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Final Empire.png
by Isaac Stewart
Type Desert
Region Final Empire
World Scadrial
Featured In Mistborn trilogy

The burnlands were an area of totally barren desert that covered the majority of Scadrial during the time of the Final Empire, with the notable exceptions of the magnetic north pole and part of the southern continent.[1]


Ascension of the Lord Ruler[edit]

When Rashek took the power at the Well of Ascension, he attempted to move Scadrial closer to its star to burn away the Deepness.[2] The planet became too hot though, so he moved it back. Unfortunately, the planet was now too cold for life, and Rashek did not know how to return it to its proper orbit.[3] So he again moved Scadrial closer to the sun, setting in place measures to protect humanity, such as the ash. This new, much hotter orbit, raised temperatures,[4] creating the burnlands and scorching most of Scadrial clean of life.[5] A few interesting things survived, but most everything else was destroyed. The very borders of the burnlands were somewhat inhabitable, growing less and less habitable further from the empire, eventually resulting in temperatures so hot that survival was impossible.[6] The burnlands separated the people of the southern continent and the Final Empire, as it would take a small miracle to survive a crossing.

Final Empire[edit]

During the time of the Final Empire, the burnlands completely encircled the empire;[7] bordering the Remote Dominance, Eastern Dominance, Crescent Dominance, Terris Dominance, Farmost Dominance and the Southern Islands.[8] During Clubs's time as a soldier, he fought in skirmishes with rebels in the burnlands.[9] In the same area, a rebel named Vershad pulled scams on the Final Empire, but was caught and turned into the koloss later known as Human.[10] After the Collapse, Sazed went to the Eastern Dominace to teach the people who were living near the burnlands.[11] During the Final Ascension, Harmony returned Scadrial to its correct orbit and restored life to the burnlands.[12]

Way of Life[edit]

Oftentimes, groups of people fled to the burnlands because they were far from the reach of the Lord Ruler and the Final Empire, and so were mostly autonomous.[6] Bandit kings and robber-barons lived in semi-nomadic kingdoms and clans, striking inward at the empire, such as the Eastern Dominance, to capture food, supplies,[10] and rare metals.[4] These bandits were actually the cause of a few successful uprisings.[9] These bandits were often conflict with the Inquisitors of the Steel Ministry, as well as soldiers, which made the Final Empire to brand most of the people in the area as rebels.[4] The people in the burnlands, often referred to as the wasted men,[10] also had to deal with uncontrolled koloss who could survive surprisingly well in the burnlands.[7]

Living in the burnlands was a hard way of life. In order to survive, the inhabitants of the burnlands developed some technologies not found throughout the rest of the Final Empire.[7] They were capable of doing this because they were also far enough away from the Lord Ruler that he could not oppress new technology growth as he typically did.[13]


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