Mistborn Reading Guide-Part VII – Feruchemal Metals or Metalminds

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Mistborn is a sci-fi/fantasy trilogy written by author Brandon Sanderson.  The series is really hard to describe but what I’ve said to others is that it’s like a collision between The Lord of the Rings and X-Men.

As an avid reader, I am picky about who I read.  When I was introduced to Brandon Sanderson and finished reading Mistborn, I placed him as one of my top 3 favorite authors.  He knows how to introduce and develop characters, he maintains a strong storyline and he captures the reader’s imagination.

As I read through the books, I gathered information about the world of Scadrial, the characters in the books and the science behind the three mysterious super-human abilities Sanderson created.

Spoiler Alert

*****THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT REVEALS THE PLOT OF ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE MISTBORN TRILOGY – IT SHOULD BE USED FOR REFERENCE AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY*****

This post is about Feruchemal Metalminds that Feruchemists wear on their bodies usually as bracelets and necklaces.  Because this section is so short, I have also included a chart of the seventeen known Feruchemal Metalminds and their effects on Feruchemists

Allomancy|

Feruchemy

How Metals are Used

  • An Allomancer must burn the appropriate metal they ingest in order to gain an ability
  • A Feruchemist must spend time concentrating on whatever attribute they wish to store in order to utilize it, leaving them weak and vulnerable

How the Abilities are Expended

  • An Allomancer can only burn metals at specific rates
  • For example, if an Allomancer wants to increase their senses; all they have to do is burn tin
  • A Feruchemist can expend the power they have saved at any rate they choose
  • In theory, this allows Feruchemists to enhance their abilities far beyond that of an Allomancer, although they are limited to how much ability they have stored
  • A Feruchemist using tin would have to spend days or weeks with reduced capacity in whichever specific sense they wish to store (sight, smell, hearing, etc.)

Effects on the person’s body

  • When an Allomancer burns pewter, there are no physical changes in their bodies, their muscles do not increase in size, only their strength increases
  • A Feruchemist’s body is directly affected by their metals
  • For example, a Feruchemist burning pewter (a Pewtermind) visually grows physically stronger; their muscles grow larger as their strength increases
  • True Allomancy is better in a fight; but it cannot expand the mind, giving one access to the dreams, hopes and beliefs of a thousand years of culture as Feruchemy can (Chapter 12 in The Well Of Ascension)

Other Facts About Feruchemy

  • c2931907b6764e0b74a799178f6161e1The metalminds of Feruchemy are not flamboyant but they have a far lasting effect on society (Chapter 12 in The Well Of Ascension)
  • A Feruchemist can compound an attribute many times, drawing out months’ worth of power in a few minutes (Chapter 58 in The Well Of Ascension)
  • When a Feruchemist Fills or Stores an ability into a metal object, they spend time feeling the opposite of the Metalmind they are Storing
  • For example, if a Feruchemist is Filling eyesight in a Tinmind, they will spend some time with poor vision
  • Another tactic Feruchemists use when Filling a Metalmind is seen in chapter 12 of The Well of Ascension when Sazed Filled his Ironmind, which made him as light as a floating leaf.  In doing this, he was able to safely float to the bottom of a canyon
  • Filling or Storing is like uploading information from yourself onto a computer hard drive
  • When a Feruchemist Taps their specific Metalmind, they use the specific ability they have previously stored there
  • Tapping a Metalmind is like downloading information from a computer into yourself

Seventeen Known Feruchemal Metals

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

1.  IronIron

Fe

Stores physical weight

Skimmer (Ironmind)

  • An Ironmind doesn’t actually change in bulk or size; the iron somehow changes the way the ground pulls against a Feruchemist (Chapter 12 in The Well Of Ascension)
  • Iron is used to store physical mass or more accurately density (Ars Arcanum in Mistborn)
  • This is accomplished by changing the Feruchemist’s mass, not by changing the effect of gravity on the Feruchemist
  • This change does not affect things that the Feruchemist wears but is great enough that a Feruchemist storing weight can safely fall any distance, as the Feruchemist’s surface area is sufficient to slow the fall to safe speeds (Chapter 12 in The Well of Ascension)
  • A Feruchemist tapping iron can grow proportionally heavier than normal and although this is not as useful as storing mass in many cases, it has significant martial applications
  • Specifically, by tapping iron during key moments, Feruchemists can add force to their blows and can use added weight to withstand attacks
  • Furthermore, the added mass from tapping an Ironmind can wreak havoc with Steelpushes/Ironpulls if the Feruchemist is being used as the anchor (Chapter 58 in The Well of Ascension)
  • Tapping iron has no effect on a Feruchemist’s vulnerability to penetration, despite the increase in density (Chapter 6 Annotation in The Alloy of Law)
  • Tapping iron grants the Feruchemist the strength requisite to remain standing
  • In order to fill the Ironmind, a Feruchemist must spend some time being lighter than usual
  • This state can be somewhat useful; a Feruchemist can fall at great distances and float gently to the ground being as light as a leaf or a feather

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

         2.  SteelSteel

FeCMnNiCrMoVSiB

Stores physical speed

Steelrunner (Steelmind)

  • By tapping his or her Steelmind, a Feruchemist can move many times faster than a normal human; even one burning pewter with duralumin
  • While storing speed, a Feruchemist is very sluggish (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

3.  TinTin

Sn

Stores senses

Wind-whisperer (Tinmind)

  • One Tinmind can store for one sense only (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)
  • For example if a Feruchemist chooses to store sight, they can use smell, touch or increase the capacity of any other senses in that particular Metalmind
  • While storing senses, those senses become weaker. For example, Sazed wore glasses while storing eyesight (Chapter 22 in Mistborn)
  • A Tinmind doesn’t work as well as an Allomancer’s tin – or rather, it doesn’t work in the same way.  In using sight, for instance, it can allow one to see very great distances but it is of far less help in poor illumination (Chapter 66 in The Hero Of Ages)
  • 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 (Chapter 12 in The Well of Ascension)
  • Storing the sense of smell also dilutes a Feruchemist’s sense of taste (Chapter 50 in The Well of Ascension)
  • Some Feruchemists reverse the use of a particular Tinmind instead of Tapping it in order to reduce certain senses such as hearing in a loud room or smell in a foul smelling place (Chapter 15 in The Well Of Ascension)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

4.  PewterPewter

CuSbBiPb

Stores physical strength

Brute (Pewtermind)

  • Feruchemist tapping pewter increases 2-3 times their natural size depending on how much pewter they use at once
  • Their muscles bulge out at inhuman size and their stature increases
  • As with an Allomatic thug, after a brute uses all their pewter, they are left feeling extremely exhausted and tired (Chapter 37 in Mistborn)
  • It’s possible for a Feruchemist to tap so much strength that their girth makes it difficult for them to maneuver properly (Chapter 53 in The Well of Ascension)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

5.  BrassBrass

CuZn

Stores warmth

Firesoul (Brassmind)

  • While filling a Brassmind, a Feruchemist will be cool (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)
  • It is currently unknown whether a brass Ferring’s body is able to resist higher temperatures. If not, there would be the dangerous risk of overheating when tapping the brassmind. If they do adjust, they could tap their Brassminds in order to become semi-fireproof

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

6.  Zinczinc

Zn

Stores mental speed

Sparkler (Zincmind)

  • Zinc allows the Feruchemist to think very quickly and come to conclusions faster
  • While Filling a Zincmind, the Feruchemist will be dull-witted and slow (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)
  • Storing does not affect the Feruchemist’s ability to process physical information, such as being able to hear when they are spoken to (Chapter 50 in The Well of Ascension)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

7.  CopperCopper

Cu

Stores memories

Archivist (Coppermind)

  • Copper allows for the storage of memories and thoughts (p. 370 in Mistborn)
  • Copperminds or Keepers are what Feruchemists are known for; as they are usually scholars who travel the lands gathering information about certain events and cultures so the information isn’t lost
  • The Keeper carries several bracers filled with knowledge – songs, stories, prayers, histories and languages (Chapter 22 in Mistborn)
  • Many Keepers have a particular area of interest such as religion or engineering but they all remember the entire collection they stored (Chapter 22 in Mistborn)
  • Memories become fuzzy and more difficult to recall when a Feruchemist switches from their Coppermind to normal memory and back too many times (Chapter 15 in The Well Of Ascension)
  • Since the memories in a Coppermind do not degrade with time (although they are vulnerable to Ruin’s manipulation), it is perfect for the collection of enormous quantities of facts. For this reason, Feruchemists are much more likely to be scholars than warriors (Chapter 15 in The Well of Ascension)
  • When a Feruchemist stores a memory in a Metalmind, it immediately disappears from his personal memory (Chapter 15 in The Well of Ascension)
  • The best users of Copperminds create indexes to find memories much faster (Chapter 15 in The Well of Ascension)
  • The longer a memory sits outside of a Coppermind and in the Feruchemist’s own mind, the more it degrades (Chapter 15 in The Well of Ascension)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

8.  BronzeBronze

SuSn

Stores wakefulness

Sentry (Bronzemind)

  • When a Feruchemist stores up wakefulness, they become drowsy; if they store bronze long enough, they sleep as if in a coma for a time (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law and Chapter 57 in The Well Of Ascension)
  • Bronze allows the Feruchemist to stay awake for extended periods of time or to heighten awareness
  • Bronze is the only type of Metalmind a Feuruchemist can store into while sleeping (Chapter 50 in The Hero of Ages)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

9.  Atiumatium

At

Stores age

Atium-mind

  • When Storing age, the Feruchemist spends time appearing older
  • When Tapping age, the Feruchemist then spends time looking younger
  • If the Feruchemist is also either an atium Misting or a Mistborn, it is then possible to burn an Atium-mind to get an enormous burst of youth – allowing them to practically become immortal
  • This was true with the Lord Ruler as he was both a Feruchemist and a Mistborn and kept the same appearance during his entire 1,000 year reign

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

10.  GoldGold

Au

Stores health

Bloodmaker (Goldmind)

  • A bloodmaker spends time feeling very sick in order to store their health (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)
  • They can later use their stored health to heal much faster than normal and are unaffected by lethal wounds that would kill a normal person (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)
  • Storing up healing works by way of speed.  A bloodmaker can either heal themselves in small amounts very quickly or wait and heal themselves slowly, yet completely (Chapter 74 in The Hero Of Ages)
  • Almost all Steel Inquisitors have a gold spike with a Feruchemal charge driven through them.  This makes them almost invincible
  • Aluminum in a wound will make it impossible for the bloodmaker to heal the injury around the metal for as long as it remains in the system (Theoryland, March 1, 2014)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

11.  CadmiumCadmium

Cd

Stores breath

Gasper (Cadmium-mind)

  • While storing breath, the Feruchemist must hyperventilate to keep his body oxygenated
  • Tapping a Cadmiummind allows the user to go without breathing or to introduce extra oxygen into their bloodstream (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

12.  BendalloyBendalloy

Bn

Stores nutrients

Subsumer (Bendalloymind)

  • A Bendalloymind can store either solid nutrition, calories or fluid intake
  • While Filling a Bendalloymind, a Feruchemist is able to eat large quantities of food without becoming full
  • Tapping such a Metalmind will allow the user to go without food depending on how much bendalloy they have stored up (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

13.  ElectrumElectrum

AuAgCu

Stores determination

Pinnacle (Electrum-mind)

  • A Feruchemist Filling an Electrummind will become depressed and can Tap it later to enter a manic state

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

14.  ChromiumChromium

Cr

Stores luck

Spinner (Chomium-mind)

  • A Feruchemist Filling a Chromiummind will be unlucky for a time and can Tap it to increase his luck and fortune (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

15.  NicrosilNicrosil

CrSiMg

Stores investiture

Soulbearer (Nicrosilmind)

  • Nicrosil is one of the least understood Feruchemical powers, even by the Terrismen who use it

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

16.  AluminumAluminum

Al

Stores identity

Trueself (Aluminummind)

  • Aluminum is used to store a “spiritual sense of identity”
  • This ability is not fully understood and is rarely discussed outside of Terris communities (Ars Arcanum in The Alloy of Law)

Name

Atomic Symbol

Effect

Feruchemist Title

17.  DuraluminDuralumin

CuMnMg

Stores spiritual connection

Connector (Duraluminmind)

  • Duralumin allows a spiritual connection between other Feruchemists
  • While Filling a Duraluminmind, other people’s awareness and friendship of the Feruchemist will be reduced
  • Tapping the Metalmind will allow the user to form trust relationships with others much faster (Ars Canum in The Alloy of Law)
  • Connectors can use duralumin to change their connection to a planet (Theoryland, September 4, 2014)

Other Posts from “A Reader’s Guide to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy”:

Part I – Gods and Religion

Part II – Supernatural Powers

Part III – Supernatural People

Part IV – Groups of People

Part V – Allomatic Metals Part I

Part VI – Allomatic Metals Part II

Part VII – Feruchemal Metals or Metalminds

Part VIIIHemalurgic Spikes

Part IX – Events, Terms, Places and Titles of People

Part X – Creatures Part I: Koloss

Part XI – Creatures Part II: Mistwraiths and Kandra

Part XII – Characters

References

1.  Sanderson, B. (2007). The Well Of Ascension (First ed.). New York: Tom Doherty Associates.

2.  Sanderson, B. (2008). The Hero Of Ages (First ed.). New York: Tom Doherty Associates.

3.  Mistborn Wiki. Retrieved January 7, 2015, from http://mistborn.wikia.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki

4.  The Copermind. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://coppermind.net/wiki/Category:Mistborn

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