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Relatives Rashek[1]
Died c. 0 FE
Abilities Feruchemist
Titles The Announcer[2]
Groups Worldbringers
Era Classical Scadrial
Nationality Terris
World Scadrial
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Mistborn Era 1

My name is Kwaan. Philosopher, scholar, traitor. I am the one who discovered Alendi, and I am the one who first proclaimed him to be the Hero of Ages. I am the one who started this all.

Kwaan was a Worldbringer of Terris prior to the Final Empire on Scadrial. He was the first person to believe that Alendi was the prophesied Hero of Ages. He later realized that he was incorrect and recruited his nephew Rashek to prevent Alendi from taking up the power of the Well of Ascension and freeing an unknown evil (Ruin).[4] Rashek ultimately took up the power himself and became known as the Lord Ruler, altering the planet and establishing the Final Empire. Kwaan's actions therefore had a significant effect on Scadrial and the greater cosmere for more than a millenium.[5] Before his death, Kwaan inscribed a brief history of his exploits on a steel plate that was discovered by Sazed; this inscription was critical to Kelsier's crew realizing the extent of Ruin's interference in their actions.[6][7]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Kwaan and I met by happenstance—though, I suppose, he would use the word "providence." I have met many other Terris philosophers since that day. They are, every one, men of great wisdom and ponderous sagaciousness. Men with an almost palpable importance. Not so Kwaan.

According to Alendi's logbook, Kwaan was unlike other Terris scholars and philosophers. He was not a religious scholar, nor did he radiate an air of great wisdom. Instead, he had many interests that seemed ridiculous to Alendi, and he was particularly interested in nature.[8][9] He was incredibly persistent in his research,[10] and he was prone to rambling.[11]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Like most Worldbringers, Kwaan was presumably a full Feruchemist, able to use all of the Feruchemical abilities.[5] He also seemed to have an eidetic memory and could memorize pages of words without using a coppermind.[12] It is possible that his memory was magically enhanced.[13]

During Alendi's first encounter with Kwaan, the Worldbringer was trying to figure out whether trees could think.[8] This is likely because Kwaan and other ancient Terrismen had some awareness of Realmatic Theory, and he may have been investigating whether or not trees had a Cognitive aspect.[14][15]

Kwaan used uniquely Terris speech patterns that are reflected in his writing.[16][17]


As a Worldbringer, Kwaan's work and research focused on nature, a subject that most of his colleagues found "unsuitable" for someone in his position.[9] He spent a lot of time in the great library of Khlennium.[8]

Proclaiming the Hero of Ages[edit]

Kwaan and Alendi originally had a chance meeting in the Khlenni library. Alendi had left his hometown to seek a life of indistinction,[18] but Kwaan noticed his ingenuity and felt he commanded respect, despite his youth. He soon befriended him and hired him as an assistant for at least a few months.[6][19]

At some point in time Alendi became king of Khlennium,[20] possibly by marrying the previous king's daughter.[21] Under the growing threat of the Deepness, Alendi united several nations (including Terris)[22]—some by diplomacy[23] and others through military actions.[24] Except for a few dissenters, Alendi was able to create a general unity on Scadrial under the reign of Khlennium.[23] As Alendi's fame and power grew, Kwaan had started to become convinced that he fit the Terris prophecies regarding the Hero of Ages, also known as the Anticipation.[25] Initially, the other Worldbringers met Kwaan's claims with scorn.[26] However, Kwaan was determined to validate his theory and decided to travel with Alendi and document his journeys.[22] Alendi, who was under Ruin's influence,[27][28] fueled rumors about himself to persuade the world of his cause, while Ruin slightly altered the prophecies to fit Alendi.[29][30] Eventually, the other Worldbringers became convinced that Alendi must be the Hero of Ages.[31]


Alendi was never the Hero of Ages. At best, I have amplified his virtues, creating a Hero where there was none. At worst, I fear that all we believe may have been corrupted.

—From Kwaan's inscription[32]

Kwaan's discovery of Alendi had earned him renown among the Worldbringers, and he became swept up in the idea that he was the Announcer of the hero foretold in the prophecies.[25] However, by the time the other Worldbringers began to agree with his theory about Alendi, he realized that something was wrong.[31] He believed that Alendi was perhaps too perfect of a fit to the prophecies, and that his own desire for recognition had caused him to exaggerate Alendi's virtues or make leaps of logic in order to fulfill all of the signs that the Hero of Ages had arrived.[32][33][34] Additionally, his eidetic memory allowed him to remember the prophecies without resorting to his copperminds (which could be manipulated by Ruin)[35] and he began to notice changes in the prophecies cited by the other Worldbringers that could only be caused by meddling from an outside force.[36][30]

Kwaan's pride did not allow him to bring this information to the other Worldbringers at first.[2] He publicly denouced Alendi to the Conclave of Worldbringers,[37] but by then it was too late to stop the events that were in motion. The other Worldbringers continued to preach Alendi's virtues and dismissed Kwaan's concerns as madness.[37][38] Alendi had surrounded himself with new counselors who told him what he wanted to hear.[39] Kwaan's sudden reversal hurt and confused Alendi, who saw him as a father figure.[37][40] Alendi considered having Kwaan executed, but he did not make a great effort to track him down since he was focused on his journey to the Well of Ascension.[40] Kwaan knew that Alendi was ruthless and expected to be executed after Alendi visited the Well.[41]

Recruiting Rashek[edit]

Once Kwaan realized that a mysterious force was influencing Scadrial, he came to believe that something destructive was imprisoned in the Well of Ascension.[42][43] He still believed that Alendi was a good man, and that if he took the power of the Well he would release it, freeing whatever was trapped inside.[44] This was an impressive deduction, as Ruin had indeed been imprisoned in the Well by Preservation when life was first created on Scadrial, and could have been freed if Alendi released the power.[45][46]

As a last resort, Kwaan recruited his young nephew Rashek to get himself hired as one of Alendi's guides through the Terris Mountains.[47] He would then prevent Alendi from reaching the Well by any means necessary, including assassination.[48][49] Rashek gladly agreed to this assignment because he hated the fact that the Terris nation had been annexed by Khlennium; he also believed that only a Terrisman could be the true Hero of Ages.[49][50] Rashek ultimately killed Alendi and took up the power, making numerous changes to the world and himself, and ruling the Final Empire as Lord Ruler for a thousand years.[5]

Final Days and Legacy[edit]

I write these words in steel, for anything not set in metal cannot be trusted.

Shortly before Alendi and Rashek journeyed to the well, Kwaan created a steel inscription describing his discoveries and apologizing for his role in the events of his time, knowing that Ruin could not alter metal.[5]

During Rashek's Ascension, Kwaan was among the select group of Feruchemists close to Rashek that were given a "choice" to trade Feruchemy for immortality.[7] In doing so, he would have become one of the First Generation of kandra.[7] However, Kwaan was the only one who refused the offer, believing it to be a betrayal of who they were as a people. Rashek attempted to destroy him in anger, but was unable to do so due to wielding Preservation's power. Kwaan remained human, fleeing and going into hiding. Rashek eventually hunted him down and executed him. He was aware of the metal inscription, and kept it around to remind him of his old life.[52]

The inscription survived to the end of the Final Empire, when it was found in the Conventical of Seran by Sazed.[53] Sazed made a rubbing of the inscription and studied it often.[6] However, Ruin once again used the tactic of altering the text retroactively.[7] Through this and other methods (including manipulating Vin), he helped orchestrate the rebellion against Rashek.[27] Sazed eventually figured out that his copy of the inscription had been altered, but only after Ruin had already been released.[12][54]


  • One of Brandon's main inspirations for The Well of Ascension was the relationship between Kwaan, Alendi, and Rashek.[55] Despite fan interest, Brandon is not likely to write a prequel story about the interactions between these characters.[56]


  1. The Well of Ascension chapter 53 epigraph#
  2. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 34 epigraph#
  3. The Well of Ascension chapter 4 epigraph#
  4. The Well of Ascension chapter 41#
  5. a b c d The Hero of Ages Ars Arcanum#
  6. a b c The Well of Ascension chapter 30#
  7. a b c d The Hero of Ages chapter 62#
  8. a b c d The Final Empire chapter 19 epigraph#
  9. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 32 epigraph#
  10. The Well of Ascension chapter 14 epigraph#
  11. The Well of Ascension chapter 37 epigraph#
  12. a b The Well of Ascension epilogue#
  13. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  14. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-28#
  15. General Reddit 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-11-06#
  16. The Well of Ascension Annotations
    Arcanum - 2008-10-03#
  17. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  18. The Final Empire chapter 18#
  19. The Well of Ascension chapter 11 epigraph#
  20. The Final Empire chapter 16 epigraph#
  21. The Well of Ascension chapter 21 epigraph#
  22. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 23 epigraph#
  23. a b The Final Empire chapter 10 epigraph#
  24. The Final Empire chapter 1 epigraph#
  25. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 12 epigraph#
  26. The Well of Ascension chapter 13 epigraph#
  27. a b The Hero of Ages Annotations
    Arcanum - 2010-05-13#
  28. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  29. The Well of Ascension chapter 16 epigraph#
  30. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 46 epigraph#
  31. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 30 epigraph#
  32. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 36 epigraph#
  33. The Well of Ascension chapter 38 epigraph#
  34. The Well of Ascension chapter 40 epigraph#
  35. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  36. The Well of Ascension chapter 45 epigraph#
  37. a b c The Final Empire chapter 15#
  38. The Well of Ascension chapter 43 epigraph#
  39. The Well of Ascension chapter 52 epigraph#
  40. a b The Final Empire chapter 29#
  41. The Well of Ascension chapter 6 epigraph#
  42. The Well of Ascension chapter 58 epigraph#
  43. The Well of Ascension chapter 59 epigraph#
  44. The Well of Ascension chapter 50 epigraph#
  45. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  46. The Hero of Ages chapter 46 epigraph#
  47. The Hero of Ages chapter 54 epigraph#
  48. The Hero of Ages chapter 55 epigraph#
  49. a b The Hero of Ages chapter 56 epigraph#
  50. The Final Empire chapter 27 epigraph#
  51. The Well of Ascension chapter 1 epigraph#
  52. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  53. The Well of Ascension chapter 12#
  54. The Well of Ascension chapter 58#
  55. The Well of Ascension Annotations
    Arcanum - 2008-08-16#
  56. Shadows of Self Lansing signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-13#
This page is complete!
This page contains all the knowledge we have on the subject at this time.
Big Smooth (talk) 18:56, 15 June 2023 (UTC)