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Profession Thief lord
Residence Urteau
Ethnicity Skaa
World Scadrial
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Mistborn Era 1

Durn is a leader of the skaa underground in Urteau on Scadrial and an aspiring musician.[1]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

We have something beautiful here. Skaa ruling skaa. We’re happy.

—Durn to Spook about Quellion's government.[1]

Durn intentionally presents a sickly appearance, a common beggar's tactic to garner more coins out of sympathy. His disguise also allows him to go about the city unnoticed. He walks with a false limp and a stooped posture, and his hair is pulled out in patches.[1][2] He wears a cloak, and his overall appearance is "ragged".[1][2] However, he uses soap and Spook can smell wine on his breath, indicating refinement, and he speaks articulately.[1] He is a large man[1] and Spook calls him ugly, although he says it in a somewhat joking manner.[3]

Durn approves of Quellion's government, saying that it is better for the skaa than the Lord Ruler's system, because now skaa can engage in commerce and aren't killed on the streets.[1] However, the Citizen is also bad for his business, because people fear buying his smuggled goods, and that drove prices down. He helped Spook not out of altruism, but out of a wish for profit.[4] He also resents Quellion for saying he'd let the skaa rule, then taking all the power for himself.[3] He is dishonest, cheating at chips and stealing.[4]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Durn’s rhythm was perfect. Any minstrel would have envied him.

—Spook thinking about Durn.[1]

Durn is an unfulfilled master musician; when begging, he frequently beats on the ground with a pair of sticks in complex patterns, with perfect rhythm. However, he was never able to play his music in public, because in the Final Empire skaa were not allowed to play music, and under the Citizen it was not good to draw attention to oneself.[1] Durn becomes a leading figure in the Urteau underworld, acting as a thief, informant, and beggar lord. Spook considers him a sort of a mayor of the Harrows.[4]


Early History[edit]

Durn wasn't educated among the poor;[1] where and how he grew up is unknown. He became prominent among the Urteau underworld, although whether this was before or after the Collapse is unknown.[4] When the Harrows were new, he and his men pulled the lock system from their mouth.[3] He lived in a hollowed out section of a canal, forming a cave.[4]

The Coup of Urteau[edit]

Spook hired Durn to inform him of Quellion's next execution.[5] Durn promised another tidbit,[5] that turned out to be that the Citizen was saving Allomancers from his executions to use as his soldiers.[6] Durn started spreading rumors about Spook being the Survivor of the Flames and being one of Kelsier's crew.[7]

Spook went to confront Durn, and he told Spook he was spreading the rumors because it would decrease Quellions popularity if people knew that he had killed one of Kelsier's own crew. Durn offered to help Spook, and he accepted.[4] He demanded a title and trade contracts on the canals in exchange for his help. Durn dammed the Harrows with their old lock system, so that the people in them wouldn't get hurt when Spook flooded the canals. He also helped Spook to improve his reputation.[3]

Before the speech where Spook would confront Quellion, Durn spread rumors among the people for them to know what to expect of the speech. He also told people to stay clear of the waterways not to get caught in the current.[8] Durn's men also created a distraction for Spook to act. However, when riots start, Durn isn't able to control them, and the city starts to burn. He sends a message to Spook, who goes to flood the canals.[2]



I find it difficult to think of you as an altruist, Durn. You’re a thief.

—Spook to Durn.[4]

Spook finds the sound of Durn's sticks soothing, and pities him for not being able to become a musician.[1] However, he is skeptical that Durn wants to help him, being a thief.[4] Spook and Durn disagree about Quellion's system, with Durn believing it is good for the skaa, and Spook believing it oppresses them.[1] Durn knows Spook is one of Kelsier's crew, and says that weird things happen around them.[3]



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