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Feruchemicical Steel, Gravity, and Thought

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I don’t think Brandon has ever said this, but I expect that gravity’s pull on you must change proportionally as you store and tap speed.  

Let me explain.  

So, when tapping speed we can see that you effectively become a Speedster (like the flash), but the problem is that when an object moves at speeds like that without something tethering it to the ground (sufficient weight like a train, aerodynamics intentionally pushing it down like a race car, or something tethering it into place like a roller coaster) it becomes a projectile.  So if you wanted to go more than about double the speed of an Olympic sprinter you would basically be a large bullet rather than the Flash.  

So, in order for this to work your gravitational pull would have to increase in order to keep you on the ground when tapping speed.  You might not notice it, but it has to exist.  

I’m curious to know how gravity would interact while storing speed.  I hope it would be decreased, meaning that if you store while falling you would fall either more slowly, more softly, or both.

Similarly, it’s safe to assume that your mental speed would have to be increased while tapping speed as well.  Otherwise you would not only be crashing into things because you would have trouble thinking fast enough to avoid them, but also your brain wouldn’t be able to keep up with your feet and you’d trip every few feet.  We can actually observe this in Shadows of Self, when Wax and Wayne are in a speed bubble and Bleeder looks at them and is surprised.  Without increased mental speed she wouldn’t have time for the thought to register.  When storing speed again you likely lose some mental speed.

These are both interesting on their own, but they also indicate that it’s likely that similar things happen for other attributes,


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I recently got the opportunity to ask you a question about Feruchemical steel and if it was a temporal effect and you told me to define that better. When tapping steel, the mind of the Feruchemist is sped up and physics affects their actions normally. When storing, their mind is not slowed and the effect seems tortuously difficult to amass. Storing generally seems to be the more dangerous/difficult option in Feruchemy, so does [Feruchemical steel] alter a person's personal relationship to the flow of time, with the disconnect between the Physical and Cognitive as a drawback of storing?

Brandon Sanderson

I see what you're asking. The mind-altering effects of [Feruchemical steel] are similar to the slight strength you gain from [Feruchemical iron]--it is your Spiritual nature adapting to the new influx of an attribute that it's not really expecting, and siphoning some of that investiture to make you capable of actually using it. So there is a slight temporal effect here, but nothing as big as I think you're looking for.

Footnote: This question is a follow-up to this question.
Skyward Pre-Release AMA (Oct. 31, 2018)

Brandon has said some stuff about this kind of thing. It is really interesting, and I think you are right that it does relate to other metals too. For example: 

Skyward Pre-Release AMA (Nov. 3, 2018)
#40Nov. 3, 2018 Share  Copy


A question regaurding Feruchemical iron:

So, while Sazed was guarding one of the gates to Luthadel, he tapped weight to compensate, he had to tap pewter as well. Also, when he was climbing a tree, his strength to weght ratio rised, making it easier for him to climb it. Wax doesn't have to do this- when fighting Miles on the train, he's fine without any sort of muscular enhancement, and when he is climbing in the sets base, he notes that he does not make himself lighter because it would simply decrease his weight and strength equally (in contrast to Sazed climbing the tree).

So, is this difference for the same reason people can push/ pull on atium, being the you hadn't fully developed your idea for the cosmere yet? Or is it some other reason?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. I think the mistake is more on me writing the Wax scene than in the original. (For him climbing, specifically.) I'll put Peter on this and see if it's a continuity error we want to fix.

 Brandon has said some about this, but I think there are big parts we don't understand, maybe? I'm not actually sure.

Anyway, they are really interesting.

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The main problem with these "if this metallic are does this, it has to do that" threads is that you could follow that chain forever. You say that if they store speed they also have to store gravity. Well if they store gravity they have to store mass. If they store mass they become less dense or lose volume. One would make them flimsy, the other would make them implode. Both cases would violate conservation of matter since there is no energy gained.

The simple answer is that you can move normally when you tap F-Steel because your perspective doesn't change. To you it seems like the world is moving slow, not that you are moving fast. Perception and Intent are a big part of all of Brandon's magic systems and shouldn't be ignored. It's the same with F-Iron. You don't feel like you are heavier, so the extra "strength" you gain doesn't make you stronger. You simply perceive yourself as being normal, while your environment sees you as changed.

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It actually reminds me of the magic system in Larry Correia’s Grimnoir series.  In that each type of magic is connected to a different location of a magical pattern created by a cosmic entity.  Each has neighboring types that can be tapped into with effort.  There’s other ways to get access to other types, but that’s one.

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