It's been stated throughout the series that the feruchemy comes from the body of the feruchemist.

For instance; In order to store better sight, you have to first spend some time with worse sight than usual.

And yet, I can't help but wonder if you could potentially try it another way around.

Why store positive attributes which force your body into a weakened state, when you could store negative attributes which force your body into a strengthened state.

Then you could just constantly store attributes and be more powerful all the time and not just when you you use the attributes.

The only potential downside to that idea, were it to be possible, is that after you eventually reach a point where you can no longer store more of an attribute in a metal, then it becomes useless; and you have to buy more metal.

But the, I guess, you could just sell it to allomancers and buy more metal with the money they give you.

Since they cannot reach the attributes that someone else stored within, the metal just becomes average to them, doesn't it?

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    This would be power without limits, this would make compounding look weak. There are gods who designed the power so they have limits.
    – Styxsksu
    Aug 21 '19 at 13:39
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    If you could store negative attributes, your summation of the downsides seems correct (we do eventually see a character who constantly stores weight and goes around being lighter all the time). The fact that no one does, even though compounding is thoroughly abused, strongly suggests that it can't be done.
    – Nolimon
    Aug 21 '19 at 13:47
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    Arguably Atium does something like that - it stores "youthfulness", but one could say it grants "unearned" age, making your apparent age higher then normal. While it's detrimental on the long run, in theory a child might be able to become adult this way, like ,say, Shazam :D
    – Mithoron
    Aug 22 '19 at 0:06
  • With some of the attributes, you can't really go negative, and therefore it is really impossible to do as you're asking anyways. For instance, the normal feruchimal attribute having to do with weight, you store weight in the metal, and you become lighter. There's no such thing as "negative weight", so you couldn't store something like that in a metal to make yourself heavier instead. If you think about it, the same sort of thing applies to attributes like strength. It's not that some separate attribute (weakness) stops you from using strength, it's a lack of strength that does.
    – Kai
    Aug 22 '19 at 5:51

The attributes you can store are based on the metal.

What is being stored is a pre-determined attribute, and you can't "unstore" what hasn't already been put into storage. This is the basis of "end-neutral" magic. The magic does not add or take away power from the world; it just stores it so that it can be used at unnatural rates if desired.

If for some reason a lack of eyesight was an attribute, then storing it would indeed be beneficial, and throwing away your filled metalminds would probably be the best bet. But that is not an attribute which a metalmind can store, therefore your plan would not work.

There are some attributes where storage in a metalmind is actually beneficial to the user. The most obvious example is storing weight with iron. In era 2, one of the main characters has access to this trait, and is generally always storing weight in his metalmind, so that he usually operates at ~75% weight unless he needs his normal weight (or more).

Some other interesting examples would be the spiritual attributes, where one can store attributes like Connection or Identity, allowing some very very strange interactions between the feruchemists and the magic.

There are a few cases where this works, but only when the lack of an attribute is beneficial. You cannot actually store negative attributes, due to the end-neutral nature. The attributes which the metalminds store are generally things which require investiture to manifest. Since feruchemy doesn't have access to extra investiture, storing the opposite of an attribute (or going into the negative) just isn't possible.


I see two main reasons this can't be done.

First, each metal stores a specific attribute. Since there are no metals that allow for storage of a "negative attribute", it's just not possible. There are potential spoilers for later books, but here's a chart of the various attributes stored by the different metals.

Second, and more theoretically, I don't think this is possible because I don't see how you would store a negative.

Take your example of storing eye sight in a tin mind. As a person with eyes, you have the ability to see. With feruchemy, you're essentially diverting that ability to see into the metal mind, which leaves your body with a lack of something you previously had, which you can then tap later to enhance yourself.

How exactly would you do the opposite? Since you can already see in your natural state, how would you store the lack of ability to see?

Copper might be an easier example. Using copper, you can remove information that exists in your brain and store in the copper mind for later retrieval. Once stored, the information no longer exists in your head. So, how would do the reverse? It doesn't make sense to say that you're storing a lack of information in order to always know all the things.


Feruchemy is an end-neutral manifestation of Investiture that allows the user to convert certain attributes into Investiture and store them in metal that they are in physical contact with, and to later retrieve them from the metal. As an end-neutral art, Investiture is not gained from an outside source (as it is in end-postive arts) and Investiture is not permanently lost (as it is in end-negative arts)

Feruchemy takes your personal base abilities, allows you to reduce them for a time, and then draw them forth to gain your base + the amount you reduced by.

The prime issue with your question, is your assumption you are storing positive attributes. You are storing YOUR attributes, by reducing your current base, to later add that ontop of your base.

Your suggesting that a person has a maximum above what they normally function at, and that their is some flaw in a person that causes them not to function at that max, and then your saying why not store this flaw so that you function higher. This also assumes that Ferochemists body have an upper limit on strength/vision/weight etc.

While in reality, a Ferochemists body is like a normal humans body, and your as strong as you are due to working out etc. They just get to Store their own strength, to then give it back onto of their normal body, with no upper limit.

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