At the end of The Hero of Ages, Sazed said, in his letter to Spook:

There are still two metals that nobody knows about. You might want to poke about and see if you can figure out what they are. I think they’ll interest you.

The number of metals in HoA's Ars Arcanum (excluding atium and its complement, malatium) is 12. In The Alloy of Law, atium and malatium are gone from the Ars Arcanum, and four newly-discovered metals are present (to make Preservation's magic number of 16)—cadmium, bendalloy, chromium, and nicrosil. Is there an explanation for this that I'm forgetting? Surely Sazed wouldn't make a mistake like that.

I did some more searching and found that Sanderson has said that chromium and nicrosil are the two new metals. If this is the case, where do bendalloy and cadmium fit in?

  • 2
    It's pretty sure its not a Sazed mistake, it's more Sanderson changed the understanding of what atium was and how it fits (it wasn't excluded until after Hero), but I'm short on references and time at the moment.
    – Radhil
    Aug 28, 2016 at 18:27
  • 1
    From Coppermind, under Development: "After the original trilogy and Brandon’s reveal that atium and malatium did not belong on the true Table of Allomantic Metals, Brandon chose the true external temporal metal to be cadmium". It lacks an actual link to where he said this though.... sigh
    – Radhil
    Aug 28, 2016 at 22:05
  • IIRC what happened is either Preservation or TLR 'swapped' chromium & nicrosil for atium & malatium so there were still 16 metals, and then the team 'discovered' all 16 documented in the various storage caches. When Sazed ascends he 'returns' it back to the 'original 16', removing atium and it's alloys from circulation.
    – fbstj
    Sep 13, 2016 at 8:26

2 Answers 2


It's important to note two things. First, that the metal charts that are included in the books, and the appendices detailing them, are considered in-universe research. That is, this is what somebody out there thinks they know. Atium was included in the original metal charts simply because it was known. Many of the original assumptions about Allomancy were shaped around the Lord Ruler's witholding of information, the lack of knowledge about how the world was really created, and the lack of technology to do much more than smelt and mix common ores.

That said, the second thing to note is that all we have is a single letter written by a new God to an old friend. Despite what we know, it's open to interpretation.

Following that, someone asked a question phrased differently, but received an answer that practically fits your question like a glove. From a long Q&A archive posted on Google, dated three days after Hero of Ages was released, I dug this out:

Are there any Allomantic metals we have not seen yet, besides Chromium and Nicrosil?

RAFO. (Sorry.) Let's just say that when Sazed said there are two metals you haven't found, he MIGHT not have been referring to a metal and its alloy, but two base metals. Who knows. Gods can be frustratingly ambiguous in times like that.

The Coppermind wiki entry on Allomancy also acknowledges this, stating in it's section on Development, that once Atium was officially off the charts by being revealed as a piece of divine power, Sanderson replaced it with cadmium and it's relative bendalloy. It unfortunately lacks a citation, and it doesn't make clear whether this was an evolution that Sanderson made to arrange his magic system better or whether it was intended all along, and I've been unable to find the original source on my own.

So unless I can dig up something else, by the Q&A statement, Sanderson intended Sazed's letter to be lightly ambiguous, and he could be referring to two new base metals, or just the two new powers that weren't based on time.


The chart on the back of Hero of Ages shows 16 metals. Vin(I think) makes a reference to "16 metals". And Sazed said there are "2 metals left." Count the metals. zinc + brass + pewter + tin + iron + steel + copper + bronze, the 8 base metals. Add Aluminum, Duralumin, Gold, Atium, Malatium, and Electrum. That adds up to ONLY 14! out of 16. So there are 2 metals left, Cadmium (element 48) and its alloy, Bendalloy. Look them up.


Looking at the comments, I see some people are saying that atrium and malatium were removed, to be replaced by chromium and its alloy. Sorry, I have only read the original 3 books and have NEVER heard of this. So the metals are the 8 base, gold, aluminum, chromium(what does it do?), cadmium(which is toxic), electrum, duralumin, nicrosil, and bendalloy. I am looking to confirm this.

  • 1
    You've not explained where chromium and nicrosil fit in.
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 27, 2017 at 5:56
  • Atium and malatium don’t count because they’re god metals.
    – Neithan
    Aug 27, 2017 at 12:39

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