Summary:Mistborn: The Final Empire
This page contains a chapter by chapter summary of Mistborn: The Final Empire. We hope this summary will make it easier to find specific areas of the book, as well as providing a quick plot refresher for anyone who doesn't want to take the time to reread the entire book.
- 1 Prologue
- 2 Part 1: The Survivor of Hathsin
- 3 Part 2: Rebels Beneath a Sky of Ash
- 4 Part 3: Children of a Bleeding Sun
- 5 Part Four: Dancers In A Sea Of Mist
- 6 Part Five: Believers In A Forgotten World
- 7 Epilogue
- 8 Ars Arcanum
- 9 Notes
Sometimes, I worry that I’m not the hero everyone thinks I am.
The philosophers assure me that this is the time, that the signs have been met. But I still wonder if they have the wrong man. So many people depend on me. They say I will hold the future of the entire world on my arms.
What would they think if they knew that their champion--the Hero of Ages, their savior--doubted himself? Perhaps they wouldn't be shocked at all. In a way, this is what worries me most. Maybe, in their hearts, they wonder--just as I do.
When they see me, do they see a liar?
- Lord Tresting, Lord Venture's full prelan obligator (unnamed), Kurdon, Kelsier, Tepper, Mennis, Shum, Jess, Jess' daughter (a pretty skaa, unnamed), Flen
Lord Tresting entertains an obligator sent by Lord Venture, hoping to gain Venture's business partnership. Kelsier speaks with some skaa in the evening, and when a skaa girl is being taken to Tresting, Kelsier intervenes, killing Tresting and all his servants and soldiers, finally burning the manor to the ground.
- Other Notes
First mention of Lord Venture. First mention of a Steel Inquisitor. First mention of Lord Renoux. First mention of mistwraiths. First mention of the Pits of Hathsin. First mention of koloss. First mention of the caves held by the skaa rebellion. Context suggests this chapter takes place in the summer.
Part 1: The Survivor of Hathsin
I consider myself to be a man of principle. But, what man does not? Even the cutthroat, I have noticed, considers his actions "moral" after a fashion.
Perhaps another person, reading of my life, would name me a religious tyrant. He could call me arrogant. What is to make that man's opinion any less valid than my own?
I guess it all comes down to one fact: In the end, I'm the one with the armies.
Vin introduced, summoned to Camon by Ulef. Camon pretends to be Lord Jedue, head of a house desperately looking for new contracts; this is a cover, an attempt to scam the Steel Ministry out of money. Vin Soothes the obligator Prelan Laird so he won't dismiss Camon's pleas.
Lord Tresting's first name mentioned: Themos.
If men read these words, let them know that power is a heavy burden. Seek not to be bound by its chains. The Terris prophecies say that I will have the power to save the world.
They hint, however, that I will have the power to destroy it as well.
Kelsier meets up with Dockson, they talk about their upcoming meeting. Camon, as Lord Jedue, takes Vin to scam the Ministry; Kelsier and Dockson sit in the waiting room with Camon and Vin; Vin Soothes the High Prelan, and he gives Camon three thousand boxings. Kelsier and Dockson see the High Prelan and a Steel Inquisitor tail Camon, Vin, and the rest of Camon's retinue. Dockson plans to distract the obligator, while Kelsier plans to distract the Inquisitor.
We arrived in Terris earlier this week, and, I have to say, I find the countryside beautiful. The great mountains to the north--with their bald snowcaps and forested mantles--stand like watchful gods over this land of green fertility. My own lands to the south are mostly flat; I think that they might look less dreary if there were a few mountains to vary the terrain.
The people here are mostly herdsmen--though timber harvesters and farmers are not uncommon. It is a pastoral land, certainly. It seems odd that a place so remarkably agrarian could have produced the prophecies and theologies upon which the entire world now relies.
Vin's nervousness about the meeting with the obligator causes her to want to leave Camon's lair. She tells Ulef, whom she wants to bring along, but he tells Camon while she retrieves her personal effects (including the hemalurgic earring her mother gave her). Kelsier saves Vin, promotes Milev to Crewleader, takes the three thousand boxings as payment for dealing with the obligator and Inquisitor, and rents the den for the evening meeting. Milev's crew leaves for a while so Kelsier can test Vin for being a Mistborn.
Vin subconsciously burns pewter after Camon hits her with a thrown stool. The likelihood of an allomantic halfbreed is mentioned - about one misting in 10,000.
Apparently, the next stage of my quest will take us up into the highlands of Terris. This is said to be a cold, unforgiving place--a land where the mountains themselves are made of ice.
Our normal attendants will not do for such a trip. We should probably hire some Terris packmen to carry our gear.
Kelsier and Dockson had left for a while, letting the crew return for a bit. The crew talks about what happened, speculating on the job. At a certain time, the crew leaves and the others arrive. Kelsier pitches his plan regarding the skaa rebellion. Kelsier's crew agrees, (except for Clubs, who walks out). Kelsier reveals to the others that Vin is a Mistborn, then tells them about and shows them the Eleventh Metal.
Mare mentioned by thieving crew, but not by name.
I don't even understand what I'm supposed to do. The Terris philosophers claim that I'll know my duty when the time comes, but that's a small comfort.
The Deepness must be destroyed, and apparently I'm the only one who can do so. It ravages the world even now. If I don't stop it soon, there will be nothing left of this land but bones and dust.
Small talk after the meeting; Hammond, Breeze, Yeden have left. Clubs returns, agrees to be on the team, leaves again. Kelsier, Dockson, and Vin head to rooftop. Kelsier gears up, heads off to Keep Venture to steal atium. Kelsier breaks in, gets the safe with the atium, and then has to fight some hazekillers. Kelsier escapes with the desired atium.
First mention of OreSeur by name. Spook isn't identified at all. Mare mentioned as a Tineye. First mention of Gemmel. First mention of Feruchemists (but not by name) as Kelsier remembers some of Gemmel's advice.
I never wanted this, true. But somebody has to stop the Deepness. And, apparently, Terris is the only place this can be done.
On this fact, however, I don’t have to take the word of the philosophers. I can feel our goal now, sense it, though the others cannot. It... pulses, in my mind, far off in the mountains.
Vin wakes up in a room in Clubs' shop the following morning. Vin starts to notice the differences between thieving crews and families. Kelsier et al. plot out the job: the destruction of the Final Empire. Marsh eventually arrives, and everyone leaves so he and Kelsier can talk alone. Vin returns to eavesdrop outside the door.
Spook's first dialogue. Skaa rebellion caves named: Arguois caverns; Kelsier estimates they could hold ten thousand people. Fellise, location of Lord Renoux's estate, mentioned to be an hour outside of Luthadel. Renoux mentioned as a western lord, from the Farmost Dominance. Spook named by Clubs' as his nephew; Spook identifies himself as Lestibournes, speaking in Eastern street slang.
Rashek is a tall man--of course, most of these Terrismen are tall. He is young to receive so much respect from the other packmen. He has charisma, and the women of court would probably describe him as handsome, in a rugged sort of way.
Yet, it amazes me that anyone would give heed to a man that speaks such hatred. He has never seen Khlennium, yet he curses the city. He does not know me, yet I can already see the anger and hostility in his eyes.
Marsh and Kelsier talk and argue about old times, not talking about the details of the job. Kelsier convinces Marsh to come back again to listen to the job. As Marsh moves to leave, Kelsier notices Vin eavesdropping. Kelsier takes Vin out for her first night of training, giving Vin her Mistcloak. Kelsier teaches her about the eight basic metals, ending the chapter with them at the Luthadel city wall.
First mention of odd things happening when an Allomancer flares metals for too long.
Vin and Kelsier go over the Luthadel walls, walking out into the night wilderness. Vin notices something following them, and Kelsier shows her that it was a mistwraith. Kelsier takes her to the main road where they meed up with Sazed, waiting for them with a carriage. He takes them to Fellise. On the way, Kelsier offers Vin the three thousand boxings and to let her leave the crew if she doesn't believe that he's being honest with her. She takes the boxings but remains on the crew because she wants to see how things turn out. They arrive at Lord Renoux’s estate, and Kelsier and Renoux talk in private briefly. Vin and Sazed talk briefly, with Sazed offering to tell Vin about some of the religions of the past, without using those words. Renoux suggests that Vin can play the part of a daughter of favored cousins to Renoux, and that he is introducing her to the other noble houses as a ploy to strengthen House Renoux.
Kelsier recollects that Gemmel had to push him off the wall when he was being trained.
Part 2: Rebels Beneath a Sky of Ash
In the end, I worry that my arrogance shall destroy us all.
Vin and Kelsier spar in a training match, playing cat & mouse. Vin returns to the estate and gets a haircut; during the haircut, Sazed tells Vin about "another" of his religions: Trelagism. (This is the fifth he has pitched; when questioned, he admits to knowing about 562 more.) Vin is also quizzed over her noble cover. Kelsier and Sazed then talk in private about Vin's progress, with Kelsier eventually declaring that Vin will be attending a ball held by Lord Venture at the end of the week.
This chapter begins in late autumn; a comment by Kelsier confirms that the Prologue was only a few months earlier. Sazed referred to as "Master Vaht" by Cosahn; it is the proper title for a Terrisman steward. First mention of Keepers. The ten Great Houses of Luthadel are named in order of power: Venture, Hasting, Elariel, Tekiel, Lekal, Erikeller, Erikell, Haught, Urbain, Buvidas.
It amazes me how many nations have united behind our purpose. There are still dissenters, of course--and some kingdoms, regrettably, have fallen to wars that I could not stop.
Still, this general unity is glorious, even humbling, to contemplate. I wish that the nations of mankind hadn't required such a dire threat to make them see the value of peace and cooperation.
Vin has returned to Luthadel to learn about other metals from the mistings in the crew, starting with Breeze. Hammond comes in and debates the morality of overthrowing the Final Empire as they wait for Kelsier to give a speech. During the speech, Breeze and his Soothers and Rioters manipulate the crowd to be more receptive to the speech. Afterward, Kelsier holds a progress meeting at Clubs' shop. Before the meeting, Kelsier requests from Sazed to hear about a religion with power; Sazed tells Kelsier about Jaism, and Kelsier asks Sazed if there is a religion that "include[s] the slaughter of noblemen as a holy duty." Also before the meeting, Vin and Spook talk about Marsh. The meeting ends when one of Hammond's soldiers informs him that the Steel Ministry has discovered the lair previously belonging to Camon.
Possible additional unnamed character--Demoux. Breeze clarifies the meaning of "Sliver of Infinity." Kelsier, on Clubs' rooftop, looks towards the northern horizon, towards the Pits of Hathsin. Sazed (erroneously) believes the Lord Ruler fears Keepers, believing they are something unknown to him. Marsh's nickname mentioned (Ironeyes); also mentioned that people stopped using it because it was too reminiscent of Steel Inquisitors.
It seems Rashek represents a growing faction in Terris culture. A large number of the youths think that their unusual powers should be used for more than just fieldwork, husbandry, and stonecarving. They are rowdy, even violent--far different from the quiet, discerning Terris philosophers and holy men that I have known.
They will have to be watched carefully, these Terrismen. They could be very dangerous, if given the opportunity and the motivation.
Some of the crew go to investigate the destroyed lair. Among the corpses, Vin notices Ulef's corpse; it appears as if someone had ripped his rib cage apart with bare hands. Off to the side, Sazed recites a prayer of the Cazzi religion. Milev's body is found tied to a chair, with strong evidence of having been tortured. After leaving the lair, Kelsier tries to find Camon among the beggars, to see if he was killed, too. Kelsier finds Camon's corpse, wrists and ankles tied together, body tortured, and hung from a hook rammed through his mouth and out his neck. Vin had successfully tailed Kelsier, and they spoke briefly after Camon's corpse was found. (His method of execution is reserved for those who abuse allomancy; likely, he knew that Vin was at least a misting.)
Another reference to feruchemy without using the term (in the epigraph).
What would it be like if every nation--from the isles in the South to the Terris hills in the North--were united under a single government? What wonders could be achieved, what progress could be made, if mankind were to permanently set aside its squabblings and join together?
It is too much, I suppose, to even hope for. A single, unified empire of man? It could never happen.
Vin heads off to a ball at Keep Venture, Sazed driving the carriage. Kelsier drops in while the carriage is en route, gives Vin some advice, then jumps back out into the mists. Vin arrives at the ball, is introduced, gets scared at the initial attention, then realizes "Valette Renoux" is who the nobles are seeing, not Vin, herself. During the dinner, Vin sees her father across the room, witnessing an exchange between two young nobles--Reen had identified him to her when she was younger. Vin declines dancing invitations extended by various nobles, then takes a break and heads upstairs to the balcony over the hall. Vin has her first conversation with Elend, which shocks Sazed when he hears about it.
I know that I shouldn't let a simple packman perturb me. However, he is from Terris, where the prophecies originated. If anyone could spot a fraud, would it not be he?
Nevertheless, I continue my trek, going where the scribbled auguries proclaim that I will meet my destiny--walking, feeling Rashek's eyes on my back. Jealous. Mocking. Hating.
Sazed had questioned Vin on her interaction with Elend, and Vin's thoughts reflect the emergence of her true personality--not Lady Valette, not the timid crewmember. Kelsier learns that Vin's father was at the ball, then heads out again. Vin feigns fatigue, retiring to her room to don her mistcloak and follow Kelsier. He returns to Luthadel, and Vin discovers the metal pins in the roadway that help allomancers travel along the road--they allow her to make the trip twice as fast as a person on a horse. Kelsier lost Vin in the trip, so she went to Keep Venture--where she found Kelsier sitting and studying the keep. Kelsier tricks her, and they talk for a while after he catches her following him. Eventually, Kelsier teaches Vin about atium, then takes her to Kredik Shaw.
House Erikeller mentioned as a major supplier of armaments. Vin's description of atium: "[a] tiny, silvery ball of metal. It was so reflective and bright that it almost seemed to be a drop of liquid, yet it was solid to the touch."
Sometimes I wonder if I'm going mad.
Perhaps it is due to the pressure of knowing that I must somehow bear the burden of an entire world. Perhaps it is caused by the death I have seen, the friends I have lost. The friends I have been forced to kill.
Either way, I sometimes see shadows following me. Dark creatures that I don't understand, nor wish to understand. Are they, perhaps, some figment of my overtaxed mind?
Kelsier leads Vin into Kredik Shaw, and they fight their way towards the hut that the Lord Ruler visits for three hours every three days. Vin kills for the first time. She also notices that the Lord Ruler's Soothing influences her despite her coppercloud. They make it to the building-within-a-building, but Bendal (the Steel Inquisitor from Chapter 2, still unnamed at this point) was inside. Two more Inquisitors enter the large room from side doors. To defend herself from an Inquisitor Pushing sharpened triangular pieces of metal at her, Vin grabs a random leather-bound book. Burning atium, Vin manages a temporary escape before the Chapter 2 Inquisitor impales her in the side with an axe made of obsidian blades. Vin escapes Kredik Shaw, still holding the book, but the Inquisitor follows. She uses the book to trick the Inquisitor temporarily, but he manages to find her again. As Vin loses consciousness, something kills the Inquisitor, taking Vin into a protective embrace. It wasn't Kelsier.
A room that Vin stumbled into during her escape from Kredik Shaw contained a golden altar and "other religious paraphernalia"--likely remnants of the original Terris religion.
I don't know why Kwaan betrayed me. Even still, this event haunts my thoughts. He was the one who discovered me; he was the Terris philosopher who first called me the Hero of Ages. It seems ironically surreal that now--after his long struggle to convince his colleagues--he is the only major Terris holy man to preach against my reign.
The crew argues about Kelsier's decision to take Vin to Kredik Shaw, and before they can go out to look for her, Sazed arrives with her. She is fed pewter to help her heal from her wounds. Sazed sets aside the leather book that Vin had taken, then operates on her, stitching her back together, and Ham takes her up to her room to recover. Kelsier and Dockson notice the book, and Sazed tells them it is written Khlenni, the language of Khlennium. Sazed thinks he may be able to translate it, in time.
Part 3: Children of a Bleeding Sun
Many think that my journey started in Khlennium, that great city of wonder. They forget that I was no king when my quest began. Far from it.
I think it would do men well to remember that this task was not begun by emperors, priests, prophets, or generals. It didn't start in Khlennium or Kordel, nor did it come from the great nations to the east or the fiery empire of the West.
It began in a small, unimportant town whose name would mean nothing to you. It began with a youth, the son of a blacksmith, who was unremarkable in every way--except, perhaps, in his ability to get into trouble.
It began with me.
Vin awakes after two weeks of resting, and Spook tells her how Kelsier had given him his new nickname in the interim. While talking with Dox, Vin realizes that there's something very unusual about Sazed. After a few more days of rest, Vin returns to Fellise. She speaks with Sazed, who is wearing glasses as he works on the translation--he is filling a tinmind with physical sight, impairing his vision. They briefly talk about what Keepers are, and Sazed tells Vin that all Terrisman stewards are eunuchs.
Sazed admits to knowing 172 languages, most of which are no longer spoken after "[t]he Lord Ruler's unity movement of the fifth century...."
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I'd remained there, in that lazy village of my birth. I'd have become a smith, like my father. Perhaps I'd have a family, sons of my own.
Perhaps someone else would have come to carry this terrible burden. Someone who could bear it far better than I. Someone who deserved to be a hero.
Vin internally laments a four-week recovery full of boredom. Members of the crew arrive to discuss updates. Vin convinces Kelsier to let her attend an upcoming ball. Later, Vin and Kelsier talk a bit about Mare and Kelsier's motivations.
You could say that circumstances forced me to leave my home behind--certainly, if I had stayed, I would now be dead. During those days--running without knowing why, carrying a burden I didn't understand--I assumed that I would lose myself in Khlennium and seek a life of indistinction.
I am slowly coming to understand that anonymity, like so many other things, has already been lost to me forever.
Vin attends the party at Keep Elariel. Vin sits at her table, and Elend sits down next to her, uninvited, before her meal arrives, dropping a large stack of books on the table. Vin accepts dancing invitations from some young nobles. After much dancing, Vin is "required" to meet with Shan Elariel. During the conversation, Vin realizes that Shan could Soothe. Vin notices Shan's Terrisman poking through Elend's books--left unattended at Vin's table--so Vin excuses herself and returns to her table. She scans through a small book that is practically treasonous in its content. Elend returns, gathers up the books, and leaves, being met on the way by two friends. Sazed, still wearing his glasses, identifies them as Jastes Lekal and a Hasting (but doesn't know the Hasting's given name). This surprises Sazed, as Lekal and Hasting are political rivals of Venture. As she leaves the party, Vin sees a soldier casually slit the throat of a skaa kitchen-boy who begged for coin from a noble.
"Valette's" trip to Luthadel took almost two months by canal, with some stops; Elend remarks that it can take half a year to go from one end of the Final Empire to the other. Feruchemy explicitly mentioned in one of Elend's books. Also mentioned in the book are metalminds, "the Massacre at Devanex, the revision of the Deepness Doctrine, and the relocation of the Renates peoples."
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. In a way, he is as unlikely a prophet as I am a hero. He never had an air of ceremonious wisdom--nor was he even a religious scholar. When we first met, he was studying one of his ridiculous interests in the great Khlenni library--I believe he was trying to determine whether or not trees could think.
That he should be the one who finally discovered the great Hero of Terris prophecy is a matter that would cause me to laugh, had events turned out just a little differently.
Kelsier sows more chaos to build the House War by leaving the obviously-murdered body of one Charrs Entrone in the garden of House Tekiel. Afterward, he meets up with Hoid, masquerading as a street informant, in order to find out what rumors exist regarding House Renoux. He leaves Hoid to meet up with Lord Venture, pretending to be a sickly, lame skaa beggar and street informant. Kelsier returns to Mansion Renoux, trading information with Vin, Sazed, and Renoux.
It isn't a shadow.
This dark thing that follows me, this thing that only I can see-- It isn't really a shadow. It's blackish and translucent, but it doesn't have a shadowlike solid outline. It's insubstantial--wispy and formless. Like it's made out of a dark fog.
Or mist, perhaps.
Vin returns from Luthadel to see weapons being crated up in front of Renoux's mansion, to be shipped out. Marsh arrives soon after, and he teaches her about Seeking, as well as some additional details about allomancy in general.
"The Hero of Ages shall not be a man, but a force. No nation may claim him, no woman shall keep him, and no king may slay him. He shall belong to none, not even himself."
Kelsier reads a translation of the journal as he travels by canal boat. The caravan stops at a lock, and Kelsier, the recruits, and the supplies leave the caravan, heading to the caves where the skaa rebellion is training. Kelsier overcomes memories of the Pits of Hathsin and enters the cave complex, inspecting the army Ham was forming. During a dinner, Kelsier Riots Bilg's emotions, intending to use him as an example. Bilg and Demoux duel, with Kelsier using allomancy to help Demoux--the smaller of the two men--win the duel.
At first, there were those who didn't think the Deepness was a serious danger, at least not to them. However, it brought with it a blight that I have seen infect nearly every part of the land. Armies are useless before it. Great cities are laid low by its power. Crops fail, and the land dies.
This is the thing I fight. This is the monster I must defeat. I fear that I have taken too long. Already, so much destruction has occurred that I fear for mankind's survival.
Is this truly the end of the world, as many of the philosophers predict?
Vin reads from her copy of the journal when Spook arrives. He tells her that Dockson came to get more weapons, and gives her a handkerchief to show that he would like to seriously court her. Dockson is in a meeting with Renoux, so Vin waits outside. While outside, Vin talks to Sazed about the Terrisman in the journal, and Sazed eventually tells her the secrets of Feruchemy. Sazed also explains how the Keepers were formed for the purpose of remembering everything after the Terris religion was lost. Sazed ends their talk by briefly discussing the history of some of the crew members.
Vin gets to talk to Dockson, and asks him about his former life as a plantation skaa. Dockson tell her his story, how a woman he loved was taken by Lord Devinshae and killed the next morning. Dockson tells Vin all noblemen are like that, but Vin finds that hard to believe after talking to the noblemen at the balls. Vin is left wondering if Elend has ever taken and murdered a skaa woman.
I sleep but a few hours each night. We must press forward, traveling as much as we can each day-but when I finally lie down, I find sleep elusive. The same thoughts that trouble me during the day are only compounded by the stillness of the night.
And, above it all, I hear the thumping sounds from above, the pulsings from the mountains. Drawing me closer with each beat.
Vin is conversing with other members of the nobility, and is pleased to find out Kelsier's attempts at causing tension among the Houses is working. Vin is still troubled by Dockson's talk, and wonders, and is worried to talk to Elend for fear of being uncivil. Vin also learns that the Inquisitors are tracking down the skaa thieves more frequently. As Vin is about to leave, Shan comes to talk to her. She tell Vin to search through Elend's books the next time she sees him, and report back to her. As Vin is waiting for Sazed, she sees Elend. She walks over to him, and asks him if he's ever slept with a skaa woman. Elend explains his father made him once when he was thirteen, but he never did again. Vin talks to Elend about how skaa really act, and Elend is fascinated by it. Elend leaves with his friends after giving her a handkerchief, showing that he would like to seriously court her as well. Vin decides to spy on Elend and his friends, and uses Allomancy to get to the tower where Elend and his friends are. Elend's group are talking about the Lord Ruler's faults and what should be done about it when their generation takes control. In the middle of the talk, Kelsier arrives, and Vin and Kelsier both leave the window and go their separate ways.
In the end, I must trust in myself. I have seen men who have beaten from themselves the ability to recognize truth and goodness, and I do not think I am one of them. I can still see the tears in a young child's eyes and feel pain at his suffering.
If I ever lose this, then I will know that I've passed beyond hope of redemption.
Kelsier and Vin both arrive at Club's shop, where many of the other crew members are. Kelsier discusses the status of the mission, and Vin realizes how much she loves her new life, without hiding in the shadows. Kelsier asks Ham to go to the Garrison, and Vin decides to go with him to learn about Pewter. On the way to the Garrison, Ham talks about his family, and a little about Kelsier. He also gives her some Pewter pointers, and plans on showing her by sparring with someone at the Garrison. When they get there, they find out that the Garrison leaving. Vin overhears the conversation between Ham and Sertes, and finds out that the skaa rebellion has attacked the Holstep Garrison to the north.
No man dies by my hand or command except that I wish there had been another way. Still, I kill them. Sometimes, I wish that I weren’t such a cursed realist.
Kelsier decides to try to warn the skaa army. By constantly flaring pewter in order to run to the caves, he hopes to arrive there before the Valtroux Garrison's army. Vin joins Kelsier and learns the hard way about pewter dragging. On the way, Kelsier and Vin encounter the remains of the skaa army, surrounded by the Valtroux Garrison’s army. Kelsier and Vin leave the army to its fate, continuing on to the caves. At the caves, Kelsier and Vin find 2,000 soldiers alive. They are ready to leave at a moment’s notice thanks to Mennis’ work. Mennis gives Kelsier more advice as they chat in the mists at the end of a day.
When Kelsier asks Sazed how much speed he has stored, Sazed admits that it is a "very difficult attribute to collect."
The Valtroux Garrison is only three days' march from Holstep.
Kelsier and Vin followed the Luth-Davn canal as they ran from Luthadel. (Who was Luth/Lutha?)
Part Four: Dancers In A Sea Of Mist
I am growing so very tired.
The crew talk about the future of the job, and how it currently appears to be a total failure. Spook bursts in and announces a meeting in the fountain square - executions. The crew head to the square and bribe someone at a building around the square to let them have the roof to themselves. The crew watch many skaa murdered, their blood emptied into the fountain, and Kelsier convinces them to continue the job.
Fifteen days after the run to the caves, Vin’s head still hurts from the pewter drag. Breeze successfully sees through Kelsier’s plans regarding the job, but still without an inkling of the true nature of the plan.
I think I’ve finally discovered why Rashek resents me so very much. He does not believe that an outsider such as myself - a foreigner - could possibly be the Hero of Ages. He believes that I have somehow tricked the philosophers, that I wear the piercings of the Hero unjustly.
According to Rashek, only a Terrisman of pure blood should have been chosen as the Hero. Oddly, I find myself even more determined because of his hatred. I must prove to him that I can perform this task.
The crew returns to Clubs’ shop and plan their next moves. Sazed delivers a message from Marsh, telling Kelsier where the two can meet, in the Twists. Kelsier and Vin head out to observe the meeting point hours before the meeting, and as they wait they talk about the Eleventh Metal. He also explains Feruchemy, and gives Vin some gold to burn. (Her first experience with it.) At the meeting, Marsh describes the Soothing stations in Luthadel. Marsh also says that Inquisitors can die of old age.
Sometimes, my companions claim that I worry and question too much. However, while I may wonder about my stature as the hero, there is one thing that I have never questioned: the ultimate good of our quest.
The Deepness must be destroyed. I have seen it, and I have felt it.. This name we give it is too weak a word, I think. Yes, it is deep and unfathomable, but it is also terrible. Many do not realize that it is sentient, but I have sensed its mind, such that it is, the few times I have confronted it directly.
It is a thing of destruction, madness, and corruption. It would destroy this world not out of spite or out of animosity, but simply because that is what it does.
At Keep Lekal, Vin begins spreading rumors to begin the House Wars. Vin and Elend talk, Elend trying to convince “Valette” to leave Luthadel. He also mentions that the Tekiels were killed by House Hasting, and that House Venture is in charge of the atium mining. Elend then goes to meet with his friends, and Vin attempts to discern Shan’s plans (but fails with the direct approach). Jastes and Telden try to convince Elend not to trust Valette. Once back at Keep Venture, Straff calls Elend into his office, where he is speaking with TenSoon (wearing the bones of a Hasting servant). Straff tells Elend that he intends to form an allegiance with Lord Tegas, whose daughter Elend is to have lunch with the following day, so as to crush Hasting more quickly if a house war does start. After, Elend is told by a servant that Jastes is waiting in a nearby sitting room to speak with him. Jastes tells Elend how he had Valette’s carriage watched, and as it left the city, Jastes’ spy discovered the carriage to be empty. Jastes is convinced that Valette is a spy from another house, trying to bring down Venture. Elend then proposes a trade to his father, via a servant: he’ll go to the luncheon in exchange for a couple of spies.
House Hasting has plantations in the Southern Dominance.
The others all think I should have had Kwaan executed for betraying me. To tell the truth, I’d probably kill him this moment if I knew where he’d gone. At the time, however, I just couldn’t do it.
Would he rather that the Deepness win? Surely, even if I’m not the right one - as Kwaan now claims - my presence at the Well of Ascension couldn't possibly be worse than what will happen if the Deepness continues to destroy the land.
Vin reads the last of Sazed’s translations of Alendi’s logbook and is disappointed that there isn’t any more. Sazed also explains feruchemy to Vin in more detail, and she tries burning one of his pewterminds. Later, Kelsier joins the majority of the crew in Renoux’s estate, going over a very detailed map provided by Marsh. While studing the map, they discover that Theron’s crew was recently hit by the Ministry, and Vin thinks they’re still on her tail. After the meeting, later at night, Kelsier is unable to sleep and speaks a bit with Sazed about some of the religions in his copperminds.
Most of the Terrismen are not as bad as Rashek. However, I can see that they believe him, to an extent. These are simple men, not philosophers or scholars, and they don’t understand that their own prophecies say the Hero of Ages will be an outsider. They only see what Rashek points out - that they are an ostensibly superior people, and should be “dominant” rather than subservient.
Before such passion and hatred, even good men can be deceived.
At the Venture ball, Vin and Sazed notice something unusual. Vin receives very cold receptions when she tries to mingle with various groups. They soon find out that this is the last house ball for a while, and that the partygoers are finalizing alliances; Valette, associated with House Renoux, is considered too neutral and too dangerous a gamble at this point. Vin and Elend speak briefly, wherein he ends their conversations. Kliss also reveals herself as an informant, and offers her services to Renoux - as well as attempting to blackmail Renoux into her remaining silent about the rumors Vin tried to spread through Kliss. In exchange for a sapphire necklace, Kliss tells Vin that Elend will be the first casualty in the house war. Using emotional allomancy, Vin convinces Kliss to tell all she knows about the attempt on Elend’s life - Elariel assassins will try to kill Elend and two of his friends, and Straff will have reduced the number of guards around the room to make it easier for the assassins. Vin destroys a stained glass window in order to get outside the Keep. Once outside, she makes her way to Elend’s room and fights off the assassins: two Thugs, two Coinshots, and two Mistborn, one of whom is Shan Elariel. Vin manages to stop the assassination attempt, and while fighting Shan, Vin manages to trick Shan (by extinguishing her atium early) and kill her.
Other men worry whether or not they will be remembered. I have no such fears; even disregarding the Terris prophecies, I have brought such chaos, conflict, and hope to this world that there is little chance that I will be forgotten.
I worry about what they will say of me. Historians can make what they wish of the past. In a thousand years’ time, will I be remembered as the man who protected mankind from a powerful evil? Or, will I be remembered as a tyrant who arrogantly tried to make himself a legend?
The crew is joking around in Clubs’ kitchen when Vin bursts in, bandage around the wound on her arm, dress in tatters. Sazed ministers to her wounds and Vin recounts the events of the evening after Sazed’s early departure from the ball. Vin yells at Kelsier, putting him in his place when Kelsier explains that Vin should not have saved Elend's life. Vin retreats to the roof, and Kelsier follows her, to talk to her and give her advice. Vin tells Kelsier about Venture’s administration of the Pits, and Vin comments on her belief that Inquisitors can see through copperclouds. Kelsier tests her theory, and proves Vin correct. Elend and Jastes meet up with Felt, and Felt recounts everything that Elend’s spies have discovered about Clubs’ shop and those in it. After Felt and Jastes leave the carriage, Elend is taken to Straff by Venture guards, where Straff explains that Shan was a Mistborn and tried to assassinate Elend.
Though many Terrismen express a resentment of Khlennium, there is also envy. I have heard the packmen speak in wonder of the Khlenni cathedrals, with their amazing stained-glass windows and broad halls. They also seem very fond of our fashion - back in the cities, I saw that many young Terrismen had traded in their furs and skins for well-tailored gentlemen’s suits.
Vin and Spook stand on a rooftop, watching as House Elariel attacks House Hasting. Spook also gives Vin some tips on burning tin: learning to ignore certain sensory inputs. Kelsier arrives, and then he and Vin leave to go meet with Marsh. On the way, they stop at a skaa tenement, and Kelsier speaks to the residents. When they arrive at the meeting place, they see a flayed and dismembered corpse in the middle of a blood-splattered room. The pair understandably mistakes the corpse for Marsh. As they leave, Vin sees the hollowed out table leg Marsh used to smuggle the earlier map, and she takes it. Back at Clubs’, Dockson reads Marsh’s note. Kelsier orders Renoux to pull out of Fellise, and to return to the crew after a day’s travel by canal boat. Kelsier then orders everyone to the backup lair, which only he and Dockson know about. Kelsier leaves Clubs’ shop and travels to the Pits of Hathsin to destroy the crystal formations that produce the Hathsin geodes, inside which resides a bead of atium.
We are close now. Oddly, this high in the mountains, we seem to finally be free from the oppressive touch of the Deepness. It has been quite a while since I knew what that was like.
The lake that Fedik discovered is below us now - I can see it from the ledge. It looks even more eerie from up here, with its glassy - almost metallic - sheen. I almost wish I had let him take a sample of its waters.
Perhaps his interest was what angered the mist creature that follows us. Perhaps...that was why it decided to attack him, stabbing him with its invisible knife.
Strangely, the attack comforted me. At least I know that since another has seen it. That means I’m not mad.
The crew chat in the backup lair, waiting for Kelsier to return. When he does, he tells them how he destroyed the Pits of Hathsin. The next day, Vin talks to Sazed about the Eleventh Metal, and Tase - a lookout (Tineye?) replacing Spook while he escorts Renoux out of the city - announces another gathering in the square. As most of the crew take a spot on a rooftop, they notice that Spook is in one of the prisoner carts. Kelsier moves to free the prisoners, and comes face to face with an Inquisitor after tearing the door off one prisoner cart. While Kelsier fights the Inquisitor Bendal, Ham runs off to find some members of the skaa army to help fight. Dockson prevents Vin from joining the fight physically, so she assists Breeze in manipulating the soldiers’ emotions. Elend pushes his way into the fray where the skaa army and the Luthadel soldiers are fighting, looking for Valette.
The inquisitors finally tracked down Vin to House Renoux. 
The last two sentences of this epigraph are reproduced exactly as in the print copy paperback (first printing, second mass market edition), and the Kindle ebook version: the penultimate sentence is a sentence fragment.
I never wanted to be feared.
If I regret one thing, it is the fear I have caused. Fear is the tool of tyrants. Unfortunately, when the fate of the world is in question, you use whatever tools are available.
Kelsier continues fighting Bendal, and uses a soldier as a ranged weapon. This bloodies the Inquisitor, who smiles at the damage. The pair continue to fight, and Kelsier also manages to deflect arrows by using steel and iron simultaneously to make metal bars spin in place in the air. Ham and fifty rebels manage to open Spook and Renoux’s cage, when Elend rushes up to Renoux demanding to know which cart held Valette. Bendal then appears - having hidden himself for a few moments - and buries an obsidian axe into Renoux’s back. When Bendal tries to swing at Elend, Kelsier, remembering Vin’s love for Elend, attacks Bendal, forces him to drop his other axe, and attempts to choke Bendal to death. Bendal breaks free, and they continue to fight as Ham and the remaining rebels retreat. Eventually, Kelsier uses a cobblestone against Bendal’s face with such strength and ferocity that the spike points protruding from the back of Bendal’s skull are embedded in an overturned cart, immobilizing him. Kelsier uses one of Bendal’s obsidian axes to decapitate the Inquisitor. The Lord Ruler then shows up, and Kelsier does not flee. Five rebels charge the Lord Ruler, one (one of Ham’s Thugs) crying revenge for his wife, the other four crying support for Kelsier. The Thug thrusts his spear clear through the Lord Ruler, as well as the spear of one of his comrades. The Lord Ruler, ignoring the two spears thrust through his chest, walks up to Kelsier. Another Inquisitor arrives and butchers the five rebels. After a very brief conversation, the Lord Ruler backhands Kelsier, knocking him back (with a blow likely enhanced by not only Allomancy, but Feruchemy), likely killing Kelsier with the strike. The Lord Ruler then removes one of the spears from his chest and impales it into Kelsier’s. Removing the other, he tosses it aside and returns to his chariot, telling the Inquisitor and the soldiers to start killing skaa. More Inquisitors arrive, mounted on black horses, to assist. Vin leaps down to Kelsier, and then Ham pulls her away to safety.
Part Five: Believers In A Forgotten World
I know what will happen if I make the wrong choice. I must be strong; I must not take the power for myself.
For I have seen what will happen if I do.
Vin and Sazed speak for a time, about Kelsier, about the religion growing around him and his deeds, and he tells her that the crew is likely splitting up, each person going his own way. Sazed, too, will leave, traveling to Terris to spread among the Keepers the knowledge he has learned. They then observe a group of skaa, led by one man calling others out into the mists. The man makes a claim to the crowd that Kelsier appeared to him that very night, just a few hours after his death. The crew finally realizes what Kelsier’s plan was all along. At Vin’s request, Dockson leads her and the crew to the warehouse where Kelsier held his informant meetings. Inside is a massive stockpile of weapons - and OreSeur, wearing Kelsier’s bones. OreSeur explains Kelsier’s plans, his need of the crew, and shows them a document Kelsier left for them. Before he leaves, OreSeur gives Vin a bag containing a smaller bag of atium beads, a note, and the Eleventh Metal - and the picture of a flower that Mare held so dear. Clubs leaves to bring the group of skaa from earlier to the warehouse, and Dockson starts dispensing arms and armor. Vin decides that she needs to find out what’s inside the guarded chamber in the palace, and starts swallowing various metals - including the Eleventh.
I have decided that I am thankful for Rashek’s hatred. It does me well to remember that there are those who abhor me. My place is not to seek popularity or love; my place is to ensure mankind’s survival.
Vin enters Kredik Shaw, convincing the four guards to abandon their post and join the rebels. Upon reaching the building-within-a-building, she was blocked by two Inquisitors. Using cleverness and trickery, Vin manages to incapacitate one of the Inquisitors - Kar - and blind the other, stabbing him in the thigh with a thrown glass dagger while he is blinded with a cloud of pewter dust. Entering her target building, she sees it decorated inside with rugs, skins, and furs, and a lit hearth at the center. She also eventually sees an old, bald man, apparently in his seventies, sitting by the fire. As she tries to escape, the formerly blinded Inquisitor captures her, and asks the Lord Ruler to let her live - so he can use her against the Canton of Orthodoxy. While she has the chance, Vin burns the Eleventh Metal, but is confused by what she sees. The Inquisitor then knocks her unconscious.
Elend meets up with his father, who informs the younger Venture that they are leaving Luthadel due to the skaa rebellion. Elend tells his father that he’s staying. Straff agrees, hoping that Elend will be killed, and after Straff leaves, Elend orders his soldiers to Keep Lekal, to join forces with them in mutual defense against the skaa. Elend then takes his five best soldiers as an honor guard and goes to turn himself in to the skaa leadership.
When Vin awakes, she is forced to swallow and burn aluminum by an Inquisitor. While trapped in her cell, Vin notices the similarity between the Eleventh Metal and gold. Kar then comes with another Inquisitor (Marsh) to take her from her cell to the Lord Ruler’s throne room, which is surrounded by one giant, circular stained glass window depicting the mists. Tevidian argues that they need to pay attention to the rebellion, but the Lord Ruler dismisses it as inconsequential. Kar then argues for the control of the Steel Ministry to be taken away from the Canton of Orthodoxy - the Obligators - and turned over to the Canton of Inquisition - the Steel Inquisitors. Vin eventually admits that Tevidian is her father, and the Lord Ruler gives him over to the Inquisitors, who mercilessly murder him with their obsidian knives. Kar, Marsh, and the Inquisitor holding Vin do not take part in the murder.
Though she doesn't know it at this time, Vin sees two separate malatium-ghosts in this chapter: the Lord Ruler's (as a Terrisman packman, perhaps even a leader of his village), and the unnamed Inquisitor's (as a wealthy merchant).
Is there anything more beautiful than the sun? I often watch it rise, for my restless sleep usually awakens me before dawn.
Each time I see its calm yellow light peeking above the horizon, I grow a little more determined, a little more hopeful. In a way, it is the thing that has kept me going all this time.
Goradel informs Dockson that Vin has been captured, and that he and his men likely cannot rescue her. Ham enters and informs Dockson that Keep Elariel has fallen, but Keep Lekal is holding. Skaa soldiers then bring in Elend, bound and with a sack over his head. After a brief discussion, wherein Elend tries to convince Dockson to cease attacking the nobles, Elend is informed that Valette - Vin - has been captured by the Lord Ruler.
Kar violently returns Vin to her cell, and a bruised, beaten, and naked Sazed is thrown into the adjoining cell. After Kar leaves, Sazed, using a swallowed pewtermind, makes himself stronger to break his bindings and free himself and Vin. His minute amount of strength exhausted, Vin and Sazed can't fight their way out easily. Using some torturer's knives, Vin attempts to fight off some soldiers. She takes out two before she is partially incapacitated. Elend then arrives with six guards, his five plus Goradel, and they attempt to fight off the soldiers. Elend's team is outnumbered, but Vin sees her possessions and finds a vial of metals. Recharged allomantically, Vin easily dispatches the Ministry soldiers. Vin then asks Sazed to take Elend to safety, while she goes to kill the Lord Ruler.
Such are my fears as I scribble with an ice-crusted pen on the eve before the world is reborn. Rashek watches. Hating me. The cavern lies above. Pulsing. My fingers quiver. Not from the cold.
Tomorrow, it will end.
As dawn slowly breaks, Vin Pushes herself outside of Kredik Shaw to the Lord Ruler’s throne room, and the skaa rebellion closes on the palace. The Lord Ruler officially turns the Steel Ministry over to the Inquisitors, with Kar at the head. Kar’s thoughts cover some of what it is like to be an Inquisitor as he reflects on his version of vision. During his reflection, Vin breaks through the southern portion of the stained glass window-wall and charges the Lord Ruler. Burning the Eleventh Metal, Vin attacks the Lord Ruler’s malatium-ghost to no avail. Kar engages her at this point, and Vin kicks him off her as they tumble. The Lord Ruler calls for the other Inquisitors, and Kar manages to grapple Vin and hold her. The back door opens, but only Marsh enters - the other Inquisitors had their linchpin spikes removed by Marsh as they slept, killing them. Marsh, believed by Kar to be a loyal Inquisitor, walks up behind Kar and kills him by removing his linchpin spike. Marsh then charges the Lord Ruler, attempting to do the same to him. Marsh quickly discovers that the Lord Ruler does not have a hemalurgic spike in his back like Inquisitors. The Lord Ruler Pushes everyone away from him, affecting even the metals within Vin’s stomach. Tearing off the remnants of his shirt and jacket, Vin can clearly see the various rings the Lord Ruler wears, as well as the feruchemical atium bracelets piercing his upper arms. As he Pushes her around the room, the Lord Ruler Pushes Vin’s earring - a bronze hemalurgic spike - out of her earlobe. This proves to be his downfall, as removing this hemalurgic influence allows Vin to channel the mists directly, Pulling the Lord Ruler’s atium bracers off his arms, and forcing his rapid reversion to old age. Sazed then arrives and gives Vin some metals to ingest. A final, short conversation transpires between the Lord Ruler, Marsh, Sazed, and Vin, and then Vin kills the Lord Ruler with a simple wooden spear that Sazed brought with him.
Oddly, on occasion, I sense a peacefulness within. You would think that after all I have seen--after all I have suffered--my soul would be a twisted jumble of stress, confusion, and melancholy. Often, it's just that.
But then, there is the peace.
I feel it sometimes, as I do now, staring out over the frozen cliffs and glass mountains in the still of the morning, watching a sunrise that is so majestic that I know that none shall ever be its match.
If there are prophecies, if there is a Hero of Ages, then my mind whispers that there must be something directing my path. Something is watching; something cares. These peaceful whispers tell me a truth I wish very much to believe.
If I fail, another shall come to finish my work.
Sazed speculates with Marsh and Vin on Rashek's compounding abilities - without using that term - and the origins of Allomancy. When Sazed comments that he can truthfully record that the Lord Ruler was killed by one of the skaa he repressed, Vin hopes that he won't put too much detail in; she still doesn't want attention drawn to her. Marsh then discusses his beginnings as an Inquisitor, describing the process of creating one as "messy". They discuss the kandra, and Sazed tells Vin that Kelsier transferred OreSeur's contract to her. As Vin reflects on the Lord Ruler's final words, the group discusses the Deepness. Sazed then talks about Elend's speech after the death of the Lord Ruler.
At the end, rather than turning her back on a life with Elend, Vin drops down through the still-broken skylight in Elend's rooms and embraces him.
|Mistborn Era 1|
The Final Empire · The Well of Ascension · The Hero of Ages
|Characters||Vin · Kelsier · Sazed · Elend Venture · Marsh · Spook · Breeze · Ham · Clubs · Dockson · Straff Venture · Zane · Ashweather Cett · Tindwyl · Allrianne Cett · TenSoon · Yomen · Quellion · The Lord Ruler · Alendi · Kwaan|
|Places||Final Empire · The Dominances · Luthadel · Kredik Shaw · Pits of Hathsin · Kandra Homeland · Urteau · Fadrex City · Tathingdwen|
|Ethnicities and Species||Skaa · Nobles · Terrismen · Inquisitors · Koloss · Kandra · Mistwraiths · Southern Scadrians|
|Organizations||Skaa rebellion · Steel Ministry · Keepers (the Synod) · Worldbringers|
|Mythology||The Deepness · Terris Prophecies · Well of Ascension|
|Era 1 books||Mistborn: The Final Empire · The Well of Ascension · The Hero of Ages · (Mistborn: Secret History · The Eleventh Metal)|
|Era 2 books||The Alloy of Law · Shadows of Self · The Bands of Mourning · The Lost Metal · (Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania)|
|Shards||Preservation · Ruin · Harmony|
|History||Classical Scadrial · Final Empire · Catacendre · Elendel · Southern Scadrian|
|Magic||Metallic Arts (Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy) · Metalborn · Mistborn · Misting · Savant · Ferring · Twinborn · Compounding · Atium · Lerasium · Ettmetal|
|Other Media||Mistborn Adventure Game · Mistborn: Birthright · Mistborn film · Mistborn: House War|