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Identity

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Identity
Related to Realmatic Theory
Type Spiritual property
Universe Cosmere

Identity is a Spiritual attribute[1][2] within the cosmere that allows a being to have sentience.[citation needed] It acts as a sort of spiritual DNA, and it functions together with Connection in order to form a link to various forms of Investiture. For this reason, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for someone to be both a Mistborn and a Knight Radiant; their Identity would have to have a Connection to both Scadrial and Roshar.[citation needed]

Mechanics and interactions[edit]

Across the cosmere, use of magic is tied to the user's Identity, and power stored by one person is hard to access by a different person (though it is possible, albeit extremely unlikely, for two people to have matching Identity by chance[3]). This restriction is the reason, for example, that Breaths stored or metalminds charged by one person cannot be used by anyone else.[1] However, if someone "blanks" their Identity and stores power, it becomes easier for others to use that power (especially other blanked people, but potentially also non-blanked people, depending on the magic system).[4]

Feruchemy[edit]

In Feruchemy, Identity is stored in aluminum. To effectively use aluminum, one must have Feruchemical access to at least one metal besides aluminum. By storing Identity in aluminum and then filling another metalmind, they create an "unkeyed" metalmind that can be used by any Feruchemist.[1] One example is in The Bands of Mourning: Wax finds a gold bracelet filled with healing power that Wayne, a gold Ferring, can access, Wax cannot.[5] Through a method that has not yet been fully revealed, but which builds on unkeyed metalminds[6], it is also possible to create an "unsealed" metalmind of investiture, which anyone can use to access Feruchemical power; the Southern Scadrial medallions are an example.[7][8]

As of Mistborn Era 2, the Kandra and the Terris community have begun experimenting with Identity and the other spiritual aspects of Feruchemy, but still understand very little, owing to the rarity of the appropriate Ferrings and metals.[1]

Hemalurgy[edit]

Someone who has been granted Feruchemical abilities via Hemalurgy can access the metalminds of the Feruchemist whose abilities were stolen, presumably because they obtain some portion of the original person's Identity in the spike. If two people are spiked with spikes made from the same person, they will both be able to access the original person's metalminds, but not each other's, as their own Identity will interfere.[9]

More generally, Hemalurgy can overwrite anything attached to the soul, including Identity.[10][2]

Awakening[edit]

Like with Feruchemy, Breaths that have been put into an object are keyed to the original Awakener's Identity, and so can only be reclaimed by that Awakener.[11][4] However, when Breath is transferred directly from one person to another, the magic system automatically rekeys the Identity of the Breaths to that of the recipient, making Awakening the easiest of the magic systems to gain access to.[12]

Forgery[edit]

Storing Identity makes one more susceptible to being affected by many things in the cosmere, including Forgery.[13]

Lightweaving[edit]

There is a "pretty tenuous" link between Identity and the different personae that Shallan creates with Lightweaving.[14]

Parshendi forms[edit]

Syl hints that Identity and Connection are involved with the Parshendi ability to change forms and that humans, in denying them that ability, somehow ripped off parts of the Parshendi's souls.[15]

Notes[edit]

  • Blanking Identity and tapping Connection can cause someone to gain an accent for a particular area.[16]
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