Connection is a spiritual attribute and uses spiritwebs, connecting them in the Spiritual Realm. It is thought to be part of the spiritual aspect of a being, and has an influence on who can or cannot ascend as the Holder of a certain Shard. There are ways - albeit as yet unknown - other than through Feruchemy to create Connection. Additionally, it is possible to alter Connection through artificial means (such as the device designed by the Ire), though the particulars of just how this is accomplished are also as yet unknown.
Connection can allow communication between two parties that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Examples include people speaking a different language or existing in different realms, as when the Seventeenth Sharders at the Purelake (i.e., Temoo, Thinker and Blunt) used Connection to speak with Ishikk. (None amongst said Sharders are Feruchemists.)
According to Khriss, Hemalurgy is usable by anyone with the right knowledge, and is a dangerous creation that has proven to be able to warp souls regardless of world or Investiture, creating false Connections that no Shard designed or intended.
With regard to one's spiritual, cognitive, and physical aspects, Connection, and compounding ...
|“|| ... There's a perfect version of everyone somewhere. It's a mix of their Connection to places, people, and times with raw Investiture. The soul, you might say.
(Note that over time, a person's perception of themselves shapes their cognitive aspect as well, and the cognitive aspect can interfere with the spiritual aspect trying to make the physical aspect repair itself.) Healing in the cosmere often works by aligning your physical self with your spiritual self - making the physical regrow. More powerful forms of Investiture can repair the soul as well.
However, your age is part of your Connection to places, people, and times. Your soul "knows" things, like where you were born, what Investiture you are aligned with, and - yes - how old you are. When you're healing yourself, you're restoring yourself to a perfect state - when you're done, everything is good. When you're changing your age, however, you are transforming yourself to something unnatural. Against what your soul understands to be true.
So the spiritual aspect will push for a restoration to the way you should be. With this compounding hack, you're not changing Connection; it's a purely Physical Realm change.
This dichotomy cannot remain for long. And the greater the disparity, the more pressure the spirit will exert. Ten or twenty years won't matter much. A thousand will matter a lot. So the only way to use compounding to change your age is to store up all this extra youth in a metalmind, then be constantly tapping it to counteract the soul's attempt to restore you to how you should be.
Yes, all of this means there are FAR more efficient means of counteracting aging than the one used by the Lord Ruler. It's a hack, and not meant to be terribly efficient. Eventually, he wouldn't have been able to maintain himself this way at all. Changing Connection (or even involving one's cognitive aspect a little more) would have been far more efficient, though actively more difficult.
Some readers have theorized that Hoid has a pre-Shattering pseudo-Feruchemy that lets him store only Spiritual attributes (i.e., Investiture, Connection, Identity, and Fortune). He's been observed using Investiture, Connection and Fortune, so there's some merit there, but readers won't know for sure for a while. For example, Hoid uses Fortune to know when to be in a specific place, as he is at the end of The Way of Kings when Taln stumbles in, and as he is at the end of Words of Radiance when Jasnah shows up.
- ↑ Mistborn: Secret History, Part 6, Chapter 4
- ↑ Mistborn: Secret History, Part 5, Chapter 2
- ↑ Mistborn: The Bands of Mourning, Chapter 22
- ↑ Mistborn: Secret History, Part 6, Chapter 6
- ↑ The Way of Kings, Inter1.
- ↑ Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 152
- ↑ Influence ...
- ↑ Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 337
- ↑ Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 342
- ↑ General Reddit, 11/20/15
- ↑ The Way of Kings, Epilogue - Of Most Worth
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Epilogue - Art And Expectation