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In the first Mistborn novel, it's explained that one key rule of Allomancy is that it can't affect metal in or attached to other people's bodies.

However, in The Hero of Ages, Vin seems to be able to do this:

"She Pushed outward with a sudden wave of power; Inquisitors were thrown back by their spikes." (pg. 650 in the paperback box set edition)

Does duralumin let Allomancers break this rule? If so, did I miss an explanation about this earlier on?

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    This is definitely explained somewhere in the books. – Rand al'Thor Jun 17 at 19:32
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    Yeah, I thought the spikes thing was really weird. – Stormblessed Jun 17 at 21:57
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This Word of Brandon suggests that a persons innate investiture is what interferes with being able to affect metals inside of them.

However, you can overcome this if you're a strong enough Allomancer.

Vin is an extremely strong Allomancer, but, as strong as she was, she could only do it when using the mists to fuel her Allomancy. If I remember correctly, the instance you mentioned was just after Marsh pulled her earring, which allowed her to fully absorb the mists. See the spoilers below for another example.

She was able to pull the Lord Ruler's armbands (which were piercing him) once she drew in the mists in The Final Empire.

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It's only possible with levels of super-allomancy, either being a double-burner (hemalurgic spike with the same power, that's how the Lord Ruler did it) or possessing a Splinter and using that. (A Splinter is the term for someone / something that directly holds a Shard's power - i.e. Vin when she burns the Mists.) There are theories that a Mistborn who burns Lerasium a second time would be able to do it, but that's never been confirmed. A normal allomancer, even a savant, would never be able to do it.

I don't remember if that incident is before Vin removes her earring, if it is, than that's indeed the power of duralumin. If it's not, then that's just the Mists. Duralumin definetly does bend a few other rules, for instance it lets you Steelpush objects heavier than you are.

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    I don't think it's clear if The Lord Ruler necessarily needed a hemalurgic spike to be able to push on invested metals in bodies. It's possible he was able to give himself powers equal to multiple beads of lerasium. Also, you likely mean "sliver" not "splinter" since a sliver is when a living being held a large portion of a shards power. A splinter is more when the power takes a form on it's own, such as spren. Even further nitpicking; Vin doesn't become a sliver until she actually takes up the power of ascension. Her mist fueled allomancy wasn't enough to count. – JMac Jun 18 at 11:51

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