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Author Topic: Sell me on Mistborn  (Read 2904 times)
glimmerrat
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« on: April 27, 2010, 04:59:47 AM »

Ok, i've resisted getting involved for long enough. What is Mistborn? Can someone give me a basic primer?
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 06:17:13 AM »

I'll try and minimize the spoilers as well. The story is much better than I can describe with my poor English and without ruining a lot of the suspense.

Mistborn is a dark world where the human race has been saved from disaster by a mighty "wizard" of the sort, who named himself the Lord Ruler. People have forgot exactly what the danger, several centuries ago, has been, but the legend claims the Lord Ruler defeated the Deepness and saved the world. After that, the Ruler united all men under his banner and forged a centuries-long empire, under his sole rule. Rapidly, the Lord Ruler became sort of a tyrant. He promoted people who helped him in his ascension and granted them with parts of the same "magic" that he has been gifted with. He made them mistborn. Others became servants, slaves, known as the skaa...

Several centuries later, the apparently immortal Lord Ruler has a firm grip of the world, which is decaying and dying. Almost all life is gone save for mankind and several tough animal species or vegetation. The skies are permanently cloaked with a dark, thick cloud of smoke from several volcanoes that erupt regularly. The sun can still be seen, but casts a reddish color on the dead land. The landscape has become gray, brown, and rotten. Everything is sooted with ash. Only the nobles can achieve some level of cleanliness and prosperity, through the skaa they make work everyday a little harder. These have become expandable merchandise anyway, with no more value than dogs.

But in the heart of the empire, a man who is supposed to be dead has come back from the grave, apparently, with unnatural powers. Powers that allow him to command metals, to affect emotions, and to enhance his body and senses. Normally, only nobles would be mistborn, wielding this magic that fuels on metals that must be priorly ingested. And even among them, not many are still gifted with the power of mistborn. But a skaa mistborn ... that would be an abomination. This man, Kelsier, soon finds out that there is another one: a street urchin, the illegitimate girl of a nobleman, named Vin. Together, with the help of Kelsier's band, they hope to start a skaa rebellion, and overthrow the power of the Lord Ruler.
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glimmerrat
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 08:58:41 AM »

So the mistborn eat metal to fuel their magic?
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 09:08:40 AM »

So the mistborn eat metal to fuel their magic?
In minute quantities.  A couple grinds of pepper worth of tiny bits.  Generally in ethanol.
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 09:09:09 AM »

Yes, vials of alcohol containing small metal flakes or dust. These are toxic, of course, so they cannot drink them and leave them be. They have to consume them within a few hours.

There are also "lesser" mistborns, called mistings, whose powers has been diluted with time. Mistings cannot access the full power of all allomantic metals, but only of a specific one. Each allomantic metal has one effect (telekinetic push on metals for example). They go by pair (one that pushes and one that pulls) and have some sort of symbolism in their numbers, area of effect, etc. Only mistborn can use all the allomantic metals.
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glimmerrat
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 11:21:16 AM »

Yes, vials of alcohol containing small metal flakes or dust. These are toxic, of course, so they cannot drink them and leave them be. They have to consume them within a few hours.

So they have to drink them before casting? Or do they work like magic potions? Do they suffer side effects?
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 11:40:51 AM »

So they have to drink them before casting? Or do they work like magic potions? Do they suffer side effects?
The drinking does not have to be immediately before.  Side effects would depend on the metals eaten:  Brass, tin, and iron come to mind; are there issues with having powdered bits of those sitting in your stomach?
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"Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."  ("A sword is never a killer, it's a tool  in the killer's hands.")
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glimmerrat
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 01:35:33 PM »

Biologically? No, not in the short term if the flakes were very fine. You might get a severe case of the shits, but it shouldn't have too much of an effect. In the long term you might end up with blood poisoning though, as increasing amounts are absorbed into your system. Probably brain damage too.

The ethanol, however, would probably kill you pretty quickly - unless you could transmute it in some way before it is absorbed in your intestines.
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 03:21:13 PM »

The ethanol, however, would probably kill you pretty quickly - unless you could transmute it in some way before it is absorbed in your intestines.
I've been mobile after a pint of ethanol, but the mistings and mistborn metal drinks are thimble sized.
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 03:28:33 PM »

The ethanol, however, would probably kill you pretty quickly - unless you could transmute it in some way before it is absorbed in your intestines.

It's methanol that's lethal.
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 06:06:35 PM »

Okay, Glim, here's the Mistborn world in a nutshell:

Frodo loses. He takes the ring for himself, uses it to "save the world", and becomes the tyrant everyone feared from the beginning.

Now spin it forward ump-odd thousand years.

And *then* insert the plot, more or less, of Crichton's The Great Train Robbery, where Connery and Sutherland and the gang are all wizards ostensibly plotting to rob Frodo's treasury.

Add ice and shake.

Zany Mayhem ensues.  Smiley  Is it super-awesome? I personally have some issues with Sanderson's style and tone. Is it a good read anyway? You bet.
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2010, 06:28:24 AM »

The ethanol, however, would probably kill you pretty quickly - unless you could transmute it in some way before it is absorbed in your intestines.

It's methanol that's lethal.

Well yeah, but the vast majority of the stuff marketed as ethanol contains methanol anyway.  That said, a thimble-full is a little easy on my suspension of disbelief. I pictured them guzzling from a canteen...
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2010, 07:43:57 AM »

...  I pictured them guzzling from a canteen...
That never ends well.
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"Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."  ("A sword is never a killer, it's a tool  in the killer's hands.")
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca "the younger" ca. (4 BC - 65 AD)
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