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Feruchemy

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Feruchemy
Feruchemical table.jpg
by Isaac Stewart
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.

History[edit]

Feruchemy came into existence contemporaneously with the other Metallic Arts, Allomancy and Hemalurgy, as a result of the interactions between the planet Scadrial and its Shards, Preservation and Ruin.[1] Unlike Allomancy and Hemalurgy, which are each closely attuned with one of the Shards, Feruchemy is equally attuned to both and represents the balance between them. Feruchemy was also the only art in widespread use prior to the Ascension of the Lord Ruler.[2] The ability to use Feruchemy emerged among the Terris people, but, due to their insular nature and reluctance to interbreed, never spread to the general population of Classical Scadrial.[3] During this time, there was a holy order of Feruchemist scholars, known as the Worldbringers, who served as teachers and bearers of knowledge throughout the world.[4] Not every Feruchemist was a member; however, many had much more mundane vocations, such as being herders or mountain guides.[5]

During the Ascension of the Lord Ruler all living Feruchemists (although not those with recessive Feruchemical genes), with a few notable exceptions, were transformed into mistwraiths by Rashek, a Terris herdsman and Feruchemist.[6] Rashek, having discovered Allomancy and transformed himself into a Mistborn and claiming to be the Hero of Ages, declared himself a god and launched a campaign to consolidate the world under his control. As part of this effort, Rashek instituted policies to heavily restrict the Terris people, which eventually grew into a breeding program designed to exterminate all genetic traces of Feruchemy. He did this specifically because he feared the prospect of the genes for Feruchemy intermixing with those of Allomancy and potentially creating a rival of comparable power to himself.[7] Despite this, the Terris resistance worked tirelessly to thwart the efforts of Rashek, then known as the Lord Ruler, in a variety of ways, primarily by tricking the breeders into including people with hidden Feruchemical talents, in order to ensure their continuation in the population, and by creating the Keepers, an order of Feruchemists dedicated to finding and securing knowledge from before the Lord Ruler's rise to power.[5][4]

Following the death of the Lord Ruler and the Collapse of the Final Empire, the Synod, leaders of the Keepers and de facto ruling council of Terris, emerged from secrecy and the Keepers were dispatched across the Empire to teach the people about the knowledge they had preserved.[8] Unfortunately, this "victory" was relatively short-lived; about a year later, the Steel Inquisitors, under the influence of Ruin, attacked and slaughtered the Synod and all but one of the Keepers, creating Hemalurgic spikes from them in the process to increase their own powers.[9]

After the Catacendre, the surviving Terris began to interbreed with the general population. The genes for Feruchemy began to break apart, as a result of mixing with those for Allomancy. Whereas before people had either the ability to use all of the Feruchemical abilities or none of them, Ferrings, who could use only one (analogously to Mistings), began to appear.[10] Conversely, Feruchemists with all of the Feruchemichal abilities, now referred to as "Full Feruchemists", have disappeared, though the Terris community began to work on creating one through careful breeding of Feruchemical lineages.[11] This period also saw an explosion of Feruchemical and Allomantic research; a number of new metals and their Feruchemical attributes were discovered, with the Spiritual abilities being of particular interest to the the Terris community.[12]

Mechanics[edit]

Feruchemy is an end-neutral manifestation of Investiture that allows the user to convert certain attributes into Investiture and store them in metal that they are in physical contact with, and to later retrieve them from the metal. As an end-neutral art, Investiture is not gained from an outside source (as it is in end-postive arts) and Investiture is not permanently lost (as it is in end-negative arts).[12] Ordinarily, when a Feruchemist is tapping an attribute at the same rate it was stored, they are able to get out exactly what they put in, for example if they store 50% of their strength for one hour they can tap that and be at 150% of their strength for one hour. However, if the Feruchemist taps at a greater rate, then some of attribute is lost, to facilitate the compression of the Investiture. This means that a Feruchemist who stores 50% of their strength for one hour might only be able to stay at 200% for 25 minutes, rather than a full half hour. The more a Feruchemist compresses the attribute, the more is lost.[13]

The type of metal determines what attribute can be stored within it. Pieces of metal that have been charged by Feruchemists are referred to as metalminds in general, or more specifically as the type of metal with an added "-mind" suffix. The act of charging, or Investing, a metalmind is referred to as storing and the act of retrieving the stored attribute is referred to as tapping.[12]

A larger piece of metal will be able to store more of an attribute, but the scaling is not linear; there are certain thresholds of size where the amount of attribute that can be stored increases.[14] If a metalmind is broken, the stored attribute will be split among the pieces.[15] It is possible to store and tap using molten of metal (setting aside the conventional hazards of touching molten metal) which would have some effect on the stored Investiture.[16] If the molten metal is mixed to form an alloy, however, the Investiture will become inaccessible, even if the alloy in question is Feruchemically viable. If the alloy is Feruchemically viable, a Feruchemist will not be able to store as much of an attribute as they could in an identically-sized metalmind: while the original Investiture is inaccessible, it does still take up "space" in the metalmind.[17]

Ordinarily, a Feruchemist's stores are keyed to their Identity and are inaccessible to another Feruchemist. However, other Feruchemists can sense the presence of the original Feruchemist's stores.[7]

Feruchemical Properties of Metals[edit]

Table of Feruchemical Metals[18]
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[fn 1]

Special Metalminds[edit]

Unkeyed Metalminds[edit]

An unkeyed metalmind is a special kind of metalmind that anyone with the relevant Feruchemical ability can access. They are created through manipulation of Identity, such as through aluminum Feruchemy. Whereas a conventional metalmind is keyed to the Identity of the Feruchemist who created it, unkeyed metalminds are not attuned to any specific individual's Identity.[11] Due to the nature of intention in the cosmere, an individual must be aware of an unkeyed metalmind's nature before they can use it.[20]

Unsealed Metalminds[edit]

An unsealed metalmind is a special kind of metalmind that anyone can access.[21][fn 2] The exact method of their creation is unknown, but it involves nicrosil Feruchemy and something referred to as an Excisor. Unsealed metalminds are formed of nicrosil and one or more other metals. The nicrosil grants the user the ability to use the other metals.[22] Unsealed metalminds see widespread use among the Southern Peoples of Scadrial, but perhaps the most famous example are the fabled Bands of Mourning.[11][23]

Interactions with Other Investitures[edit]

Allomancy[edit]

Perhaps the most dramatic interaction between Feruchemy and Allomancy is Compounding, by which a Feruchemist can Allomantically burn a metalmind and dramatically increase the amount of the attribute stored. Effectively this uses the end-positive nature of Allomancy to use Preservation's power to fuel the end-neutral art of Feruchemy.[7]

Following the Catacendre, and the emergence of Ferrings, it is possible for individuals to be born with a single Allomantic ability and a single Feruchemical ability. These individuals are known as Twinborn. When an individual's abilities share a metal, they are capable of Compounding. Even when they do not, however, the interaction between the two abilities creates an effect, known as a Resonance.[24]

Like any Invested object, a metalmind resists Allomantic Ironpulls and Steelpushes. The strength of resistance is based on the level of Investiture stored in the metalmind. A metalmind with only a small amount of stored attribute might resist only slightly, whereas a fully charged metalmind will be effectively immune.[25]

It is theoretically possible to detect the use of Feruchemy using bronze Allomancy, as it can detect any kinetic Investiture, however it requires a "tweak" that is not currently known.[26] Part of the issue is that Feruchemy is a more internal manifestation of Investiture than Allomancy.[27]

Hemalurgy[edit]

A Hemalurgic spike can be used as a Feruchemical metalmind, much like how multiple Feruchemists can store in the same piece of metal, as the charges are stored in different parts of the metal.[28][29]

An individual who has Feruchemy as a result of a Hemalurgic spike can access the metalminds of the Feruchemist who was used to create the spike, as the spike contains enough of the original Feruchemist's Identity. If that spike is split and implanted into two different people, they would each be able to access the original Feruchemist's metalminds, but they would not be able to share metalminds as their own Identity would interfere.[30]

It is possible to use gold Feruchemy in order to heal the damage caused by Hemalurgy, effectively replacing the piece of the Spiritweb that was stolen.[31]

Nightblood[edit]

Tapping a metalmind is enough to fuel Nightblood while it is unsheathed.[32]

Awakening[edit]

If an aluminummind is filled, then Awakened with Nightblood-level investiture to give it sentience, the resulting object's personality would probably be influenced by the Feruchemist's Identity, but it would not be an identical copy of the Feruchemist's personality.[33]

Shardblades[edit]

A fully charged metalmind would be enough to block, or at least resist, a blow from a Shardblade.[34]

It is possible to use gold Feruchemy in order to heal the damage caused by a Shardblade, restoring function to a "severed" limb.[35]

Development[edit]

The earliest inspiration for Feruchemy dates to when Brandon was a teenager and had insomnia. He would lie awake at night and be really tired during the day, so he wished that he could store up his sleepiness so that he could be sleepy when he wanted to be sleepy.[36]

An early version of Feruchemy, then referred to as "Hemalurgy", appeared in Final Empire Prime. During the development of Mistborn: The Final Empire, Brandon realized that Feruchemy would work very well as the magic system for Sazed and the Keepers, so he imported it into that novel and added the restriction of storing attributes in metal.[37]

The attributes stored in brass (warmth) and electrum (determination) were originally supposed to be reversed. By the time Brandon realized his mistake, brass storing warmth had already been canonized in released books. Brandon decided not to retcon this, citing the fact that Feruchemy operates on different principles than Allomancy.[38] Brandon also notes that the organization of the metals in the Feruchemical chart is of human invention.[39]

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  1. 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.[19]
  2. The Mistborn Adventure Game refers to these as "universal metalminds". Due to the potentially confusing nature of that term, and the fact that "unsealed metalmind" is a term from Brandon himself, the Coppermind uses the latter.
References
  1. Hero of Ages Q&A
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15# - old
  2. The Hero of Ages chapter 34 epigraph #
  3. Ancient 17S Q&A
    Arcanum - 2010-05-01#
  4. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 30 #
  5. a b The Final Empire chapter 22 #
  6. The Hero of Ages chapter 68 epigraph #
  7. a b c The Final Empire epilogue #
  8. The Well of Ascension chapter 7 #
  9. The Well of Ascension chapter 56 #
  10. Alloy of Law Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2011-11-11# - old
  11. a b c The Bands of Mourning chapter 3 #
  12. a b c The Alloy of Law Ars Arcanum #
  13. Hero of Ages Q&A
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15# - old
  14. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23# - old
  15. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-15# - old
  16. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05# - old
  17. General Reddit 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-11-11# - old
  18. Table of Feruchemical Metals
  19. Alloy of Law release party
    Arcanum - 2011-11-07#
  20. The Bands of Mourning chapter 17 #
  21. General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-01-26#
  22. The Bands of Mourning chapter 20 #
  23. The Bands of Mourning chapter 21 #
  24. Shadows of Self Ars Arcanum #
  25. Shadows of Self chapter 7 #
  26. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05# - old
  27. /r/books AMA
    Arcanum - 2015-05-25# - old
  28. Tor.com Q&A
    Arcanum - 2011-01-10# - old
  29. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26# - old
  30. Worldbuilders AMA
    Arcanum - 2015-12-07#
  31. Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A
    Arcanum - 2014-08-13#
  32. Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28# - old
  33. Shadows of Self Lansing signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-13# - old
  34. /r/books AMA
    Arcanum - 2015-09-03# - old
  35. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-18#
  36. Calamity Austin signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-25# - old
  37. Annotation for The Final Empire chapter 22-1 #
  38. Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A
    Arcanum - 2011-11-05# - old
  39. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
This page is complete!
This page contains all the knowledge we have on the subject at this time.
--WeiryWriter (talk) 09:12, 9 March 2018 (MST)