|Featured In||Mistborn trilogy|
”Hemalurgy is a power about which I wish I knew far less.
Use and Practice
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. This would leave the donor in a similar spiritual condition to a Drab. 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." 
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. 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.
Hemalurgy can be used on animals.
Coating a recently created spike with blood can prevent Hemalurgic decay.
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.
- Chimaeras -- an uncanonical name for them -- are creatures created by Paalm to stall Waxillium Ladrian are created with a single spike, charged with an unknown attribute.
The more spikes an entity has, the more their form and body can be changed.
Hemalurgic Properties of Metals
- 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
- 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
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 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.
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|
|Eyesocket||Steel||Unconfirmed, likely Allomantic Steel and Iron|
|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
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.
Allomancy and Feruchemy
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.
The same piece of metal can be Hemalurgically and Feruchemically charged at the same time.
More could be taken from an Elantrian than most other beings.
It is possible for a spike to be awakened, but it would be more difficult than awakening metal without a Hemalurgic charge.
- The Hero of Ages chapter 35 epigraph
- 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
- 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
- The Hero of Ages chapter 13
- The Hero of Ages chapter 36 epigraph
- Hemalurgic power can be split among multiple spikes and reforged
— Theoryland - 10 January 2011
- Would Hemalurgy work on animals?
— Theoryland - October 2008
- Shadows of Self chapter 6
- The Hemalurgic constructs Wax and TenSoon fought don't have an official name. He's been thinking of them as Hemalurgic chimaeras.
— 17th Shard forums - Oct 13th 2015
- Shadows of Self chapter 21
- More spikes are capable of changing form and body more
— Theoryland - 15 December 2011
- Mistborn Adventure Game chapter 10
- Why does Atium steal temporal powers?
— Theoryland - Jul, 2009
- The Hero of Ages chapter 43 epigraph
- The Hero of Ages chapter 42
- 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
- Can you both Feruchemically charge and Hemalurgically invest in the same piece of metal?
— Theoryland - 10 January 2011
- Hemalurgic spikes would do very strange things to Elantrians.
— 17th Shard forums - Oct 8th, 2015
- Can a hemalurgic spike be awakened, and if so would it be able to use its powers?
— 17th Shard forums - Oct 9th, 2015
|The Metallic Arts|
|Arts||Allomancy · Feruchemy · Hemalurgy|
|Concepts||Metalborn · Snapping · Savants · Metalminds · Twinborn · Compounding · Blessings|
|Constructs||Steel Inquisitors · Koloss · Kandra|
|Base Metals||Iron · Steel · Tin · Pewter · Zinc · Brass · Copper · Bronze · Cadmium · Bendalloy · Gold · Electrum · Chromium · Nicrosil · Aluminum · Duralumin|
|God Metals||Atium (Malatium) · Lerasium|
|Books|| Era 1 (Mistborn: The Final Empire · The Well of Ascension · The Hero of Ages)|
Era 2 (The Alloy of Law · Shadows of Self · Bands of Mourning · The Lost Metal)
|Shards||Preservation · Ruin · Harmony*|
|Magic||Metallic Arts (Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy) · Metalborn · Mistborn · Misting · Savant · Ferring · Twinborn · Compounding · Atium · Lerasium|
|Other Media||Mistborn Adventure Game · The Eleventh Metal · A House of Ashes · Mistborn: Birthright · Mistborn film · Final Empire (board game)|