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Southern Medallions


Karger

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Southern Medallions remain one of the cosmere's most irritating mysteries.  They are fundamental to an entire civilization's survival yet we have no idea how they work.  Key to their creation is a mysterious item called an excisor.  Again we have no idea what they are or how they work.  Some context and a couple of statements by Brandon have gotten me interested again and I came up with an idea.  It has been suggested before that hemalurgy is somehow involved.  This does not make sense though in the context that a society with full understanding of how this magic works would be able to create bands of morning.  Additionally southerners lack the metalborn needed to create large numbers of medalions so hemalurgy does not make sense in that context but it might with some slight modification. 

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Questioner

Has a Hemalurgic Feruchemist ever used a Hemalurgic spike to tap power into it? Have they ever done that yet?

Brandon Sanderson

So a Hemalurgic spike is already Invested, so it's going to resist sticking anything else in it, particularly a magic like that.

Questioner

So if there's a pewter spike then a Feruchemist couldn't store strength in it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. It would be difficult.

Bands of Mourning release party (Jan. 25, 2016)

It would be difficult but not impossible.  However what if you go the other way?  What happens if you try and use a metalmind as a hemalurgic spike?  A mostly full spike could still hold a small charge less then the full power.  I get the idea from liver transplants.  Rather then engaging in the ethically problematic practice of organ harvesting sometimes removing a small portion that grows back is possible.  I also wonder if the resistance between feruchemy and hemulurgy would work like electrical charge.  Perhaps the reason these medallions don't run out is because the power is pushed away into the center of the spike by the feruchemical charge and does not have a chance to leak out.  I am still work shopping this so help please.

Edited by Karger
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7 minutes ago, Karger said:

Southern Medallions remain one of the cosmere's most irritating mysteries.  They are fundamental to an entire civilization's survival yet we have no idea how they work.  Key to their creation is a mysterious item called an excisor.  Again we have no idea what they are or how they work.  Some context and a couple of statements by Brandon have gotten me interested again and I came up with an idea.  It has been suggested before that hemalurgy is somehow involved.  This does not make sense though in the context that a society with full understanding of how this magic works would be able to create bands of morning.  Additionally southerners lack the metalborn needed to create large numbers of medalions so hemalurgy does not make sense in that context but it might with some slight modification. 

It would be difficult but not impossible.  However what if you go the other way?  What happens if you try and use a metalmind as a hemalurgic spike?  A mostly full spike could still hold a small charge less then the full power.  I get the idea from liver transplants.  Rather then engaging in the ethically problematic practice of organ harvesting sometimes removing a small portion that grows back is possible.  I also wonder if the resistance between feruchemy and hemulurgy would work like electrical charge.  Perhaps the reason these medallions don't run out is because the power is pushed away into the center of the spike by the feruchemical charge and does not have a chance to leak out.  I am still work shopping this so help please.

Livers don’t actually grow back. What actually happens is that there are two lobes. One love is transplanted and both grow in size to make up the difference.

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It is interesting to note that medallions, and their ability to guarantee powers, are dependent only on nicrosil metal. And this metal is involved with Investiture at both Feruchemy and Hemalurgy. Apparently, unlike the Bands, it does not require Nicrosil to be tapping to work. So I think that, somehow, they involve some kind of "Compouding" between these two arts and are like a spike that doesn't need to pierce the user's body and doesn't decay (a hybrid between a spike-metalmind).

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23 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Livers don’t actually grow back. What actually happens is that there are two lobes. One love is transplanted and both grow in size to make up the difference.

Interesting.

5 minutes ago, Raphaborn said:

And this metal is involved with Investiture at both Feruchemy and Hemalurgy

Hemalurgy being involved at all is technically speculative.

6 minutes ago, Raphaborn said:

Apparently, unlike the Bands, it does not require Nicrosil to be tapping to work. So I think that, somehow, they involve some kind of "Compouding" between these two arts and are like a spike that doesn't need to pierce the user's body and doesn't decay (a hybrid between a spike-metalmind).

I am not really sure what you are talking about.  Could you explain?

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4 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

It's not really a daily life question, it's just a question of whether they could store traits in their spikes or needed specific metalminds to do so.

Ya, we know that they stored attributes but we don’t know what kind of metalmind they used, which in my mind is part of their daily life

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Just now, Aspiring Writer said:

Well, we know for a fact those who stored healing had to rest a lot.

Yes, that is exactly what I had in mind, but I am saying we don’t know if they used their spikes as metal minds or if they had gold bracers that were seperate

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10 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I swear I read somewhere that spikes could double as metalminds. Does anyone else have this memory?

 

4 minutes ago, Chinkoln said:

I agree that is sounds familiar, but I can’t find it during my quick search of Arcanum.

Here you go

Maru Nui

Can you both Feruchemically charge and Hemalurgically invest in the same piece of metal?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Maru Nui

What would happen if you burned the Feruchemically charged and Hemalurgically invested metal?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. 

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson (Jan. 10, 2011)
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23 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

What do you mean doesn't run out? Also, didn't Inquisitors store traits into their own spikes?

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Pagerunner

When you tap the nicrosil portion of a medallion, will it run out over time? Or is it like a coppermind, where something discrete is taken, used, and returned?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question! Like a coppermind.

General Signed Books 2018 (Oct. 15, 2018)

 

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So here’s my current theory on how they operate. An excisor is a machine that can place and remove spikes in the person using it without harm, presumably retaining the charge (possibly with aluminum wrapped spikes) when the device is not being used. You then have A and F nicrosil spikes that you spike into the user, allowing the user to compound nicrosil, allowing them to give their ability to use other metals (presumably granted by extra hemalurgic spikes) to others without losing the ability themselves. That way you can have a reusable way to give medallions that use F-nicrosil and other feruchemantic abilities without having many feruchemists or ferrings in your community. And I like that it still has a question to be answered, which is safe hemalurgy. Although I think that might have been done during Sazed’s reformation of Scadrial. 

Edited by Koloss17
Words are hard
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I think there is a missing piece still:   They are unkeyed.   What if the donor of the spike is not “really” alive such that he or she is no longer sentient enough to know themselves. (Coma, brain dead, etc.)   At the end of HoA, there sure were a lot of missing inquisitors from their metal strongholds ... what if they were not killed...    A living stump of an alomancer with a buffet of spikes to be harvested.   They could be kept alive and still able to be prodded into storing the attributes needed.  Then the spike, as you say, is removed from the body by a machine and sliced up into coins.

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On 1/16/2021 at 5:52 PM, Karger said:

 

WHOA, I didn't realize that a nicrosilmind worked like a coppermind in that, used properly, it wouldn't "leak".

So medallions, once created, don't need to be "recharged" with the identity-less Investiture that grants a (Feruchemical) power? When you're done using the mumblemind in the medallion, the user naturally returns the "ability to use that mumblemind" back into the nicrosilmind?

But wait. That would imply that the user could simply walk away and not refill the nicrosilmind, and have... gained the Feruchemical ability? That doesn't quite make sense, either, if it didn't "wear off" or have a way to require being "put back" into the medallion. Like, with all the nicrosilminds in the Bands of Mourning that granted Allomantic powers, someone could just... Not put them back into the Bands and become Lerasium Mistborn? 

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