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|Metal type||God Metal (Ruin)|
|Featured in||Mistborn (series)|
Atium is a God Metal. An Allomancer burning atium is able to see into the future by a few seconds. Feruchemists can use atium to store youth, and when used as a Hemalurgic spike, atium steals any property or power. The metal is a reflective, silvery color, so much so that beads of atium almost appear to be drops of liquid.
Atium is notable as it is the condensed power of the Shard Ruin. As a result, an Allomancer burning atium does not draw on Preservation's power; instead, the Investiture of the metal provides the power. It was sequestered away at the Pits of Hathsin by Preservation when the latter gave up his mind to trap Ruin; to regain the power contained in the atium, Ruin would have needed to manifest in some way.
Presumably, the name "atium" is inherited from Ati, the name of the original holder of the Shard Ruin, just as the name "lerasium" is inherited from Leras, the original holder of the Shard Preservation. Atium cannot be alloyed with lerasium to make ettmetal, nor can ettmetal be broken down into atium and lerasium through distillation or other mundane methods; however, it is possible to do so with techniques utilizing Investiture, such as splitting ettmetal with trellium.
An atium Misting is known as a Seer. Burning atium allows the user to see a few seconds into the future, by producing atium shadows of everything in sight. These shadows perform future actions. Burning atium expands the user's mind to be able to accept and process all of the information, even allowing the Allomancer to dodge incoming attacks from behind. Harmony speculates that atium makes the Allomancer burning it a more efficient killer because it draws upon Ruin's power.
Atium shadows, while hard to beat, are not impossible. The most common way to fight effectively against a Seer is by using another atium Allomancer, as when two Allomancers burn atium at the same time, the shadows they see will split into a multitude of possibilities, as a positive feedback loop is created by each person trying to predict a future the other has just changed. This effect will also occur when fighting against an electrum Allomancer, due to the nature of that metal's ability. It would also be possible to best a Seer by Compounding steel. While a steel Compounder would not be able to move faster than an atium Allomancer can predict, they could potentially move faster than the Seer is able to process the information they are gaining through their abilities. It is possible to defeat an atium Allomancer by using their reactions to the future against them, but is only known to have happened once.
Burning duralumin with atium will allow Allomancers to see farther into the future, by allowing them to peer into the Spiritual Realm. The same effect can occur if a Hemalurgist has enough spikes enhancing their atium. Aluminum objects do not generate atium shadows. Atium does not enable a person to anticipate emotional Allomancy.
An Allomantic atium savant can sense atium shadows even if they are blind.
Atium, when used by a Feruchemist, stores youth. When storing youth, the Feruchemist spends time older. When tapping youth, the Feruchemist then spends time younger.
An atium Compounder would be able to use atium to have a nearly infinite supply of youth, allowing for practical immortality.
When used as a Hemalurgic spike, atium is like a wild card. Depending on where it is placed, it can steal any power (i.e., the ability to use an Invested Art, such as Allomancy or sand mastery) and it does so better than other spikes. Atium must be refined to be used in Hemalurgy.
Atium may also be alloyed with any of the other Allomatic metals. However the only currently known atium alloy is malatium, an atium-gold alloy. These alloys grant various expanded mental and temporal effects when burned.
As atium is a God Metal, it does not form naturally. The metal only came to exist when Preservation stole a chunk of Ruin's power and created the Pits of Hathsin, where atium grows in crystals, to deny Ruin access to part of his power. Preservation also altered the mechanics of Allomancy to allow for atium Mistings, ultimately resulting in an army that would be able to temporarily burn away Ruin's power.
During the Final Empire, atium was classified as one of the two high metals along with gold and was thought to be only usable by Mistborn. Though atium Mistings—known as Seers—did exist, due to the scarcity of atium and the Lord Ruler's obfuscation, their existence was simply unknown to anyone other than a few select members of the Steel Ministry. The Ministry worked diligently to find atium Mistings among the nobility, including by occasionally spiking drinks at balls and causing a disturbance to see if anyone's body reacted by instinctively burning the trace amounts of metal and by slipping any non-Allomancers who join the Ministry a bit of atium and then forcing them through a series of physically-draining rituals that will induce their body to burn the metal, if it can. Those found to be Seers were told of their power and often rose through the ranks of the Ministry quickly and given important positions where their power could be used for wondrous feats that would help keep people in line and enhance the Ministry's mystique and perceived power.
During the time of the Final Empire, atium was mined at the Pits of Hathsin, overseen by the nobles of House Venture. Most of the atium geodes, however, were secretly opened by obligators on staff at the Pits and the atium given to the kandra to hold in secret, to prevent it from falling into Ruin's hands. Several days before the fall of the Final Empire, Kelsier returned to the Pits and used his Allomancy to shatter the crystals that produced atium geodes, stopping atium production for roughly the next three hundred years.
Shortly after the fall of the Final Empire, as the Well of Ascension grew close to refilling, the mists began their efforts to Snap people into Allomancers, though the trauma of this process was initially perceived as a form of attack or sickness. Sixteen percent of those exposed to the mists became Allomancers; most either died or recovered quickly, but one one-sixteenth of those who became Allomancers remained sick for a full sixteen days and became known as mistfallen, a consequence of the fact that they had become Seers rather than some other form of Misting. These Mistings ultimately proved crucial in Ruin's defeat, burning away the kandra atium cache before Ruin's forces gained access to the Trustwarren where it had been kept.
After the Catacendre, atium Mistings no longer existed in the same way that they did before.
Wax was later able to split harmonium using trellium to create more atium, the effect of this separation is highly explosive, and only produces a small amount of atium. Following his discovery, kandra began repeating the process in order to produce more, under Harmony's orders.
Despite its name, the metal known as atium is not actually the pure form of Ruin's God Metal. Instead, atium is an alloy of electrum and that pure God Metal. Atium can be refined to extract Ruin's pure God Metal, which can be used in Hemalurgy to steal any power and when burned Allomantically grants a more expansive vision of the future than atium does; the Feruchemical powers of refined atium are unknown. This refined atium is also produced in the reaction between harmonium and trellium.
- Atium was modeled after platinum, and would be considered a platinum group metal.
- Brandon has stated that, since writing Mistborn Era 1, he has wished he made atium usable by all Allomancers as it "feels off" that a God Metal is only usable by Mistborn (and Seers). If a Mistborn film is ever made, he would likely want to make this change in the movie. On other occasions, he has also indicated interest in some day exploring why atium is limited in this way and that the atium present in Era 1 is an atium-electrum alloy.
- ↑ a b c The Lost Metal Ars ArcanumSummary: The Lost Metal/Ars Arcanum#
- ↑ The Final Empire chapter 13Summary: The Final Empire/Chapter_13#
- ↑ The Hero of Ages Annotations
— Arcanum - 2010-04-01Cite: Arcanum-8028#
- ↑ Phoenix Comicon 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-05-24Cite: Arcanum-14839#
- ↑ Skyward Houston signing
— Arcanum - 2018-11-19Cite: Arcanum-12145#
- ↑ a b The Lost Metal chapter 71Summary: The Lost Metal/Chapter_71#
- ↑ a b The Hero of Ages chapter 78 epigraphSummary:The Hero of Ages/Epigraphs/Chapter_78#
- ↑ Bands of Mourning release party
— Arcanum - 2016-01-25Cite: Arcanum-244#
- ↑ The Well of Ascension chapter 47Summary: The Well of Ascension/Chapter_47#
- ↑ a b c The Hero of Ages chapter 81Summary: The Hero of Ages/Chapter_81#
- ↑ Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 9Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_6/Chapter_9#
- ↑ a b /r/books AMA 2015
— Arcanum - 2015-08-01Cite: Arcanum-3610#
- ↑ Words of Radiance San Francisco signing
— Arcanum - 2014-03-06Cite: Arcanum-6870#
- ↑ /r/books AMA 2015
— Arcanum - 2015-03-16Cite: Arcanum-9038#
- ↑ /r/fantasy AMA 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-04-15Cite: Arcanum-4072#
- ↑ The Final Empire epilogueSummary: The Final Empire/Epilogue#
- ↑ Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
— Arcanum - 2008-10-15Cite: Arcanum-5264#
- ↑ a b c Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A
— Arcanum - 2009-07-08Cite: Arcanum-5971#
- ↑ JordanCon 2021
— Arcanum - 2021-07-16Cite: Arcanum-14896#
- ↑ a b Hemalurgy Table
- ↑ Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson
— Arcanum - 2011-01-10Cite: Arcanum-4615#
- ↑ Waygate Foundation Write-a-thon
— Arcanum - 2014-01-17Cite: Arcanum-7307#
- ↑ The Hero of Ages Annotations
— Arcanum - 2010-04-15Cite: Arcanum-8037#
- ↑ Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
— Arcanum - 2008-10-15Cite: Arcanum-6119#
- ↑ The Hero of Ages Annotations
— Arcanum - 2010-04-15Cite: Arcanum-8038#
- ↑ The Final Empire chapter 28Summary: The Final Empire/Chapter_28#
- ↑ The Hero of Ages chapter 71Summary: The Hero of Ages/Chapter_71#
- ↑ The Final Empire chapter 33Summary: The Final Empire/Chapter_33#
- ↑ The Hero of Ages chapter 36Summary: The Hero of Ages/Chapter_36#
- ↑ Steelheart San Francisco signing
— Arcanum - 2013-10-11Cite: Arcanum-3000#
- ↑ The Lost Metal chapter 15Summary: The Lost Metal/Chapter_15#
- ↑ The Lost Metal epilogue 4Summary: The Lost Metal/Epilogue_4#
- ↑ a b YouTube Spoiler Stream 3
— Arcanum - 2021-12-16Cite: Arcanum-15299#
- ↑ a b c YouTube Spoiler Stream 5
— Arcanum - 2022-12-02Cite: Arcanum-15969#
- ↑ Allomancy Table
- ↑ General Reddit 2017
— Arcanum - 2017-01-02Cite: Arcanum-10577#
- ↑ General Reddit 2020
— Arcanum - 2020-06-22Cite: Arcanum-13821#
- ↑ #SandersonChat Twitter Q&A with Audible.com
— Arcanum - 2016-02-04Cite: Arcanum-416#
- ↑ Shadows of Self Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2015-10-12Cite: Arcanum-6322#
- ↑ Prague Signing
— Arcanum - 2019-10-26Cite: Arcanum-13225#
|The Metallic Arts|
|Arts||Allomancy · Feruchemy · Hemalurgy|
|Concepts||Metalborn · Snapping · Savants · Metalminds · Twinborn · Compounding · Blessings|
|Constructs||Steel Inquisitors · Koloss · Kandra · Chimeras|
|Base Metals||Iron · Steel · Tin · Pewter · Zinc · Brass · Copper · Bronze · Cadmium · Bendalloy · Gold · Electrum · Chromium · Nicrosil · Aluminum · Duralumin|
|God Metals||Atium (Malatium) · Lerasium · Ettmetal · Trellium|
|Era 1 books||Mistborn: The Final Empire · The Well of Ascension · The Hero of Ages |
(The Eleventh Metal · Mistborn: Secret History)
|Era 2 books||The Alloy of Law · Shadows of Self · The Bands of Mourning · The Lost Metal |
(Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania)
|Shards||Preservation · Ruin · Harmony|
|History||Classical Scadrial · Final Empire · Catacendre · Elendel · Southern Scadrian|
|Magic||Metallic Arts (Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy) · Metalborn · Mistborn · Misting · Savant · Ferring · Twinborn · Compounding · Atium · Lerasium · Harmonium · Trellium|
|Other Media||Mistborn Adventure Game · Mistborn: Birthright · Mistborn film · Mistborn: House War|