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Holder Sazed
Slivers Ati
Splinters None[1]
Status Whole, conjoined with Preservation
Residence Scadrial
Magics Hemalurgy, Feruchemy
You realize the forces I can bring to bear against you, child? You realize the power I have, the destruction I represent? I am mountains that crush. I am waves that crash. I am storms that shatter. I am the end.
—Ruin to Vin.[2]

Ruin is a Shard of Adonalsium. Its original Shardholder was Ati, but is currently held by Sazed. Ruin's power has "intermingled" with Preservation's to form the shard Harmony.[3]


Ruin seeks change. It is not inherently evil, because without death there is no change, but its destructive actions are often contrary to life existing peacefully. This intent has not changed with the Fusing of Preservation it is just tempered by it.

Associated magic[edit]

Ruin fuels Hemalurgy, one of the three Metalic Arts on Scadrial. Hemalurgy is a unique magic in that unlike most it is not limited to Scadrial and can be use by anyone anywhere. Hemalurgy is a method of removing a portion of a persons spirit web and grafting it onto someone else. Individuals who are pierced by Hemalurgic spikes can hear Ruin's voice in their head. The more spikes in a person the more holes in their spirit web, this allows for easier control by the holder of the Shard of Ruin. Inquisitors with so many spikes are more susceptible than Kandra with only 2 Spikes.

Physical Manifestations of Power[edit]


A black mist is a manifestation of Ruin's power. How this effects Hemalurgy is unknown if at all. This mist was present at the well of ascension upon Vin's discovery of the well. A similar manifestation appeared after Ati's death before Sazed took up both shards. After the Final ascension a Black mist appears similar how to the normal mists appear.


A pool of metallic liquid is said to exist below the Pits of Hathsin and this is the liquid form of Ruin's power.


The solid form of Ruin's power, a metal known as atium, allows the user to see a few seconds into the future when Allomantically burned. Atium can also be used to store youth with Feruchemy, that youth can be compounded to create a semblance of agelessness. Atium when used as a Hemalergic spike is able to Steal any attribute, whether it be Allomancy, Feruchemy, or human.


The deal and betrayal[edit]

Ruin and Preservation, the two Shards on Scadrial, struck a deal to create life on the planet. Neither Shard could create by themselves but working together they created life. Preservation gave an extra bit of Its self to create sentient life. Ruin allowed Preservation to do this on the agreement that Ruin could destroy everything. This left an imbalance between both shards.

Preservation broke the terms of the agreement by sacrificing his mind to create a prison for Ruin's mind, preventing him from destroying the world. Furthermore, in an attempt to balance the power (since some of Preservation was now stored in humanity), he sequestered away a portion of Ruin's power by condensing it into the metal atium.

Touch on the world[edit]

Ruin's entrapped mind could still influence the world. In particular, he changed the prophecies left behind by Preservation in an attempt to get the Hero of Ages to release him from his prison. This led to Rashek becoming the Lord Ruler. Ruin also encouraged the mists, left behind by Preservation, to choke off sunlight to the planet. This is what became known as the Deepness from Pre-Ascension times.

Ruin was released from his prison accidentally by Vin 1024 years later (due to his manipulating the prophecies), and he immediately went on a rampage to destroy Scadrial. Central to this plan was his need to overcome Preservation, which meant that he needed to find the stash of atium left behind by the Lord Ruler.

The death of Ati[edit]

Ruin's rampage was ended when he had Marsh kill Elend. Vin (holding the shard Preservation) realized she had nothing more to live for, and killed herself and took Ati (Ruin's Shardholder) with her.

The end of Ruin was Preservation's plan all along. He needed someone new, and therefore not molded to Preservation's intent, to make the sacrifice needed to destroy Ruin. Leras spent too much time holding the Preservation Shard, and was thus unable to act against its intent.

Sazed picked up both Ruin and Preservation following Vin's sacrifice, and is the current holder of both Shards. Ruin's power was co-mingled with Preservation's forming the shard Harmony.[3]


Kill him.
—Ruin to Zane[4]
I am FREE!
—Upon Ruin's release.[5]
"Ah, Vin," Ruin said, its voice almost fatherly in tone. "You act as if I were your enemy."

"You are my enemy. You seek to end the things I love."

"And is an ending always bad?" it asked. "Must not all things, even worlds, someday end?"
—Ruin to Vin.[6]
Do not mourn because the day of this world's end has arrived. That end was ordained the very day of the world's conception. There is a beauty in death--the beauty of finality, the beauty of completion.
For nothing is truly complete until the day it is finally destroyed.
—Ruin to Vin.[6]
There was one good thing about Ruin's voice--it tended to warn her when people were nearby, even if it did always tell her to kill them.
—Vin's thoughts about Ruin.[7]
You still don't understand, I see. You're all on my side, Vin. I created you. You're my tools--each and every one of you. Zane, Yomen, you, your dear Emperor Venture...
—Ruin taunting Vin.[7]
This process we are engaged in, the end of all things—-it's not a fight, but a simple culmination of inevitability. Can any man make a pocket watch that won't eventually wind down? Can you imagine a lantern that won't eventually burn out? All things end. Think of me as a caretaker—-the one who watches the shop and makes certain that the lights are turned out, that everything is cleaned up, once closing time arrives.
—Ruin taunting Vin.[7]
You are a piece of me, you know. Beautiful destroyer. Blunt and effective. Of all those I've claimed over this brief thousand years, you are the only one I think just might be able to understand me.
—Ruin to Vin.[7]
The only point in creating something is to watch it die.
—Ruin to Vin.[7]
Those quakes are the earth's final sighs," Ruin said. "Like an old man, moaning as he dies, calling for his children so that he can pass on his last bits of wisdom.
—Ruin to Vin[8]
That's the way it must always be, as I told you. When men think they are helping the world, they actually do more harm than good. Just like you. You tried to help, but you just ended up freeing me.
—Ruin to Vin[8]
You can't fool me, Vin," Ruin said. "I am God.
—Ruin to Vin[9]
For Ruin, there is Preservation. Time immemorial! Eternity! And each time I push, YOU push back. Even when dead, you stopped me, for we are forces. I can do nothing! And you can do nothing! Balance! The curse of our existence.
—Ruin to Vin after her ascension.[10]
Balance, Ruin spat. Balance imprisoned me. Preservation's sacrifice--that was to siphon off the part of me that was stronger, to lock it away, to leave me equal with him again. For a time.

Only for a time. And what is time to us, Vin?

—Ruin to Vin as she tries to get a message to Elend.[11]
Opposition. Balance. You'll learn to hate it, I suspect, though Preservation never could.
—Ruin to Vin as she first attacks Ruin directly and withdraws.[12]
I can't decide if you're a fool, or if you simply exist in a way that makes you incapable of considering some things.
—Vin to Ruin as Elend fights the koloss.[12]
How do you like that! I killed him! I Ruined everything you love! I took it from you!
—Ruin to Vin as he kills Elend[12]
He gave up his power at the Well, and into the mists, giving it to us so that we could take it. He always intended this to happen. You think this was your plan? It was his. His all along.

You created the thing that can kill you, Ruin. And you just made one huge final mistake. You shouldn't have killed Elend.

You see, he was the only reason I had left to live.
—Vin's last words.[12]


  1. No Splinters still at the time of AoL
    Theoryland - Oct 5th, 2013
  2. The Hero of Ages chapter 72
  3. a b Would Sazed drop Ruin and Preservation or Harmony?
    Theoryland - Apr 15th, 2013
  4. The Well of Ascension
  5. The Well of Ascension chapter 58
  6. a b The Hero of Ages chapter 45
  7. a b c d e The Hero of Ages chapter 57
  8. a b The Hero of Ages chapter 63
  9. The Hero of Ages chapter 65
  10. The Hero of Ages chapter 76
  11. The Hero of Ages chapter 77
  12. a b c d The Hero of Ages chapter 81
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