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Related to Ruin
Focus Metal
Prerequisites None
Type End-Negative
World Scadrial
Featured In Mistborn trilogy
Hemalurgy is a power about which I wish I knew far less.
—The Hero of Ages[1]

Hemalurgy is one of the three prime manifestations of Investiture on Scadrial. The natives of that world consider it one of the three Metallic Arts.

Use and Practice[edit]

Hemalurgy is the transfer of attributes, such as Allomancy, Feruchemy, or innate human strength via Spiritweb theft and splicing. In the Physical Realm, a metallic spike is inserted into a bind point, such as the heart, in order to Hemalurgically charge it. The spike, now containing a fragment of stolen Spiritweb, is then ripped out and embedded in the recipient, stapling the ability directly into their sDNA. This causes wear and tear on the Spiritweb, creating "holes" through which Ruin or a sufficiently powerful Rioter or Soother can whisper to or even control a Hemalurgical subject. Hemalurgy is named for a quirk in bind point placement: due to the interaction between the Spiritual and Physical Realms, the spike must come in contact with moving blood in order to remove or add an attribute. Intent is important, but the way Hemalurgy interacts with the Cognitive Realm, if it does so at all, is unknown.

According to a question asked to Brandon Sanderson on a fan forum, creating a Hemalurgic charge requires physical injury, but death is not a requirement to charge the spike.[2] This would leave the donor in a similar spiritual condition to a Drab.[3] However, this is contradicted by a quote from Harmony, in The Hero of Ages: "Hemalurgy, it is called, because of the connection to blood. It is not a coincidence, I believe, that death is always involved in the transfer of powers via Hemalurgy. Marsh once described it as a “messy” process. Not the adjective I would have chosen. It’s not disturbing enough." [4]

After the spike pierces through the initial person and is Hemalurgically charged, the Law of Hemalurgic Decay states that the spike loses some of its potency.[5] The longer a spike is outside a body, the weaker it becomes. Thus, when the Steel Ministry creates an Inquisitor, the spikes are outside of a person for as little time as possible. Additionally, spikes which are physically broken into several pieces will split the charge into the broken pieces, and more Hemalurgic power will be lost when spikes are split.[6]

Hemalurgy can be used on animals.[7]

Hemalurgic Constructs[edit]

A koloss, one of the three types of Hemalurgic constructs

Any Hemalurgy warps the Spiritweb, but physical change is required for a subject to be classified as a Hemalurgic Construct. Three types of Hemalugic Construct are known on Scadrial

  • Steel Inquisitor are former humans with nine to eleven spikes, each charged with an Allomantic or Feruchemical power. Their characteristic eye-spikes give them enough Allomantic Iron/Steel to "see" in lieu of eyes. A linchpin spike, placed in the lower back, is required to hold their fraying spiritwebs together; removal results in death. An Inquisitor's tattoos signify the initial Allomantic ability they had as a human. The Steel Ministry prefers Seekers, bronze mistings, as their natural ability stacks with Allomantic bronze given by the spikes and results in Seekers strong enough to pierce Copperclouds.
  • Koloss, brutish monstrous beings, are created with four spikes, each charged with human strength.
  • Kandra are former Mistwraith given sapience by two spikes, both charged with the same human attribute. To the Kandra this is known as a Blessing.

The more spikes an entity has, the more their form and body can be changed.[8]

Hemalurgic Properties of Metals[edit]

Steals human strength
Steals Allomantic Physical Powers
Steals human senses
Steals Feruchemical Physical powers
Steals human emotional stability and fortitude
Steals Feruchemical Mental powers
Steals intelligence and memory[9]
Steals Allomantic Mental powers
Steals Allomantic Enhancement powers
Steals Feruchemical Spiritual powers
Steals Feruchemical Hybrid powers
Steals any attribute, whether it be Allomancy, Feruchemy, or human[10]

Bind Points[edit]

This page or section deals with theories or speculation.
Please read carefully and note that this is not necessarily canonical.
For all that it disgusts me, I cannot help but be impressed by Hemalurgy as an art. In Allomancy and Feruchemy, skill and subtlety come through the application of one's powers. The best Allomancer might not be the most powerful, but instead the one who can best manipulate the Pushes and Pulls of metals. The best Feruchemist is the one who is most capable of sorting the information in his copperminds, or best able to manipulate his weight with iron.

The art that is unique to Hemalurgy, however, is the knowledge of where to place the spikes.
—The Hero of Ages[11]

The points which can be used for Hemalurgy are known as "Bind points" and there are between 200 and 300 in the human body which can be pierced depending on the effect needed.[12]

Another important aspect of Hemalurgy is spike location. The spike must be placed in certain locations on the human body in order to steal a power or attribute, and then placed in another point on the recipient to tap into their Spiritweb. Most commonly attributes are stolen through the heart. If a spike is placed in the wrong location it can have unforeseen effects, such as killing the recipient or possibly not granting any power at all.

Hemalurgy "doesn't really work on trees".[Citation needed]

Bind Point Spike Types Hemalurgic Effect
  1. Bronze
  2. Pewter
  1. Allomantic Copper
  2. Feruchemical Steel
Sternum Steel Allomantic Steel
Eyesocket Steel Unconfirmed, likely Allomantic Steel and Iron
Earlobe Bronze Allomantic Bronze
Between Ribs
  1. Steel
  2. Bronze
  1. Unconfirmed, likely Allomantic Pewter and Tin
  2. Allomantic Brass, Zinc, Copper, and Bronze
  1. Steel
  2. Iron, Tin, Zinc, & Copper
  1. Pewter Allomancy
  2. Kandra Blessings
Upper Arm Bronze Allomantic Bronze
Between Shoulder Blades Spike type varies. It is also known as a linchpin spike. Unknown; binds other spikes together to keep the receiver alive

Side Effects of Hemalurgy[edit]

When an Allomancer can sense Allomantic pulses through a coppercloud (known as piercing a coppercloud), it is most usually due to a Hemalurgic spike. It's simply a matter of Allomantic strength to pierce copperclouds, so if a Seeker has a spike charged with Allomantic bronze, that essentially makes them twice as powerful, allowing them to overpower a coppercloud.

Hemalurgy is a destructive art. It twists the body into something almost inhuman. This twisting is how Inquisitors survive with spikes through their eyes and other vital places, and explains the physical deformation of the Koloss. In the case of the Inquisitors, it is known that their heart is in a different place and their brain is shaped around their eyes' spikes. Extracting the spikes of an inquisitor at such important places would invert the transformation, which means the death of him.

Ruin constructed Hemalurgy with a flaw: each spike creates holes in the mind, making them easier to manipulate. Through powerful emotional Allomancy, one can Push on a spiked creature's emotions so hard that they literally come under the Allomancer's control. Indeed, the spikes in the koloss were what allowed the Lord Ruler to control them. Kandra also can be controlled in this way, but as Allomancers decreased in power, this knowledge was forgotten.

Other Uses[edit]

Allomancy and Feruchemy[edit]

If an Allomancer attempts to burn a Hemalurgic spike, the Allomancer's spiritual DNA will be spliced to that of the person's contained in the spike. The consequences of this are as of yet unknown.[13]

The same piece of metal can be Hemalurgically and Feruchemically charged at the same time.[14]


  1. The Hero of Ages chapter 35 epigraph
  2. A spike does require you to rip pieces of a soul from the victim, but that does not mean they must die.
    Theoryland - 10 January 2011
  3. I remember reading you answer earlier that a person being used to charge a hemalurgic spike does not necessarily have to die. Would that victim be similar to a Drab from Warbreaker?
    Theoryland - 15 April 2013
  4. The Hero of Ages chapter 13
  5. The Hero of Ages chapter 36 epigraph
  6. Hemalurgic power can be split among multiple spikes and reforged
    Theoryland - 10 January 2011
  7. Would Hemalurgy work on animals?
    Theoryland - October 2008
  8. More spikes are capable of changing form and body more
    Theoryland - 15 December 2011
  9. Mistborn Adventure Game chapter 10
  10. Why does Atium steal temporal powers?
    Theoryland - Jul, 2009
  11. The Hero of Ages chapter 43 epigraph
  12. The Hero of Ages chapter 42
  13. Burning a Hemalurgic spike would have the effect of splicing your spiritual DNA to that of the person's that is in the spike
    Theoryland - 10 January 2011
  14. Can you both Feruchemically charge and Hemalurgically invest in the same piece of metal?
    Theoryland - 10 January 2011
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