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Emotional Allomancy: Sensory Input


Oudeis

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EDIT:  This theory has been, if not conclusively, then fairly solidly, disproven.

 

When attempting to Soothe anyone subject to the Ruin Flaw of hemalurgy, Vin always points out that it feels like she's pressing against a wall.

 

But does this make any sense? There's no other time that emotional allomancy provides any sort of sensory feedback, that I recall, anyway.

 

What does it feel like to simply Soothe someone? Do you get a sense back that your power is working? How does it feel if you try to Soothe a Smoker? Is there a wall there, too? What happens if you try to Soothe a spoon? How does that feel?

Edited by Darnam
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When Vin was looking for the kandra spy in WoA and learned that kandra were immune to emotional Allomancy, she didn't think that was likely to be super useful, so at least she's not expecting any return data from normal Soothing or Rioting of somebody. I can't recall off hand if Breeze knew there was probably a kandra spy among them, which is too bad, because I'd trust his understanding of Brass more than Vin's. Not to mention, if there were some kind of feedback when you try to Soothe (normal Soothe, not brainhacker-Soothe) somebody, you'd expect Breeze to find all the kandra.

So, no, I don't think there's normally any feedback from emotional Allomancy, and the "pushing against a wall" sensation is unique to taking control of Hemalurgic constructs.

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But wouldn't that imply that it would be crazy easy to find a kandra? If anytime you Soothe a kandra you get the sensation of a wall, and anytime you Soothe a human you feel nothing, couldn't you just Soothe everyone until someone felt like a wall?

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But wouldn't that imply that it would be crazy easy to find a kandra? If anytime you Soothe a kandra you get the sensation of a wall, and anytime you Soothe a human you feel nothing, couldn't you just Soothe everyone until someone felt like a wall?

Sure you could, if you knew about that phenomenon. We know the kandra don't want it getting out, for obvious reasons, and I suspect the Lord Ruler would have tried to suppress that information too, because if it were commonly known then kandra infiltrators would not be as useful and they wouldn't be able to charge as much atium for their services. Whatever the reasons, it's clear that by Vin's time this was not common knowledge among Allomancers. That implies that you wouldn't stumble on the wall sensation accidentally (see earlier comments about Breeze, Kandra Finder Supreme). Presumably to hit the wall you have to be Pushing or Pulling on the kandra hard enough that you'd be exposing yourself if you tried it on a human. I'm talking about the kind of "I am manipulating you openly to show you how powerful I am" that Vin pulls a couple of times.
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So, is it universally accepted that the "wall" is a unique phenomenon? In every other circumstance, you simply feel like you're pointing a hose with your eyes close; it could be making it into the bucket, it could be splashing on the ground, you have no way to know.

 

So it wouldn't feel different if you were trying to Soothe a rock, or a mannequin that you've confused for a human, or a Smoker currently protected from your power.

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I would guess that DigitalBusker is right and that the only time you feel that resistance is when you are pressing powerfully against the emotions of someone who is spiked.

 

If it happened for people protected by copper then soothers could be used to find smokers and mistborn and that doesn't sound right at all.

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I would guess that DigitalBusker is right and that the only time you feel that resistance is when you are pressing powerfully against the emotions of someone who is spiked.

 

If it happened for people protected by copper then soothers could be used to find smokers and mistborn and that doesn't sound right at all.

 

I'm just playing devil's advocate here. I simply asked the question, and I have no idea what the answer might be. When someone gives me an answer, I try to challenge it a little, see if it's solid. If my challenge gives offense, please know it was unintentional, and I will withdraw and apologize.

 

Why, exactly, doesn't it sound right that Soothers might have a trick up their sleeves that not a lot of people know about? Frankly, not a ton is known about allomancy in the Final Empire, and the people who do know are the Steel Ministry, whose secrets we the readers never gained access to.

 

Your point is very good. Although, considering the relative scarcity of both illicit Smokers and Ministry Soothers, I'm not certain I agree this is quite the only answer to my question. The Ministry uses a lot of Soothers in their Soothing stations, which by design would be placed in incredibly densely populated areas. "One of the thousand or so skaa who just walked past was burning copper." Doesn't actually help much, but might help some... might also explain one reason whey skaa thieving crews do get captured sometimes, even when they use Smokers. It's not a smoking gun or a golden arrow, but it's one more clue that the Canton of Inquisition can use to locate a thieving crew which is using allomancy. And remember, they've already got a secret weapon against smokers; Seekers-cum-Inquisitors can pierce copperclouds. Why employ Soothers to do a job that's already being handled?

 

Finally... are you agreeing with the statement that there's a definite difference that a Soother can feel between "Soothing a kandra" and "soothing a hemalurgic creation"? So, in theory, any Soother has an automatic Kandra detector. If not, why not?

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I'm just playing devil's advocate here. I simply asked the question, and I have no idea what the answer might be. When someone gives me an answer, I try to challenge it a little, see if it's solid. If my challenge gives offense, please know it was unintentional, and I will withdraw and apologize.

No offense there whatsoever. I think that challenging any theory to see both sides is a good idea.

 

I actually wasn't thinking of the ministry hunting skaa when I was talking about the soothing vs smokers/mistborn. I was actually thinking of the nobility who are always trying to work out which other nobility are mistborn. I think that the feeling of pushing against a wall is very distinct from the normal absence of any feedback with soothing and so would be a rapidly discovered phenomenon if it occurred against smokers. As there is absolutely no mention of anything like that in the books I doubt that it is the case. Does that make sense? Over the course of the final empire nobility with copperclouds up would have been targeted by soothers a multitude of times. I simply do not believe that they all would never have noticed this seemingly very obvious sensation.

 

It wouldn't be all that useful or necessary for the steel ministry given their inquisitors as you said. But the nobility would certainly use it.

 

I think that any haemalurgic creature, kandra, koloss and all other possible creatures, could potentially be controlled through emotional allomancy to varying degrees of difficulty. What I was agreeing with was that for any of these creatures, any light soothing would provide no feedback as per normal but any heavy soothing, basically flared or duralumin enhanced soothing, would get that feedback.

 

Edit: Finally found the quote I was looking for.

 

Not because Mistborn could kill them, but because Mistborn could do something else. Enslave them, somehow. Tentatively, testing what he'd said earlier, Vin reached out with a soothing and touched OreSeur's emotions. Nothing happened.

Edited by lord Claincy Ffnord
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I was actually thinking of the nobility who are always trying to work out which other nobility are mistborn. I think that the feeling of pushing against a wall is very distinct from the normal absence of any feedback with soothing and so would be a rapidly discovered phenomenon if it occurred against smokers. As there is absolutely no mention of anything like that in the books I doubt that it is the case. Does that make sense?

 

I see what you're saying, and it totally makes sense... but we. as the readers, know less about "what the nobles knew" than we did about either the skaa -or- the Steel Ministry. Our only look into that world, really, was Elend, who wasn't an allomancer while nobility was still a thing, and while he was a scholar of political theory, knew next to nothing about allomancy itself.

 

I agree with you, if this were a thing, the nobility would be aware of it; I think we know a fraction of the nobility's knowledge base.

 

There was a point when Vin said, or it might have been Kelsier, that many secrets of allomancy had been discovered, but kept secret until the person who learned it died. By Alloy of Law, people are starting to actually codify and disseminate (am I using that word correctly?) knowledge of allomancy in an academic way, but anything prior to that is basically the dark ages (which, I know, technically didn't exist on Earth, but on Scadrial they pretty much did).

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I see what you're saying, and it totally makes sense... but we. as the readers, know less about "what the nobles knew" than we did about either the skaa -or- the Steel Ministry. Our only look into that world, really, was Elend, who wasn't an allomancer while nobility was still a thing, and while he was a scholar of political theory, knew next to nothing about allomancy itself.

 

I agree with you, if this were a thing, the nobility would be aware of it; I think we know a fraction of the nobility's knowledge base.

 

There was a point when Vin said, or it might have been Kelsier, that many secrets of allomancy had been discovered, but kept secret until the person who learned it died. By Alloy of Law, people are starting to actually codify and disseminate (am I using that word correctly?) knowledge of allomancy in an academic way, but anything prior to that is basically the dark ages (which, I know, technically didn't exist on Earth, but on Scadrial they pretty much did).

I don't know... did tLR's experiments, organized government, transportation system, etc. count enough to not be considered "the dark ages"?

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I see what you're saying, and it totally makes sense... but we. as the readers, know less about "what the nobles knew" than we did about either the skaa -or- the Steel Ministry. Our only look into that world, really, was Elend, who wasn't an allomancer while nobility was still a thing, and while he was a scholar of political theory, knew next to nothing about allomancy itself.

 

I agree with you, if this were a thing, the nobility would be aware of it; I think we know a fraction of the nobility's knowledge base.

 

There was a point when Vin said, or it might have been Kelsier, that many secrets of allomancy had been discovered, but kept secret until the person who learned it died. By Alloy of Law, people are starting to actually codify and disseminate (am I using that word correctly?) knowledge of allomancy in an academic way, but anything prior to that is basically the dark ages (which, I know, technically didn't exist on Earth, but on Scadrial they pretty much did).

Fair enough. I simply feel that it is less likely that this would be one such secret. I would have thought at the least that Breeze would know if not Kelsier. It is possible that they were somehow unaware of it though and that Vin never tried to sooth someone burning copper.

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You're right, in that the biggest flaw in the opposing viewpoint is Breeze. He spent a lot of time with Clubs and was literally a compulsive Soother. The only defense of the alternate theory, which I agree is weak, is that Breeze wasn't a primary viewpoint character, and as this wasn't terribly germane to the story, it's plausible (if not necessarily likely) that it was simply not a thing he thought about while we were riding in his viewpoint.

 

So, on balance, I agree with you. The "wall" of hemalurgists is the one single type of sensory feedback Soothing ever gives you. It's possible that this isn't the case, but not likely.

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Is there an example of this wall being felt without duralumin (and not Elend). I'm thinking it could be feedback, like the recoil on a weapon. Breeze is using a water pistol and doesn't have any kick, while duralumin... Does.

 

That.... as it happens is an interesting question. I can't find an instance of Vin Soothing anyone and "feeling" the wall without using duralumin, but one of the last times she does it is when she tries it on Marsh. At that time, she reflects back on feeling it the first time she used it on TenSoon... but I read the first time she used it on TenSoon, and it's not mentioned.

 

So you've got a very good point. It's possible that without a burst to aid your emotional allomancy, you'll never feel the wall.

 

Thank you all for your excellent insights! I think we've rather neatly put this theory to bed. Soothing a kandra, a koloss, a person, a mannequin, or a rock all "feels" exactly the same to every allomancer (who isn't as powerful as Elend). You need a burst or something similar to experience the "wall" that comes from an attempt to exploit the Flaw.

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I agree with Darnam: Good spot, Pech. I just off-set a nega-Rep, as I imagine that was a mistake by someone. Anyone want to push him into the positive?

Edited by Kurkistan
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Just as a further note to reinforce our conclusion here. I am nearing the end of my well of ascension reread and during the siege of Luthadel Breeze attempts to sooth Koloss at least twice and still makes no mention of any feeling of a wall. One of those times was when a giant beast of a koloss was bearing right down on him so he soothing by instinct and most likely flaring then.

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Just as a further note to reinforce our conclusion here. I am nearing the end of my well of ascension reread and during the siege of Luthadel Breeze attempts to sooth Koloss at least twice and still makes no mention of any feeling of a wall. One of those times was when a giant beast of a koloss was bearing right down on him so he soothing by instinct and most likely flaring then.

No duralumin/nicrosil/elend level investiture, no recoil(I think)

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Sorry to throw a wrench into what looks like a nice explanation, but there's another instance of feedback. 

 

But, Kelsier fought on. Just in case, Vin turned on her copper. Then she burned zinc and reached out to help Kelsier, Rioting the emotions of those around her. It felt like she was Pulling against some massive, immobile wall. Yet, it must have helped, for Kelsier relaxed slightly, shooting her a grateful look.

 

Not only does Vin feel the wall, but from Kelsier's reaction, he does too.  And they're not trying to affect Hemalurgically spiked individuals, they're just Rioting their own team against the immense Soothing of the Lord Ruler.  

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Sorry to throw a wrench into what looks like a nice explanation, but there's another instance of feedback. 

 

 

 

 

Not only does Vin feel the wall, but from Kelsier's reaction, he does too.  And they're not trying to affect Hemalurgically spiked individuals, they're just Rioting their own team against the immense Soothing of the Lord Ruler.  

 

ooooo... interesting. So perhaps you notice if you're Soothing with/against someone? A fascinating second example. Thank you, Tarion!

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A very interesting example, thanks for posting that Tarion.

 

It could be interpreted that they were just judging by how the other members of the crew were reacting, however I don't think so.

 

Can anyone remember any other example of a time in the books when someone is soothing a persons emotions and someone else is rioting the same ones?

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A very interesting example, thanks for posting that Tarion.

 

It could be interpreted that they were just judging by how the other members of the crew were reacting, however I don't think so.

 

Can anyone remember any other example of a time in the books when someone is soothing a persons emotions and someone else is rioting the same ones?

I'm reading through the series at the moment (Doing the whole Cosmere + annotations as part of my WoR prep).  I didn't spot anything else in book 1.  I'll keep an eye out through 2 and 3, and have a result for you in the next couple of days.  

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I've almost finished my most recent well of ascension reread and I don't remember any such occasion. It wouldn't help that the only known characters in the book with soothing or rioting are Vin/Zane/Breeze/Alrianne (yeah yeah, one more at the end :P)

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Nice find, though I'm not sure it actually disputes this pet theory about the hemalurgic wall.

While I have a problem with emostings (mistings with emotional allomancy and awful taste in music) being capable of detecting copperclouds, I find I'm totally cool with them capable of detecting other emotional influences, though with a bunch of qualifiers that make it super niche -- must be affecting the same target, must be strong enough to create pressure to be felt, which basically means the emostings would likely end up having the same chance of detecting each other as their mutual target would have of detecting manipulation by either.

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Nice find, though I'm not sure it actually disputes this pet theory about the hemalurgic wall.

While I have a problem with emostings (mistings with emotional allomancy and awful taste in music) being capable of detecting copperclouds, I find I'm totally cool with them capable of detecting other emotional influences, though with a bunch of qualifiers that make it super niche -- must be affecting the same target, must be strong enough to create pressure to be felt, which basically means the emostings would likely end up having the same chance of detecting each other as their mutual target would have of detecting manipulation by either.

I don't think it disputes the theory at all to be honest. It is more of a related potential theory.

 

I basically agree with everything you just said :)

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