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How do Lines of Forbiddance work?


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I was thinking of Lines of Forbiddance and I realized that they might have the ability to create levitation.

When looking at the wiki, all it says is that they can’t be moved and the wall it creates is perpendicular to its surface. I have questions though. Can the thing the line is on be moved? Can it be rotated? How far does a Line of Forbiddance stretch outward? Does swinging it and hitting something put a force on you or does it just pass through? What if it is initially drawn on the bottom of something or on a slope? Can this make something float in mid air?

Depending of how Lines of Forbiddance work, they could get very powerful, very quickly.

 

Ps. Does this count as introducing myself?

Edited by EmotionalLearner
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Welcome to the Shard!

You can ask a mod to do it (using the Report Post option and asking for a move in the comment section will get their attention) but there's a pretty good chance one of them will move it to the Rithmatist board on their own, as usually happens with posts in this board that are better suited to a discussion board.

For the question, I think that it would be tricky to levitate anything using a Line of Forbiddance but it might not be impossible. You have to first draw the line in order to create its barrier, which means you can't have anything on top of the line that would get in the way of the initial drawing and putting something atop the line after it's been drawn but before the barrier goes up (which must be possible or the Mark's Cross with crossing Lines of Forbiddance couldn't exist) might smudge the line and weaken it. The barrier's height (ie 'how far it stretches') is determined by the thickness of the chalk line but it's still a plane so even if you could stick something on top of a Line while the barrier was going up, the object would probably just roll off. Maybe if you had two perpendicular Lines forming a corner and the object placed on top was arranged just so you could get it to balance on that surface. Brandon has indicated that there are more practical applications of Rithmatics that people aren't using, so there's definitely room for exploration.

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RippleGylf [PENDING REVIEW]

In The Rithmatist, in that world, do they ever use Rithmatics for practical purposes? I can easily see using Lines of Forbiddance for children to just draw a line on the wall, and like--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They should do it more than they do. But there are people using it, chalklings included.

source

We know that a properly drawn Line can project a horizontal barrier if the surface it's drawn on is perpendicular to the ground.

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KalynaAnne

So you have Lines of Forbiddance, you draw them on the ground and you get forcefields. How about when you draw them on a chalkboard? Does it project out into the room?

Brandon Sanderson

It would project out into the room, yes.

source

However, there's also limits to what can be done, especially with Lines of Forbiddance

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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

If you were to draw a Line of Forbiddance on a portable chalkboard, could you actually knock somebody overside the head?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It wouldn't knock them over the head, because it kinda has the magnetic repulsion sort of thing, but we will get into moving things as we go further in the series.

source

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KalynaAnne

If you drew a Line of Forbiddance on, like, a slate and then you can hold the slate--

Brandon Sanderson

Moving stuff around starts playing with things. So I'm going to say, I will deal with that in the next book but it doesn't work how you want it to work.

KalynaAnne

Okay, I'll accept that answer.

Brandon Sanderson

For logistical reasons, when I was building the magic, I was "Ehhh, we've got to not have this be possible."

source

So yeah, there's definitely material there which Brandon plans to look at in the sequel.

PS. If you don't know about Arcanum yet, it's an awesome resource for things Brandon has said outside the books.

Edited by Weltall
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