.

 

That was my first idea, too.

 

Messed-up Aons can still do things, though. A healing gone wrong turned Dilaf's love into something similar to the zombie Elantrians. I'm not sure if that qualifies as an incomplete Aon, though.

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That was my first idea, too.

 

Messed-up Aons can still do things, though. A healing gone wrong turned Dilaf's love into something similar to the zombie Elantrians. I'm not sure if that qualifies as an incomplete Aon, though.

Both instances of messed-up aons in the book responded in more or less the same way - not sure what Ehe, for instance, would do if messed up, but my point is that the given examples were consistent. I think that the bad alloys would function with the same kind of consistency - it helps if you think of the metal as a molecular "aon", creating a gateway to the power of a Shard (in this case Preservation) via the makeup of it

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Well, the semi-canon story "House of Ashes" (IIRC, and it is not completely canon) implies that mistings can indeed burn tainted alloys. The line separating it from another alloy should indeed lie in the thing Kurk calls "Forms" (and I call something like "emergent eigenstates" :) ). I am still fuzzy about iron/steel, since steel is iron with 2-5% carbon, so is iron with 1% carbon steel or iron?

The same story also implied that the metal the alloy is tainted with determines the kind of sickness one gets, such as trace amounts of nickel reducing awareness and precision, and accumulating over time, rather than just giving a headache for an hour. It is only semi-canon, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

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It is a story that went with MAG rulebook. Unlike another story (11th metal?) AFAIK it was not written by Brandon, so it is of dubious veracity.

Yup, that's the 11th metal. House of Ashes was written by someone else and is of very dubious canonicity. Not everything in it is wrong, but I would not use it as a reference for anything.

 

@Ookla the Confuzified Esq That is exactly what I have been saying :)

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What happens when a feruchemist tries to store/tap an impure metalmind? Since the effects of feruchemy have the potential to be less spectacular, you can perhaps store an attribute, tap a very very small amount of it, and suffer a less drastic illness for your trouble, as a way to test the purity of the metal, or new metals entirely for that matter.

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That was my first idea, too.

 

Messed-up Aons can still do things, though. A healing gone wrong turned Dilaf's love into something similar to the zombie Elantrians. I'm not sure if that qualifies as an incomplete Aon, though.

 

Both instances of messed-up aons in the book responded in more or less the same way - not sure what Ehe, for instance, would do if messed up, but my point is that the given examples were consistent. I think that the bad alloys would function with the same kind of consistency - it helps if you think of the metal as a molecular "aon", creating a gateway to the power of a Shard (in this case Preservation) via the makeup of it

 

*More Elantris Spoilers*

 

MASSIVE TANGENT: (sorry, but I've been sitting on this one for awhile)

 

To add to that, some very odd things can happen with really broken Aons, it seems:

 

Source:

BRANDON SANDERSON

HRATHEN

So, Hrathen wasn't really dead. (Ironically, while many of you are probably saying 'yeah, yeah. That was obvious,' I actually didn't have him appear here in the first eight drafts of the book. I'll explain later.)

 

I think this is my favorite scene of this chapter. Not only is it written a little better than the rest of the book (I added it quite late—just this last summer) but it gives final closure to the Hrathen-Dilaf relationship. It uses Hrathen's time in Dakhor as an ironic twist against Dilaf. In short, it is a pretty good scene. Fulfills character, plot, and theme at the same time—while giving us a nice image to boot. (Though I do hate to do the "Hey look, a guy we thought was dead is really alive" twist.)

 

The story behind this scene is pretty recent. One of the original rewrites Moshe asked for was a fix of the ending, which he thought was too Deus Ex Machina. (Which, indeed, it was.) I don't think I'll go into the entire original version here—it was quite different. You can read the alternate ending in the deleted scenes section, when I throw it up next month. The short of it, however, is that Ien (Raoden's Seon) showed up to save Raoden and Sarene from Dilaf. I used a mechanic of the magic system that I have since pretty much cut from the novel (since it was only in the book to facilitate this scene) that allowed Ien to complete his Aon, 'healing' Dilaf. Except, since Ien's Aon was broken, it turned Dilaf into an Elantrian instead. (A non-glowing Elantrian. One like Raoden the group used to be—like Dilaf's own wife became after she was improperly healed in Elantris.)

 

I know that's probably confusing to you. The scene, over all, was just kind of weak. It relied on a barely-explained mechanic mixed with a tangential character showing up at just the right moment. When Moshe asked for the change, I immediately saw that I needed to bring Hrathen back to life for a few more moments. Letting him die on the street just wasn't dignified enough (though originally I wanted him to die this way because it felt more realistic.) I wanted a final confrontation between Hrathen and Dilaf, since it would give most people's favorite character a heroic send-off, and would also let me tie in the aforementioned Dakhor irony.

 

In the end, I was very pleased with the rewrite. It's good to have an editor.

 

This implies that this functionality of "actualizing" Aons and/or bad Aons doing bad things might have been cut altogether, but then Brandon said that it can still happen.

 

Source:

MASTER_MORIDIN

Why aren't Seons affected by the lack of a chasm line in their Aon?

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

If they tried to actualize their Aon, it would have an undesirable result. In addition, the chasm broke their bond to the humans they were tied to, and you can see the result of that. So they were affected.

 

This also actually settles the age-old "was Hrathen's wife taken by the Shaod while being healed?" question, since Brandon says in the first quote that it was because of a bad Aon.

Edited by Kurkistan
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I know I am late to the party, but I just wanted to provide some general information about metal purity.  It doesn't take much of another element before a metal is impure or may be termed an alloy (note: impure does not necessarily equal alloy).  It is somewhat situationally dependent.  For example steel is an alloy of iron with carbon.  The closest anyone here has likely come to interacting with pure iron is wrought iron which is about 0.1-0.25 wt% carbon.  Wrought iron would not be generally considered to be pure iron.  However, it would likely be allomantically useful as impure iron.  However, just a tich more carbon and you have steel.  To my knowledge, we don't know the composition of allomantic steel, but is could be anywhere from ~0.25-2 wt% carbon (I would say likely <1 wt% carbon).  The point is that 99% pure iron may not be allomantically viable as iron.  I would expect that you probably have generally about a plus or minus 1 wt% range of purity for allomantically viable alloys and about a minus 1 wt% purity for allomantically viable elements. 

Edited by Shardlet
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