First Contract

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First Contract
Related to Kandra
World of Origin Scadrial
Universe Cosmere

The First Contract is the legal code of the kandra, created by the First Generation and ratified by the Lord Ruler. It also serves as a set of instruction to be followed if Ruin escaped his prison.

Applications of the First Contract[edit]

The First Contract bound the kandra in servitude to the Lord Ruler, whom they called the Father. It is presented to each generation, upon their awakening, and is the first information they learn.[1] Based on the First Contract, lesser service Contracts can be created with humans wishing to hire kandra to perform services.[2]

In addition to being a legal code, the First Contract was created to be a set of instructions to be enacted at the time Ruin returned to the world and it began to end. Over the centuries, the meaning behind the First Contract has faded to become abstract and philosophical, due to fear from the later generations about what was being asked of them.[3] The physical metal sheet that it is written on is treated with less reverence by the First Generation than the other kandra.[4]

Contents[edit]

Included in the First Contract are clauses that encompass the following ideas, although the wording is unknown;

  • Ultimate dedication to the Lord Ruler[1]
  • The ultimate duty of the kandra in safeguarding atium[5]
  • Reverence for earlier generations[1]
  • Legal rights of all kandra, including the right to plead ones case to the First Generation before execution.[6][7]
  • Provisions for the creation of new kandra[1]
  • Prohibition of the murder of humans, but not kandra[2]
  • The Resolution[1]

In addition to the above, the First Contract contains some level of information, predicted by the Lord Ruler, about the return of Ruin and the disappearance of the mists.[5] During this time, the kandra were to seek out the Lord Ruler in person to serve him.[3] Although not explicitly stated, this event would likely trigger enactment of the Resolution.[4]

Kandra that break the First Contract can be sentenced by the First Generation. Murder of a human is punishable by death.[8]

Resolution[edit]

The Resolution was a stipulation added to the First Contract by the Lord Ruler. If enacted, the kandra are to remove their Blessings to prevent Ruin from taking control of their bodies.[9] This would cause the kandra to lose sapience and change back into mistwraiths.[4] All kandra are told of the Resolution upon birth and have this duty ingrained in them throughout their lifetime.

The Resolution has only been enacted once since the creation of the kandra, though not all kandra were there, so not all kandra removed their Blessings.

History[edit]

When TenSoon was held captive after returning to the kandra Homeland, he eventually has the chance to defend his case before the First Generation of kandra (The Lord Rulers old friends). His defense of revealing the kandra secret is that he was simply following the First Contract. When the First Generation scoffed, he explained that seeing as Vin had been the one to kill the Lord Ruler, who all kandra were loyal to under the First Contract, the First Contract had, in a way, been transferred to her. He justifies his actions by stating that he had been giving allegiance to Vin by showing her the kandra's closely guarded secrets. It seems like no one will believe him, and the First Generation does not consider it a valid defense, so they decide he is guilty and send him to his "cage" to await a sufficient punishment.

Creation[edit]

The First Contract started as a series of promises made by the Lord Ruler to the First Generation, which evolved into the legal code of the species. Once written, the kandra took their proposed code to the Lord Ruler to request his approval, as they did not wish for independent governance.[1]

The document was cast into steel, as commanded by the Lord Ruler, and ratified with his signature. By recording their laws in metal, the kandra could be certain their legal codes could not be altered by Ruin and would remain immortalized throughout the passing centuries.[1]

1022-1024[edit]

After the death of the Lord Ruler, the validity of the First Contract came into question as no provision had been included about how to proceed in the event of Rashek's death.[10] TenSoon, proclaimed Vin to be the inheritor of the Contract, as she had been the one to defeat the Lord Ruler. However, he was unsuccessful in convincing the other kandra that this was true.[2]

The year after Ruin's release, the First Generation triggered the First Contract clause known as the Resolution, ordering all kandra to remove their Blessings to prevent manipulation by Ruin. During this time, only some of the kandra upheld the oath they took upon waking, returning to their prior states as Mistwraiths. Following the Battle of Hathsin, the Blessings were returned to each kandra to return their sapience.

Following the Catacendre[edit]

At least some kandra continue to follow the First Contract after the Catacendre, though not always to the letter of the law.[11][12]

Notes[edit]

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