Steel alphabet

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Steel alphabet
Related to Allomancy
Type Language
World of Origin Scadrial
Universe Cosmere

The Steel alphabet was the set of glyphs used on Scadrial. It has been shown that the glyphs evolved over time.[1]

Most of the symbols were also used to represent various metals and numbers. The steel alphabet used a base-16 numbering system with a positional structure similar to Japanese numerals—double-number pairs are used to represent the order of magnitude and the number in that position respectively.[2]

At some point the alphabet diverged such that the symbols used to represent Feruchemical metals were distinct to those used by Allomancy and the general alphabet.[3]

During the technological advancement after the Final Ascension, the symbols used during the Final Empire were tweaked to become easier for printing.[4]

The three sets of symbols show the progression of the Allomantic text through the ages. The earliest script is from Hero of Ages. It was changed and modified into the Terris script symbols we see in Well of Ascension. After more time, the Terris script morphed into what is now known as the Allomantic Alphabet or the Steel Alphabet, which are the symbols used in Mistborn: The Final Empire. We've extrapolated the Steel Alphabet into a script that's more-standardized and refined for the chapter headings in Alloy of Law, which takes place 300 years after Hero of Ages.

Isaac Stewart on the history of the icons.[5]

Symbols and their Meanings[edit]

The mapping between the English and Steel alphabet was first achieved by Valkynphyre of the 17th Shard.[6]

The tin & pewter symbols corresponding to E/I and O/U are distinct, and can be identified by the position of the dot; E places the dot below and to the left of the spike, similar to the O placement, and U places the dot next to the top of the outer curved spike.[7][8][9][10] This practice of dot placement to distinguish vowels evolved within 100 years of The Alloy of Law.[8] The dot can also be moved around in non-vowels for various reasons.[9]

The letter Q is not present in the alphabet, the sound is depicted via a kw.[11]

The Steel glyphs corresponding to the eight basic metals are also used to express (inter)cardinal directions.[12]

A rotated Copper glyph (sans the dot) is used to depict Clips.[13][14].

Cadmium is used to represent degrees in temperature.[15]

Iron.svg Iron Steel.svg Steel Tin.svg Tin Pewter.svg Pewter
1 2 3 4








Zinc.svg Zinc Brass.svg Brass Copper.svg Copper Bronze.svg Bronze
5 6 7 8








Cadmium.svg Cadmium Bendalloy.svg Bendalloy Gold.svg Gold Electrum.svg Electrum
9 10 11 12
Chromium.svg Chromium Nicrosil.svg Nicrosil Aluminum.svg Aluminum Duralumin.svg Duralumin
13 14 15 16
Atium.svg Atium Malatium.svg Malatium Allomancy 19 (Final Empire).svg unknown Allomancy 20 (Final Empire).svg unknown
unknown unknown 256[2][13] 4096[2][13]
V F J C[16]/Ch?
Allomancy 21 (Final Empire).svg unknown Allomancy 22 (Final Empire).svg unknown Lerasium.svg Lerasium Allomancy 0 (Final Empire).svg unknown
unknown unknown unknown 0
H X[16]/Sh A unknown

Evolution of the Steel Alphabet[edit]

The following table shows both the evolution of the symbols used in the steel alphabet, which have come to be associated with Allomancy, as well as the separate set of symbols that developed to represent the Feruchemical use of metals.

The form of letters shown in 341 PC are not a true evolution of the script, but are instead simply a different font for the same letters.[17]

Metal Ancient Terris (pre 0 FE) Intermediary Late Final Empire (c. 1022 FE) c. 341 PC (print font)[17] Terris alphabet
Iron Iron (Book 3).svg Iron (book 2).svg Iron.svg Iron (Alloy of Law).svg Iron (Feruchemy).svg
Steel Steel (Book 3).svg Steel (book 2).svg Steel.svg Steel (Alloy of Law).svg Steel (Feruchemy).svg
Tin Tin (Book 3).svg Tin (book 2).svg Tin.svg Tin (Alloy of Law).svg Tin (Feruchemy).svg
Pewter Pewter (Book 3).svg Pewter (book 2).svg Pewter.svg Pewter (Alloy of Law).svg Pewter (Feruchemy).svg
Zinc Zinc (Book 3).svg Zinc (book 2).svg Zinc.svg Zinc (Alloy of Law).svg Zinc (Feruchemy).svg
Brass Brass (Book 3).svg Brass (book 2).svg Brass.svg Brass (Alloy of Law).svg Brass (Feruchemy).svg
Copper Copper (Book 3).svg Copper (book 2).svg Copper.svg Copper (Alloy of Law).svg Copper (Feruchemy).svg
Bronze Bronze (Book 3).svg Bronze (book 2).svg Bronze.svg Bronze (Alloy of Law).svg Bronze (Feruchemy).svg
Cadmium Cadmium (Book 3).svg Cadmium (book 2).svg Cadmium.svg Cadmium (Alloy of Law).svg Cadmium (Feruchemy).svg
Bendalloy Bendalloy (Book 3).svg Bendalloy (book 2).svg Bendalloy.svg Bendalloy (Alloy of Law).svg Bendalloy (Feruchemy).svg
Gold Gold (Book 3).svg Gold (book 2).svg Gold.svg Gold (Alloy of Law).svg Gold (Feruchemy).svg
Electrum Electrum (Book 3).svg Electrum (book 2).svg Electrum.svg Electrum (Alloy of Law).svg Electrum (Feruchemy).svg
Chromium Chromium (Book 3).svg Chromium (book 2).svg Chromium.svg Chromium (Alloy of Law).svg Chromium (Feruchemy).svg
Nicrosil Nicrosil (Book 3).svg Nicrosil (book 2).svg Nicrosil.svg Nicrosil (Alloy of Law).svg Nicrosil (Feruchemy).svg
Aluminum Aluminum (Book 3).svg Aluminum (book 2).svg Aluminum.svg Aluminum (Alloy of Law).svg Aluminum (Feruchemy).svg
Duralumin Duralumin (Book 3).svg Duralumin (book 2).svg Duralumin.svg Duralumin (Alloy of Law).svg Duralumin (Feruchemy).svg
Atium Atium (Book 3).svg Atium (book 2).svg Atium.svg Atium (Alloy of Law).svg Atium (Feruchemy).svg
Malatium Malatium (Book 3).svg Malatium (book 2).svg Malatium.svg Malatium (Alloy of Law).svg Malatium (Feruchemy).svg
unknown Allomancy 19 (Hero of Ages).svg Allomancy 19 (book 2).svg Allomancy 19 (Final Empire).svg Allomancy 19 (Alloy of Law).svg
unknown Allomancy 20 (Hero of Ages).svg Allomancy 20 (book 2).svg Allomancy 20 (Final Empire).svg Allomancy 20 (Alloy of Law).svg
unknown Allomancy 21 (Hero of Ages).svg Allomancy 21 (book 2).svg Allomancy 21 (Final Empire).svg Allomancy 21 (Alloy of Law).svg
unknown Allomancy 22 (Hero of Ages).svg Allomancy 22 (book 2).svg Allomancy 22 (Final Empire).svg Allomancy 22 (Alloy of Law).svg
Lerasium Lerasium (Book 3).svg Lerasium (book 2).svg Lerasium.svg Lerasium (Alloy of Law).svg Lerasium (Feruchemy).svg
Ettmetal     Ettmetal.svg Ettmetal (Alloy of Law).svg Ettmetal (Feruchemy).svg
unknown Allomancy 0 (Hero of Ages).svg   Allomancy 0 (Final Empire).svg Allomancy 0 (Alloy of Law).svg


  • The distinguishing of vowels by different placement of a dot is based upon the extinct, but partially revived, Baybayin Script.[7]
  • Isaac Stewart has previously confirmed that the Feruchemical symbols for chromium and nicrosil were mistakenly swapped on the Feruchemy Table.[18]


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