Nasty World… But Fun Powers (TCWT)


It’s been a while, but the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain is back, with a great prompt.

Which fictional world would you most like to be a part of, and what role do you think you would fulfill in it?

Honestly, this prompt gives me a bit of trouble, which explains why I procrastinated until the day before it was due to answer it.  (All I can say is, as fun as the blog chain is, it seems too much like homework.)  After lots of thought, and a giant process of elimination, I’m still hung up over three choices.  However, I think I can safely say that my favorite universe (or should I say, cosmere— that should be a hint to some of you) to ever read about was Scadrial, the world of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy.

I am an unashamed, yet unknown, superhero fanboy.  It doesn’t show much, but I adore people with new and interesting powers.  I was, as a kid, enthralled with the idea that a person could be exposed to fatal doses of radiation and somehow get powers from it.  (Turning green was a given.)  Of course, now I see there’s a side to superheroes that must be watched– namely, their superhuman abilities, which run the risk of making them perfect– but I still enjoy a good superpower.  Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy has some of the coolest powers I’ve ever read.

The Force was cool.  Iron Man was awesome.  Dustfinger was spectacular.  Better yet, however, were the ideas of Mistborn and Mistings, Feruchemistry, and Hemalurgic spikes.

The powers of a Mistborn come from “burning” metals within the body– steel, iron, pewter, bronze, and many others.  Mistborn have the ability to burn all types of metals, but Mistings can only burn one.  Each metal gives a different power– steel pushes metal away from the user, pewter enhances the body’s strength, and so on for each metal.  That in itself is really cool.

Feruchemists are restricted to a certain race of people, the Terris.  They have what are called metalminds– using the same metals the Mistborn do, but with different effects.  Feruchemists can store physical or mental qualities– memory, weight, strength, speed.  When they need it, they can retrieve it from the metalmind, doubling or tripling what they could previously have done.

Hemalurgic spikes are a different sort of magic, one that isn’t so well known, but the basic theory is this: a spike driven into the body at a specific point will cause a specific effect.  It isn’t as pleasant of a magic as the others, but it’s still pretty cool.

Scadrial itself is a travel destination of debatable worth.  Featuring Ashmounts that spew ash into the sky, oppressed people called skaa that are treated as slaves, and an evil emperor called the Lord Ruler who has reigned for the last thousand years, it’s not the most fun place to be.  However, I would totally go just for the magic systems… as long as I could be a Mistborn.

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42 thoughts on “Nasty World… But Fun Powers (TCWT)

  1. I think it is a wise choice not to go to Scadrial without being certain you were a Mistborn. But you’d have to Snap somewhere and that usually means some kind of emotional trauma, if I recall correctly.

      1. Let me know when you figure out how to get there. I’d settle with being a Misting if I’m not a Mistborn. Preferably one that can burn pewter… I’m beat. How much I could get done if I didn’t need so much sleep…
        Or… I can’t remember what they burn to influence emotions.

  2. Oh yes. The Mistborn world was definitely really cool. To be honest, hemalurgy kind of makes me feel squeamish, but I did like the other two a lot. If I couldn’t be a Mistborn, I’d want to be someone who could burn…. oh, what metal was it? (Clue that I need to re-read the series? I think so.) The one that lets you see the future. That one was neat.

    1. Hemalurgy was weird, but I loved it in the third book with that one character arc… (No spoilers for the people who have only read the first book.) I think it was gold, wasn’t it? But seeing the future is sort of powerless…

  3. Cool! I may just have to read those…
    I liked Merlin, but I like my pal Irisbloom5’s story world even better– there are actually limits imposed on the magic, which makes it totally AWESOME. And i just saw Rise of the Guardians… Instant fandom! Because, you know… frost, ice and/or snow is stunningly, visually beautiful… and also unbelievably cool.

    1. Mistborn’s limits are amazing. Sandrson is a master of limitations of magic.

      Yes, Rise of the Guardians was visually nice, but there were no limits on that magic, and the Deus Ex Machina at the end… I just saw the movie a few days ago, and didn’t like it.

      1. Hmm… Deus Ex Machina? I don’t really understand what you mean, really. If you mean the total non-sequitur where Jack whiffed Pitch Black with a snowball, then i think it should be expected–Jack is nothing if not unpredictable. If you’re referring to the kids being the ones able to restore the Guardians’ powers… errm… no, I don’t think so. Their powers do hinge on whether children believe or not, after all. And if it’s the part where the Nightmares turn on their creator, ahhh… blame Disney, they came up with that, I think. (Reference Gaston here.) But the bit where Jack has no real diminishing of his powers, I find that a bit harder to swallow–true, he hadn’t been believed in for 300 years, but since he wasn’t a Guardian, not having powers would not have been a problem… But when he did become one, the fact that he didn’t seem to suffer from not being believed in initially was a bit confusing to me… Sorry about the confusing long rant, I’m trying to make sense of this…

      2. No, I meant the Sandman’s return. We had no way of knowing whether or not that could actually happen– I was depending on Jack and his remaining Guardians to take care of Pitch, now that the Sandman is gone, but they just brought the Sandman back and had him solve all their problems.

      3. Oh. Well, actually, my dad predicted that, so I don’t think it’s such a Deus Ex Machina–Dad said, “Look, he ONLY WENT TO SLEEP. I’ll bet he’s coming back.” So… it was foreseen… I still don’t know if that de-bunks it as a Deus Ex Machina.
        On a side note, they kind of had to have Sandy seem to die, so they could have Jack throw his almighty temper tantrum. Which was, in my opinion, kind of weird. X-P

    2. Hate to barge in on a thread that has nothing to do with me, but I also saw RotG just yesterday and I loved it. I don’t know what you mean by Deus Ex Machina, Liam. I read that term everywhere and promptly forget what it is.

      But about Sandman coming back…Well, there was no WAY that Disney would kill off a character in a children’s movie, unless said character was the bad guy. So I did have a feeling that Sandy would return. But other than that, I was also trying to understand the logic behind his return other than “Disney can’t kill for peanuts”.

      I think it’s because once the children realised that Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Jack Frost were real, kids began to believe in the Sandman. The other guys are real. Why not Sandy too? And then that gave Sandy the power to return dramatically, just when our heroes needed it.

      I LOVED the concept of movie, though. Children believing in these myths make these myths real. It’s beautiful. Having said that, yes, I did question why Jack Frost didn’t seem the slightest bit affected because of the children’s beliefs (or lack thereof) in him. Shouldn’t he have become stronger or something because suddenly Jamie and his friends could see him? Maybe it has to do with the number of kids that can see him. It’s only the neighbourhood’s children who believe in him, as compared to the children all over the world, and such a small amount doesn’t make a difference…? (But that clashes with my explanation of how Sandy came back.)

      As for Pitch’s nightmares turning on him, that makes total sense to me. I actually liked that part because when you think about it, nobody is free from fear and uncertainty, and the second Pitch started losing, his fear of being ignored came right back. Nightmares can sense fear (according to the movie, and that’s even true of real life, isn’t it?), and so they attacked their master.

      Sorry for
      a) barging in.
      b) Huge comment.


      1. Well, I think that it’s not so much of a Deus ex machina, now that I think about it. After all, Pitch and Sandy are in different ends of the same spectrum. Thus, it’s perfectly reasonable (I think) to suppose that you could nudge the adjustment over and get Sandy back. Besides, I think the Guardians are all immortal. 😛 Jack has been around for 300 years and still looks 15 or so.
        Anyway, I think that much of the story line could also be pinned on what the writers thought would be “cool…” X-P And it wasn’t exactly Disney… it’s a Dreamworks movie. Remember? Jack being the one sitting on the moon?! I loved that variation of the icon, by the way. Oh, and what’s with Jack’s costuming change?! Was the hoodie just to make him look more like a teenaged rebel?! ;-P

    3. Disney/Dreamworks. I always get so confused! 😛
      The hoodie went better with Jack’s white hair, as compared to the robes that Jack was wearing in his past life. And yes, the guardians are probably immortal. But then, why was everyone so sad when Sandy supposedly died? That doesn’t make sense…

      1. Foreseen does not equal foreshadowed, Erin. I foresaw his death at the midpoint– it had to happen– and I foresaw that he would return. I was actively looking for anything to keep it from becoming a Deus Ex, but nothing happened. The god out of the machine came down and saved everyone’s lives, and we have no idea why or how. Sure, kids believing in him and such, but if their belief caused him to come back to life, why couldn’t it keep him alive in the first place?

        And sure, the whole movie is cute and no one really cares whether there’s a glaring plot hole in the middle of it, but I can’t let that slide.

  4. Why am I not surprised you picked Scadrial?

    I’ve been thinking about my post for the chain, and I admit this was the first world that popped into my mind. Though I think I’d prefer to live in/visit Alloy of Law’s time, and not during Vin and Elend’s time.

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