Feruchemy

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Feruchemy
Related to Preservation, Ruin
Focus Metal
Prerequisites Genetic ability
Type End-Neutral
World Scadrial
Featured In Mistborn (series)

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

Lore & Background[edit]

Feruchemy is the only one of the Metallic Arts that was in widespread use before the Ascension of the Lord Ruler. It is a genetic ability found in the ancient people of Terris, but as during the time of the Final Empire most Terrismen were eunuchs because of the Lord Ruler's breeding programs, Feruchemists became exceedingly rare.

A Feruchemist can use metals to store particular attributes in metal, somewhat like a battery. The larger the piece of metal is (and the closer it is to Allomantic purity), the more of that particular attribute can be stored. A Feruchemist can draw upon their metals in increased, compounded qualities, but the faster they do this, the lesser returns they receive. Only the Feruchemist who stored those attributes can draw upon them later, however.

Like Mistborn and Mistings, there are Feruchemists that can utilize one or all of the metals. The former are known as "Ferrings".[1] Ferrings are a result of the genes for Feruchemy mixing with those for Allomancy following the Final Ascension.[2]

A metalmind which contains a Feruchemical storage will retain those stores when it is melted down, though the power will only be lost if the metalmind is alloyed with another metal. If a metalmind is split into multiple pieces, the stored Investiture splits along with it.[3]

Terminology[edit]

A metalmind is what Feruchemists' call a piece of metal they can store human attributes in. Each metalmind is named after the type of metal it is made of, such as ironmind, pewtermind, coppermind, or goldmind.

When a Feruchemist places something in the metal, it is known as storing. A Feruchemist's power comes from his or her own body, so if a Feruchemist is storing strength, that Feruchemist must remain weak during that time. When a Feruchemist draws upon his or her metalminds, it is called tapping.

Table of Feruchemical Metals
PHYSICAL COGNITIVE
Iron Iron (Skimmer)
Stores Physical Weight
Steel Steel (Steelrunner)
Stores Physical Speed
Zinc Zinc (Sparker)
Stores Mental Speed
Brass Brass (Firesoul)
Stores Warmth
Tin Tin (Windwhisper)
Stores Senses
Pewter Pewter (Brute)
Stores Physical Strength
Copper Copper (Archivist)
Stores Memories
Bronze Bronze (Sentry)
Stores Wakefulness
Chromium Chromium (Spinner)
Stores Fortune
Nicrosil Nicrosil (Soulbearer)
Stores Investiture
Cadmium Cadmium (Gasper)
Stores Breath
Bendalloy Bendalloy (Subsumer)
Stores Energy
Aluminum Aluminum (Trueself)
Stores Identity
Duralumin Duralumin (Connector)
Stores Connection
Gold Gold (Bloodmaker)
Stores Health
Electrum Electrum (Pinnacle)
Stores Determination
SPIRITUAL HYBRID

Feruchemical Properties of Metals[edit]

Physical[edit]

Iron[edit]

Iron stores physical weight. Iron is used to store physical mass, or more accurately, density. This is accomplished by changing the Feruchemist's mass, not by changing the effect of gravity on the Feruchemist.[4] The greater density has no effect on the Feruchemist's vulnerability to penetration.[5] Tapping iron grants the Feruchemist the strength required to remain standing. Similarly, when a Feruchemist stores their weight, their muscles are weakened slightly.

An iron Ferring is known as a Skimmer.

Steel[edit]

Steel stores physical speed. Tapping steel will allow the Feruchemist to move at amazing rates, while storing it will cause the Feruchemist to move more slowly. Storing speed has negligible if any effect on the Feruchemist's ability to speak.[6] It seems that steel Ferrings are able to make at least basic decisions while using speed.

A steel Ferring is known as a Steelrunner.

Tin[edit]

Tin stores senses. Tapping a tinmind gives the Feruchemist enhanced sensory perception. However, this will not allow the Feruchemist to see in the dark; rather, it enhances what eyesight/senses are already there. In addition, tapping tin will not make the mists more translucent, as an Allomancer burning tin would. Tapping sight causes the edge of the Feruchemist's vision to blur, and sacrifices immediate field of vision in favor of a more distant, binocular view. Tapping too much sight can induce nausea.[7] Multiple tin minds are required to store multiple senses.

A tin Ferring is known as a Windwhisper.

Pewter[edit]

Pewter stores physical strength. Tapping a pewtermind will cause a Feruchemist's muscles to grow far larger than they would be normally, while storing strength causes the Feruchemist to become weak and frail. It's possible for the Feruchemist to tap so much strength that their girth makes it difficult for them to maneuver properly. [8]

A pewter Ferring is known as a Brute.

Cognitive[edit]

Zinc[edit]

Zinc stores mental speed. Tapping a zincmind will give the Feruchemist the ability to think much faster than a normal person, while the thoughts of a Feruchemist storing this quality will be thick and sluggish. Storing does not affect the Feruchemist's ability to process physical information, such as being able to hear when they are spoken to. [6]

A zinc Ferring is known as a Sparker.

Brass[edit]

Brass stores warmth. Tapping brass will make the Feruchemist warmer. While filling a brassmind the Ferring is actively cooled.

A brass Ferring is known as a Firesoul.

Copper[edit]

Copper stores memories. When storing memories, the Feruchemist loses all recollection of that information he or she stored. Typically, Keepers (modern-day Feruchemists) would have many copperminds, keeping specific index copperminds to locate particular pieces of information. Keepers undergo extensive training on their memorization skills to make the most of this ability.[9]

A copper Ferring is known as an Archivist.

Bronze[edit]

Bronze stores wakefulness. Tapping bronze will enable the Feruchemist to stay awake longer, while storing makes them feel drowsy.[10] It is the only type of metalmind a Feruchemist can store into while sleeping.[6]

A bronze Ferring is known as a Sentry.

Hybrid[edit]

Note that the Table of Feruchemical Metals, an in-world document, lists this quadrant as "Hybrid," but it is stated that, essentially, there are two Physical quadrants.[11]

Cadmium[edit]

A cadmium metalmind can store breath. During active storage they must hyperventilate in order for their bodies to get enough air. The breath can be retrieved at a later time, eliminating or reducing the need to breathe using the lungs while tapping the metalmind. They can also highly oxygenate their blood.

A cadmium Ferring is known as a Gasper.

Bendalloy[edit]

Bendalloy can store nutrition and calories. Users can eat large amounts of food during active storage without feeling full or gaining weight, and then can go without the need to eat while tapping their metalmind. A separate bendalloy metalmind is used for fluids intake.

A bendalloy Ferring is known as a Subsumer.

Gold[edit]

Gold stores health. Tapping a goldmind will rapidly heal wounds while storing a goldmind makes the feruchemist ill and sickly. The expense of gold, combined with the difficulty of storing health, means that most Feruchemists do not have massive goldminds to tap from.

A gold Ferring is known as a Bloodmaker.

Electrum[edit]

Electrum stores determination. Storing determination makes people enter a depressed state during active storage, and while tapping it later can make them enter a determined, manic state.

An electrum Ferring is known as a Pinnacle.

Spiritual[edit]

Chromium[edit]

Chromium metalminds allows the user to store fortune. Making themselves unlucky during active storage, and tapping it at later times to increase their luck.

A chromium Ferring is known as a Spinner.

Nicrosil[edit]

Nicrosil allows one to store Investiture. This is a power that very few know anything about, and the people of Terris do not truly know what they are doing when they use this power. In Bands of Mourning, this power is used to grant the power of Feruchemy or Allomancy to people who were not born with it.

A nicrosil Ferring is known as a Soulbearer.

Aluminum[edit]

Aluminum stores a spiritual sense of identity. This is an art rarely spoken of outside of Terris communities, and even among them it is not yet well understood. In Bands of Mourning, the sense of identity is something relating to Feruchemy mainly. The identity of a metalmind is what makes it so that one Feruchemist cannot use another's metalmind. If, however, a Feruchemist creates a metalmind while filling an aluminummind, the metalmind will be identity-less, allowing for any Ferring of the same metal to use it. This is how Wayne is able to use the goldmind he acquired in New Seran, even though he did not fill it himself.

An aluminum Ferring is known as a Trueself.

Duralumin[edit]

Duralumin stores spiritual connection. Reducing other people's awareness and friendship with them during active storage. Tapping it can help speedily forming trust relationships with others. While tapping a duraluminmind, the user also becomes imbued with the culture of the area they are currently in. In Bands of Mourning this is used for the tribal people of the south to communicate with the protagonists from Elendel.

A duralumin Ferring is known as a Connector.

God Metals[edit]

Atium[edit]

Atium stores age, or more specifically, youth. Storing age is usually a fairly useless endeavor: in order to be young for a time, a Feruchemist needs to stay older for a time as they fill their metalminds. It can, however, be useful for disguising a Feruchemist's identity.

Of particular interest however, is that--since Compounding provides a greater burst of the attribute store than was initially stored in the metalmind--it is possible for a person capable of both Allomancy and Feruchemy, to "gain" more youth than they store. Essentially, they become effectively immortal, able to repetitively retrieve youth. The disadvantage of this is of course, the fact that the since atium is burned up in the process, a permanent supply of the metal is necessary. Also, while able to extend their life greatly, someone Compounding atium is not truly immortal; over time, the amount of youth that they would need to consume (and the amount of atium necessary to allow them to do so) would increase beyond their ability to generate and store it, besides outstripping their physical ability to ingest and burn it.[12]

This, in addition to the fact that atium Twinborns (or Allomancer-Feruchemists) are almost non-existent, makes the practice incredibly rare.

So far it has only been used by The Lord Ruler and Ironeyes, although atium Twinborn (if they exist) and a number of the Steel Inquisitors under Ruin's control might have been capable of duplicating the feat.

The name for an atium Ferring is, as of yet, unknown, due to the fact none have been discovered to the knowledge of the world at large.

Lerasium[edit]

The Feruchemical use of lerasium is yet unknown.

Notes[edit]

  1. Q&A with Peter Orullian
    17th Shard forums - 8/20/11
  2. Were Ferrings always part of the system and we just didn't meet them in Mistborn?
    Theoryland - Nov 11th, 2011
  3. Yes, only by mixing it with other metals would the power be completely lost.
    17th Shard forums - 23 May, 2013
  4. Does iron store mass or weight?
    Theoryland - 17 March 2012
  5. Annotation for The Alloy of Law chapter 6
  6. a b c The Well of Ascension chapter 50
  7. The Well of Ascension chapter 12
  8. The Well of Ascension chapter 53
  9. Annotation for The Hero of Ages chapter 49
  10. The Alloy of Law Ars Arcanum
  11. Are the usual quadrants (Physical, Mental, Temporal, Enhancement) preserved in Feruchemy and Hemalurgy?
    Theoryland - Nov 8th, 2011
  12. Compounding and Allomancy
    17th Shard forums - 17 March 2012
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