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Cosmere Catalog #4.1: Magic System of the Cosmere - Metalic Arts

Read Time: 11 minutes
Published On: February 19, 2024
Cosmere Catalog #4.1

Cosmere Catalog is a series of articles that will delve deep into the inner workings of Cosmere and all the books in this shared universe. This is the 4th guide on the Cosmere Catalog.

Cosmere Catalog #1: A visual guide to Cosmere books

Cosmere Catalog #2: Planets in Cosmere and their mentions

Cosmere Catalog #3: Overarching Cosmere Physics & Mythology

Cosmere Catalog #4.1: Magic System of the Cosmere - Metalic Arts

Books involving Metalic Arts

Mistborn Era #1 - Mistborn Trilogy

What if the whole world were a dead, blasted wasteland?
For a thousand years, the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a scarred, heartbroken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers which she never dreamed of.

Brandon Sanderson, the fantasy's newest master tale-spinner and author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the prophesied hero failed to defeat the Dark Lord? The answer will be found in the Misborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises that begins with the book in your hands. Fantasy will never be the same again.

Mistborn Era #2 - Wax & Wayne

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.


This story was written specifically for the Mistborn Adventure Game, a tabletop RPG. Please keep in mind that the story was intended to help a GM bring his players up to speed on the world if they haven’t read the books. There are a few goodies for those who want to know more about Kelsier, but this story is not meant to stand wholly on its own.

Metallic Arts

Metallic Arts is the magic system of Scadrial and is thoroughly explored in Mistborn books. There are 3 distinct magic systems on Sacdrial. They are

  • Allomancy: end-positive magic system, meaning it makes the user gain power.
  • Feruchemy: end-neutral magic system, meaning it makes the user neither gain nor lose power. it just works as a storage of power for later use.
  • Hemalurgy: end-negative magic system, that makes the user lose power by taking away their abilities.

There are 16 metals in all three magic systems. Here’s a summary of what each metal is and what it can do.

MetalAllomantic AbilityFeruchemical AbilityHemalurgic Ability
IronPulls on Nearby Sources of MetalStores Physical WeightSteals Strength
SteelPushes on Nearby Sources of MetalStores Physical SpeedSteals Physical Allomancy
TinIncreases SensesStores SensesSteals Senses
PewterIncreases Physical AbilitiesStores Physical StrengthSteals Physical Feruchemy
ZincRiots (Enflames) EmotionsStores Mental SpeedSteals Emotional Fortitude
BrassSoothes (Dampens) EmotionsStores WarmthSteals Cognitive Feruchemy
CopperHides Allomantic PulsesStores MemoriesSteals Mental Fortitude, Memory, and Intelligence
BronzeAllows One to Hear Allomantic PulsesStores WakefulnessSteals Mental Allomancy
CadmiumSlows Down TimeStores BreathSteals Temporal Allomancy
BendalloySpeeds Up TimeStores EnergySteals Spiritual Feruchemy
GoldReveals Your Alternate Past SelfStores HealthSteals Hybrid Feruchemy
ElectrumReveals Your Own FutureStores DeterminationSteals Enhancement Allomancy
ChromiumWipes Allomantic Reserves of TargetStores FortuneMight steal destiny
NicrosilEnhances Allomantic Burn of TargetStores InvestitureSteals Investiture
AluminumWipes Internal Allomantic ReservesStores IdentityRemoves all powers
DuraluminQuickly Burns any Burning Metals in a Powerful BurstStores ConnectionSteals Connection and Identity

These metals and their uses are discussed below in detail.

These three magic systems are developed automatically using the investiture from the two shards in Scadrial, Preservation and Ruin. Allomancy is the power of Preservation and Hemalurgy is the power of Ruin. Feruchemy is the power of balance between the two shards.

Some interesting facts about Allomancy are:

  • people who use Allomancy for a long period become addicted & experience withdrawals when they aren’t exposed to it.
  • constant use of Allomancy can change the physiology of a person.
  • it can become poisonous if they leave it for too long, so they burn everything before sleeping.


Allomancy is an end-positive magic system, meaning the user draws power from an external source. Users of Allomancy are called “allomancer”. They can burn the metal and gain abilities corresponding to the metal burned. Think of burning metal as the process of digesting. Some metal concoctions come in vials that Allomancers carry with them.

Type of Allomancer

There are two types of Allomancers in Cosmere. They are:

  • Mistings: they can only burn one metal.
  • Mistborns: they can burn all the metals.
  • Twinborns: they have both Allomancy & Feruchemy abilities.

Way of getting Allomantic powers

  • Heritage: if someone among their ancestors were a Mistborn or a Misting.
  • Snapping: a traumatic event that causes fractures in a person’s spirit web.
  • Hemalurgic Spikes: spikes made of metal (discussed more below).
  • Burning Lerasium: the only metal that can turn its user to Mistborn.

Metals of Allomancy

There are 16 metals present in the Allomancy chart. These 16 metals are divided into 4 aspects of their power, each aspect containing 4 metals that enhance the respective ability.

  • Physical Metals
  • Mental Metals
  • Enhancement Metals
  • Temporal Metals

These are further divided into two groups which are external metals and internal metals.

  • External metals affect the external environment outside of the user's own body
  • Internal metals make changes internally in the user's physiology.

God Metals of Allomancy

There are 6 god metals, apart from 16 allomantic metals that don’t fit in Allomantic table. They are the solid manifestation of Adonalsium's investiture and can be made out of any shards.



Feruchemy is an end-neutral manifestation of Investiture that allows the user to convert certain attributes into Investiture. This magic system is used to store investiture for later use.

users of Feruchemy are called “Feruchemist”. They store investiture in a metal for later use. Feruchemist can Allomantically burn a metal mind and dramatically increase the amount of the attribute stored. A Hemalurgic spike can be used as a Feruchemical metal mind.

Metal Minds

Pieces of metal that have been charged by Feruchemists are referred to as metalminds. The act of charging, or Investing, a metalmind is referred to as storing. The act of retrieving the stored attribute is referred to as tapping.

Special Metal Minds

Unkeyed Metalminds

It is a special kind of metalmind that anyone with the relevant Feruchemical ability can access. Whereas a conventional metal mind is keyed to the Identity of the Feruchemist who created it, unkeyed metal minds are not attuned to any specific individual's Identity

Unsealed Metalminds

An unsealed metalmind is a special kind of metalmind that anyone can access. It involves. They are formed of nicrosil and one or more other metals.

Metals of Feruchemy

These are the same 16 metals from the Allomantic table that is used as Metal Minds for Feruchemy. Their symbols are different and are categorised into 4 aspects just like Allomancy, each containing 4 metals.

  • Physical Metals
  • Cognitive Metals
  • Spiritual Metals
  • Hybrid Metals

These are further divided into the same two groups which are external metals and internal metals.

  • External metals affect the external environment outside of the user's own body
  • Internal metals make changes internally in the user's physiology.

God Metals of Feruchemy

There are 6 god metals, just like in the Allomancy. Some of the uses of these metals are still unknown in Cosmere.



Hemalurgy is an end-negative manifestation of Investiture that allows the user to steal the investiture from a person. The users of Hemalurgy are called “Hemalurgists”.

How it Works

Hemalurgy is the transfer of attributes, such as Allomancy, Feruchemy, or innate human strength via spirit web theft and splicing.

Hemalurgy can transfer almost any type of Investiture. In the Physical Realm, a metallic spike is inserted into a bind point, such as the heart, to Hemalurgically charge it.

The spike, now containing a fragment of stolen spirit web, is then ripped out and embedded in the recipient, stapling the ability directly into their spiritual DNA (sDNA)


Law of Hemalurgic Decay

The longer a spike is outside a body, the weaker it becomes, and a spike will lose most of the power it can lose on the first day outside of a body. Despite the decay, a spike will never completely lose its charge.

Coating a spike with blood can reduce the Hemalurgic decay significantly.

Hemalurgic Control

Hemalurgy allows the creator of the spikes to control the person spiked. The level of control can range from whispers to full control. The control is exerted in the form of mental pressure, which changes the way the mind thinks, tricking the creature/human into doing exactly what they want.

Metals of Hemalurgy

Hemalurgic Spikes are charged with the investiture of Ruin and are inserted into a the body of the creature or human to steal the associated Allomanctic or Feruchemical abilities with the Metal. For example, if the recipient of the spike has an iron spike it’s stealing the strength of the person spiked.

The picture shows where in the body a spike needs to be inserted to work


God Metal Spikes of Hemalurgy

Just like Allomancy and Feruchemy, Hemalurgy also uses metal spikes made out of God Metals to steal the associated abilities of that metal. Most of the uses of these God Metals are still unknown.


In conclusion, the magic system of Scadrial in the Mistborn series is an extremely unique and mind-blowing magic system I have seen. The possibilities of scaling this magic system are insane. Brandon Sanderson is truly a genius.

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