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Feruchemy--The Force of Preservation?

Kobold King

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This thread isn't really a theory so much as it a questioned assumption.

When I read the Mistborn Trilogy, I thought I understood how the Three Metallic Arts worked in relation to one another. Hemalurgy is end-negative, and is thus the force of Ruin. Feruchemy, being end-neutral, is the force of Preservation, as nothing is either gained or lost in a Feruchemical reaction. Allomancy is the power that results from both entities coming together. And end-positive art, Allomancy could not be powered by either of the Shards on Scadrial--they must work together in order to create.

These were my assumptions, at least. I think that the above system is logical, but I have frequently seen people on the forums discussing how Allomancy is the power of Preservation and Feruchemy is the result of both Shards interacting. I feel like I must be missing something, possibly a WoB or a direct quote from the series I missed. Does anyone have definitive info on how the Metallic Arts relate to the Shards?

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(A bit of an advance warning, I'm going to get a little technical here, but technical isn't exactly my strong suit so I'll also be making lots of generalizations. If I've got anything completely wrong feel free to point it out to me.)


Well, let's start with some more assumptions. Preservation is considered a force of stability, while Ruin is considered a personification of entropy. Now entropy, as stated in the laws of thermodynamics, always increases within a closed system. To prevent an increase of entropy, or even temporarily reverse the process, energy has to be added to the system from the outside.  


So Preservation on a whole must add energy and remove entropy, while Ruin accelerates entropy and removes energy. 


Looking at things that way, we can group the systems like this:


Allomancy: End-positive, Preservation's system as he must always add energy.


Feruchemy: End-neutral, no increase or decrease of entropy; a balance of the two Shards.


Hemalurgy: End-negative, an increase of entropy, and Ruin's system.


It's not the most intuitive way to group them, but since we have confirmation in the Mistborn annotations that Allomancy is fueled by Preservation it's the only way that works.

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Yeah, AonarFailieas has basically made all the relevant points. I just want to add, that Feruchemy being of both, not just Preservation, sort of fits into the more obscure relation between Preservation and Ruin themselves. They do not seem to be direct opposites on first glance; one generally thinks of creation as the opposite of destruction. In reality, creation is also a form of destruction, but its intent is different (see what I did there ;)). I always loved the amount of thought Brandon put into the two Shards' relationship. Neither could create on his own, so they needed to work together to do so. Ruin could change, and Preservation could contribute goodness, a desire to preserve. Ruin and Preservation are definitely the coolest Shard grouping we've seen thus far. I hope we get to dig deeper into Devotion and Dominion as well as Honor, Cultivation, and Odium in the future!

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