Mistborn: Secret History

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Mistborn: Secret History
Secret History Cover Art.jpg
Mistborn Era 1
Setting Scadrial, Cosmere
Released January 26, 2016
Word Count 44,981
Your questions are dangerous.
This page contains extensive spoilers for the entirety of Misborn Era 1, as well as a part of The Bands of Mourning and the cosmere at large.

Mistborn: Secret History is a novella telling the story of Kelsier from the time of his death at the hands of the Lord Ruler until Scadrial is re-made by Harmony. It was originally published as an e-book only, then later in print in Arcanum Unbounded. This should be read after The Bands of Mourning.


Following his death at the hands of the Lord Ruler, Kelsier meets Preservation before he "passes on" to the Beyond. Kelsier refuses, and he remains on Scadrial as a cognitive aspect. Despite refusing to pass on, as Preservation wishes, Kelsier befriends Preservation, giving him the nickname of Fuzz (a crewmember name).

When he returns to Scadrial, Kelsier is trapped in the Well of Ascension. During his time there, he unknowingly discovers Ruin trapped beneath the Well. Since Preservation is unable to help him in his investigations, Kelsier sets out to discover Ruin's motives for himself. When he uncovers Ruin's plans to destroy the world, Kelsier does everything he can to stop him and finds that the only way that he can prevent Ruin's escape is to ensure that Vin takes the power at the Well.

Vin's arrival at the Well gives Kelsier hope that he will be able to get through to her, but as a cognitive aspect, with no connection to the Physical Realm, he can't, and Vin releases Ruin and Kelsier from the Well. When he asks Preservation to help him stop Ruin, Preservation tells him to head across the ocean for help. Although he doesn't know this at the time, Kelsier has been sent to the southern side of Scadrial, where the people have advanced without much interference from either Shard.

Along the way, Kelsier discovers many odd things about not being "alive" anymore. He finds that his Allomancy is useless and that he can create fire out of a log long since burned out simply by willing it to ignite.

During his journey, Kelsier meets Khriss from Taldain, and Nazh from Threnody. The pair enlighten Kelsier a little bit on how the events on Scadrial affect the cosmere but remain quite vague as to why they are there, or about events in the cosmere that are unrelated to the current conflict.

Along the way, Ruin visits Kelsier and tries to persuade the Survivor to give up on his quest. Kelsier doesn't give in and journeys on to find the Ire. He infiltrates their fortress and steals a device they have invented which renders the holder capable of Connecting to a Shard and holding it.

Kelsier returns to Luthadel to find it in chaos. Upon arrival, however, he is told to go to Fadrex by Preservation. Here, Kelsier finds Vin, but he is unable to get close enough to tell her anything about Ruin's plan, as he is using his power to keep Kelsier away. While trying to get to Vin, Kelsier learns a little about Hemalurgy and how the spikes give Ruin power over those with spikes.

Soon after, Kelsier finds out that Leras (Preservation) is dying, so he smashes the device and takes up the power of Preservation. Before he dies, Leras gives Kelsier one final instruction: survive. Kelsier then tries to fight Ruin, but is unsuccessful. Instead, he tries to find a place where Ruin's influence is weaker. He finds it in Urteau, where Spook is spiked and is being induced to murder by Ruin. Kelsier intervenes, and Spook is freed from Ruin's influence.

Goradel, a messenger with Kelsier's warning about spikes, travels from Urteau to Fadrex, while Kelsier watches, but Ruin sends for Marsh, who kills Goradel and reads the message aloud to Ruin. Kelsier gives up hope until he realizes that Ruin is incomplete without atium, and therefore hasn't won yet.

Kelsier follows Ruin to Vin, where she is being tortured by Marsh to get the location of the atium. Ruin thinks he has won, until Marsh rips out Vin's earring, allowing her to be free of Ruin, and take the power of Preservation from Kelsier. The transfer of power almost kills him, but Kelsier again refuses to die, and watches as Vin sacrifices herself to stop Ruin. Upon Vin's and Elend's deaths, the pair meet Kelsier in the Cognitive Realm, where they all watch as Sazed takes up the powers of both shards to form Harmony.

Following the reorganization of the world, Kelsier recruits Spook, who by virtue of Sazed's new power is now able to see him, to help him regain a Connection to the Physical Realm by playing with Hemalurgy.


Note: the Postscript is found in Arcanum Unbounded, a collection of Cosmere stories.

This story was planned while writing the original trilogy and was worked on here and there for years. Once The Bands of Mourning was written, Brandon realized that readers needed more information on what Kelsier was doing behind the scenes, so he finished it up.

Resurrecting characters is a "dangerous trope" because Brandon wants death to be a real danger for his characters. So he made sure that Kelsier's survival was hinted at and foreshadowed sufficiently.

There may be more installments to the Secret History story, showing more of what Kelsier is up to behind the scenes with Spook and during the Wax and Wayne books.

Cover Gallery[edit]


  • With no connection to the Physical Realm, the Metallic Arts on Scadrial are useless.
  • At least some of the Ire are Worldhoppers from Sel, as they use the exclamation of "Merciful Domi!" and have names associated with Aons (Ire, Elrao, etc.)
  • While at the Well, Kelsier meets Hoid (who he calls Drifter) when he arrives to take a lerasium bead.
  • Kelsier has an appearance in The Bands of Mourning in a memory Wax taps from a coppermind medallion, given to him by Hoid.
  • When referring to "Drifter", Preservation calls him Cephandrius.

Statistical Analysis[edit]

Mistborn: Secret History consists of twenty-five chapters, and one epilogue, reaching a total 44,981 word count. There are two different unique point-of-view characters in a total of 26 POVs.

Word Count 44,981
Chapter Count 26 Including epilogue.
PoV Characters 2
PoV Count 26


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