Mistborn Reading Guide-Part IX – Events, Terms, Places and Titles of People

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Mistborn is a sci-fi/fantasy trilogy written by author Brandon Sanderson.  The series is really hard to describe but what I’ve said to others is that it’s like a collision between The Lord of the Rings and X-Men.

As an avid reader, I am picky about who I read.  When I was introduced to Brandon Sanderson and finished reading Mistborn, I placed him as one of my top 3 favorite authors.  He knows how to introduce and develop characters, he maintains a strong storyline and he captures the reader’s imagination.

As I read through the books, I gathered information about the world of Scadrial, the characters in the books and the science behind the three mysterious super-human abilities Sanderson created.

Spoiler Alert

*****THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT REVEALS THE PLOT OF ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE MISTBORN TRILOGY – IT SHOULD BE USED FOR REFERENCE AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY*****

This post is about the events, terms, places and titles of the people of Scadrial.


Events

The Ascension

  • The Ascension is the name given to the event surrounding the rise of Rashek as the Lord Ruler of the Final Empire by taking the power at the Well of Ascension (Epigraph in Mistborn)
  • During the time he held the power of the Well he changed all other living Feruchemists into mistwraiths and his close friends into the first generation of kandra
  • He did this because he saw and understood the power and risks of Feruchemy
  • During this time he also moved the planet closer to its star in an attempt to defeat the Deepness
  • He was told of the power of Hemalurgy by Ruin but was not told about its cost
  • While he still held the power of the Well he created three new species through Hemalurgykoloss, kandra and Steel Inquisitors
  • He also created the Ashmounts during this time (Epigraph in Mistborn)
  • The Ascension is also sometimes used in connection with Vin, as she did something similar in taking the power, though she released it instead of used it

The Collapse or The Fall

  • When Vin killed the Lord Ruler while the skaa revolted in Luthadel, the Final Empire broke apart (Chapter 38 in Mistborn)
  • In that very night of the CollapseElend was chosen as king (Epilogue in Mistborn)

The Siege of Luthadel

  • The Siege of Luthadel was the month-long attack upon the Central Dominance during the reign of King Elend by Lords Ashweather Cett, Jastes Lekal and Straff Venture in order to obtain the hoards of atium they thought were stockpiled there
  • The siege ended with Jastes lost control of his koloss army, which then attacked and nearly destroyed Luthadel
  • Vin then intimidated the opposition but eventually was persuaded to leave to seek the Well of Ascension as the battle came to a head
  • When she realized that the Well was in Luthadel, she returned and started controlling the koloss using emotional Allomancy and routed Straff’s army
  • At the last moment, Lord Cett joined forces with Elend and Vin
  • Elend eventually was deposed and the city rose up Ferson Penrod to be king

The Siege of Fadrex City

  • The Siege of Fadrex City was one of the major events on Scadrial after the Collapse of the Final Empire
  • Lord Ashweather Cett had been the ruler of Fadrex City but had joined Lord Staff Venture during the siege of Luthadel
  • After swearing allegiance to King Elend Venture, Lord Cett convinced Elend to travel with him to Fadrex and gain back power from an Obligator named Aradan Yomen who had assumed power after Cett had abandoned the city
  • The human and koloss armies of the New Empire under King Elend Venture’s command then besieged Fadrex City
  • Elend lead an army of thirty-six thousand soldiers against the twenty-five thousand defenders of Fadrex
  • These armies have been assessed as nearly same strength, taking account of the strong defense fortification of Fadrex City
  • Elend also commanded twenty-thousand koloss, which unbalanced the strength of the two armies
  • Two weeks into the siege, Yomen started the first attack on the army of the New Empire
  • Eleven thousand koloss died under the fire of catapults or killing each other in bloodlust
  • After this incident, Elend asked to debate with Yomen
  • The conference resulted in Vin being taken hostage
  • Elend reacted by fighting a koloss army nearby Fadrex City and returning with twenty-eight thousand koloss, which made his koloss army thirty-seven thousand strong
  • Following the orders of Marsh (as an Inquisitor), Yomen sent his army to the fields to battle the koloss army
  • Although Elend easily could have beaten the army, instead he drew back, heeding the advice of his general Hammond
  • This proved to be a good idea, since Ruin eventually took control over all the koloss in order to annihilate both the armies of Elend and Yomen
  • As the koloss broke mad, Yomen decided to open his gates to let Elend’s army in
  • In Fadrex City, Elend began to understand the function of the mistsickness and realized that he now had a new army of five thousand Mistings
  • After this conclusion, Ruin ordered the attack on Fadrex
  • After some hours of fighting, the koloss suddenly ran away from the city, in the direction of Luthadel, where Vin took up the Shard Preservation

TERMS

Mistsickness

  • Mistsickness is the name used for the strange malady that stuck people who went out into the mists
  • Though most who did so were unharmed, a sizable minority fell to the “shakes” and grew sick
  • This sickness lasted from just a few days to over 2 weeks and was sometimes fatal
  • One needed to only go out in the mists once to become inoculated – and sometimes immune – to mistsickness
  • Nobody knew why it began, though the first reports of it came just after Vin took the power at the Well of Ascension
  • It was eventually discovered that the mistsickness was actually causing those who grew immune to it to Snap and become Allomancers

PLACES

Scadrial

  • Scadrial is the planet on which the Mistborn trilogy is setScadrial
  • Scadrial is governed by two gods, Preservation and Ruin, who are referred to as “slivers of Adonasium”
  • Scadrial is inhabited by humans, although the humans of this world are known to have been created by the powers of both Preservation and Ruin who work simultaneously together
  • Scadrial is also inhabited by non-humans such as various earth animals and creatures like kadra, koloss, mist-wraiths and Steel Inquisitors (the later races were created artificially by the Lord Ruler using a process called Hemalurgy)
  • Scadrial greatly resembles Earth, although its cultures are very unlike those of Earth and only unique to Scadrial
  • Scadrial is a planet of vast continents and oceans, although for a thousand years it came close to being rendered uninhabitable through the actions of the Lord Ruler and Ruin
  • By the time of The Ascension, life only flourished in a small area near the poles
  • This probably meant that the Central Dominance and perhaps the city of Luthadel itself was actually situated at the North Pole of Scadrial
  • All other dominances (including the so-called North, East and West Dominances) were actually situated to the south of the Central Dominance
  • Rashek (The Lord Ruler) also created the ashmounts, which began spewing ash and smoke into the atmosphere, causing ash to fall from the sky for a thousand years and making the sun appear blood-red through the hazy sky

 The Well of Ascension

  • The Well of Ascension is the mythical place where enormous energies would gather every 1024 years (Theoryland, May 2010)
  • It was a Shardpool, the manifestation of Preservation’s power that could supposedly save mankind

      History and Mythology

  • c485704fbd141e731e23bf3e9f3cb4b5
    Entrance to the Well of Ascension

    Ruin could not have used the power at the Well of Ascension. For it was of Preservation, Ruin’s fundamental opposite.  Indeed, a direct confrontation of these two forces would have caused the destruction of both.  Ruin’s prison, however, was fabricated of that power.  Therefore, it was attuned to the power of Preservation – the very power of the Well.  When that power was released and dispersed, rather than utilized, it acted as a key.  The subsequent “unlocking” was what finally freed Ruin when Rashek took and used Preservation’s power there (Chapter 46 in The Hero Of Ages)

  • Historically, the Well of Ascension was the place to which it was prophesied the Hero of Ages would travel in order to gain the power he needed to defeat the Deepness (Ars Arcanum in The Hero Of Ages)
  • The Well was the place where Rashek radically altered the world using Preservation’s power and became the Lord Ruler

      Location

An artist's rendition of The Well of Ascension
An artist’s rendition of The Well of Ascension
  • In Terris prophecy, the Well was said to be hidden deep within the Terris mountains, however when the Lord Ruler consumed the power from the Well and changed the world, he also changed to location of the Well
  • It was moved to a chamber underneath the Lord Ruler’s palace Kredik Shaw
  • During the Siege of LuthadelVin located the Well of Ascension beneath Kredik Shaw in Luthadel
  • The entrance to the Well lied in the Lord Ruler’s study and was designed to be opened by an Ironpull of tremendous strength, such that the Lord Ruler was one of the few individuals capable of opening it
  • One section of the wall, presumably weighing several tons, could be pulled on to reveal a passageway, which lead to the stone chamber that housed the Well of Ascension
  • The Well appeared as a shimmering, glowing white pool full of liquid metal
  • The pool laid in a shallow depression in the rock and was only a few feet in diameter

Ashmounts

Tyrian, one of the seven ashmounts on Scadrial
Tyrian, one of the seven ashmounts on Scadrial
  • The Ashmounts were enormous volcanoes in the Final Empire (Map of the Final Empire in Mistborn)
  • They were created by Rashek during his initial contact with the Well of Ascension to counteract his moving the planet too close to the sun, by blocking some of the sunlight so that it didn’t get too hot
  • The large amount of ash they produced protected Scadrial’s inhabitants against the excess heat the planet suffered from when the Lord Ruler moved the planet closer to the sun
  • They were the source of Ashfalls whose purpose was to fill the air with massive clouds of ash to keep the planet from overheating
  • A side effect of Ashfalls was that all of Scadrial was covered in a thick blanket of ash that had to be constantly swept away or entire cities would have been overcome by the ash
  • Ash incessantly rained down on the entire planet and had to be constantly removed

    A village covered with ash from a nearby ashmount
    A village covered with ash from a nearby ashmount
  • Ash made it increasingly difficult to get around. The smoke filled the atmosphere; the black flakes covered up everything beneath, the eruptions of the volcanic Ashmounts would eventually kill the world.  Ash covered everything – blocked the sunlight, buried cities, covered streets, choked vegetation (Chapters 61 and 63 in The Hero Of Ages)
  • There are seven large Ashmounts:
    • Tyrian –  in the Central Dominance, near Luthadel
    • Zerinah – in the Southern Dominance, southwest of Luthadel
    • Faleast –  in the Eastern Dominance, south-southeast of Luthadel
    • Doriel –  in the Southern Dominance, almost due south of Luthadel
    • Morag – in the Western Dominance, west-northwest of Luthadel
    • Kalling – in the Northern Dominance, northeast of Luthadel
    • Torinost – in the Western Dominance, north-northwest of Luthadel

Terris

  • Terris is a province in the far north of the Final Empire
  • It was populated by Feruchemists before the Ascension of the Lord Ruler

      During the Final Empire

  • e3682b2c63e3f0c11e2e8539c4fe671dDuring the days of the Lord Ruler, Terris was the only dominance to retain the name of the kingdom it used to be, perhaps a sign of the Lord Ruler’s fondness for his homeland
  • Under the Lord Ruler, the remaining Terris people were selectively bred to reduce the Feruchemical abilities
  • A portion of the eunuch population was trained and employed as stewards
  • Stewards held an unusual place in the Final Empire and were given the title ‘Vaht’ (Chapter 9 in Mistborn)
  • One of the most famous of all stewards was Sazed

      After the Collapse

  • After the Fall of the Lord Ruler, the Synod revealed themselves and started leading their people back to the ways before the Final Empire
  • The Terris people (Terrismen) abandoned their homeland after the Inquisitor assault years before, fleeing to the Central Dominance, where King Elend took them in
  • Under the rule of Elend, the Terrismen made their home in the valleys surrounding the Pits of Hathsin

The Final Empirethefinalempiremap

  • The Final Empire was the empire established by the Lord Ruler and the place of Scadrial in which Mistborn takes place
  • Rashek proclaimed himself the Lord Ruler
  • The name came from the Lord Ruler’s certainty that since he was immortal, it would be the last empire the world would ever know
  • He ruled over his empire for about 1024 years
  • Kelsier’s crew planned the Skaa rebellion, resulting in the Fall of the Final Empire
  • It was followed by the New Empire under King Elend Venture
  • To travel from one end of the empire to the other, it could take up to half a year (Chapter 18 in Mistborn)

The Central Dominance

  • The Central Dominance was a province of the Final Empire
  • Luthadel is located within the Central Dominance
  • The four surrounding dominances were called the Inner Dominances and included most of the population and culture of the Final Empire
  • During the New Empire under King Elend, different kings took power, trying to claim leadership over the various dominances, effectively turning each one into a separate kingdom
  • In The Hero of Ages, King Elend ruled the former Central Dominance along with most of the former Northern Dominance and portions of the former Eastern and Southern Dominances

Kredik Shaw

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Vin standing on a dome with Kredik Shaw in the background
  • Kredik Shaw  was the Lord Ruler’s palace in Luthadel
    • Kredik Shaw meant “the Hill of a Thousand Spires” in old Terris language
  • It was described as being composed of many ominous towers with large spires of metal on the tops of the towers
  • It was revealed in the second book that the Well of Ascension was located in the heart of Kredik Shaw
  • Kredik Shaw was destroyed by Vin in The Hero of Ages

The New Empire

  • The New Empire  is the name Elend gave his realm after he took power from Cett and Straff at the end of the Siege of Luthadel
  • It included the Central Dominance and the Northern Dominance, with parts of the Eastern Dominance and Southern Dominances

Cities

luthadel918ericversion

Luthadel

  • Luthadel
    Luthadel

    Luthadel was the largest and capital city in the Final Empire

  • Located in the center of the Central Dominance, Luthadel was the cultural and political center of the Final Empire during the Lord Ruler’s 1,000 year reign
  • It was originally the home to Kredik Shaw, where the Lord Ruler lived before the Fall
  • Luthadel was known for its textiles, its forges and its majestic noble keeps
  • It was nearly destroyed during the Siege of Luthadel by rampaging koloss
  • Afterwards, it was eventually ruled over by King Penrod (who was more like it’s mayor), one of the subject kings under Elend
  • Luthadel was located at the magnetic north pole and all compasses pointed to it (Chapter 76 in The Hero of Ages)

 Fadrex City

  • Fadrex was a modestly sized, well-fortified city in the Western Dominance

    Fadrex City at night
    Fadrex City at night
  • The city’s natural rock formations made it much more defensible than the larger western city Tremredare
  • It contained one of the Lord Ruler’s supply caches (Chapter 5 in The Hero of Ages)
  • Once home and capital city of Lord Ashweather Cett, it was an important warehousing and distribution center of the Canton of Resource and a major trade hub (Chapter 3 in The Well of Ascension)
  • After Cett left to join in the Siege of Luthadel, it was seized by an Obligator known as Lord Yomen
  • Yomen reimposed the social structures of the Final Empire, throwing balls for the nobility
  • After the Siege of Luthadel, Fadrex City was besieged by Elend Venture and his army who were after the supply cache hidden within city
  • The siege ultimately resulted in an alliance between Venture and Yomen

urteau

Urteau

  • Urteau was the second largest city in Scadrial, just behind Luthadel and capital of
    e62f140449f3db0cb5bd215177ba967c
    The Canals of Urteau

    the Northern Dominance

  • It was known for its “streetslots” which were emptied out canals that served as streets
  • During the reign of the  Lord RulerUrteau was controlled by the Venture family and was overseen by Lord Straff Venture
  • The Ventures resided at Keep Venture  in Luthadel, so they did not often visit Urteau and its control went largely to the Obligators around the city
  • After the Lord Ruler’s fall, a bloody revolution took place, slaughtering many noblesAllomancers or anyone who was suspected of helping the nobility
  • Following the slaughter, a dictatorship took over Urteau, which was controlled by Quellion, also known as the Citizen
  • Although he kept it secret, Quellion was a noble and his sister, Beldre, was an Allomancer, two things he greatly despised
  • The Citizen also captured and blackmailed other Allomancers, forcing them to join his government
  • This allowed him to use Allomancy as a secret weapon against his enemies
  • Urteau’s religion was primarily the Church of the Survivor
  • Some worshippers of this faith killed in the name of Kelsier
  • The murder of nobles and Allomancers in Kelsier’s name was contrary to Kelsier’s personal beliefs because he eventually forgave the nobles and was a powerful Mistborn
  • During the beginning of The New EmpireSpook was sent to Urteau by Elend as a spy
  • Spook’s mission was to discover if the people of Urteau were loyal to The New Empire

 The Pits of Hathsin or “The Pits”

  • The Pits of Hathsin were a system of caves near Luthadel and the only atium mine in the Final Empire
  • The Pits of Hathsin were crafted by Preservation as a place to hide the chunk of Ruin’s body that he had stolen away The Pitsduring the betrayal and his imprisonment in the Well of Ascension (Chapter 78 in The Hero Of Ages)
  • The Lord Ruler sent only condemned skaa to mine it, both because using Allomancy near atium crystals shattered them and because he wished for the location of the atium mines to remain secret
  • Convicts were forced to crawl up and down the narrow shafts, often over the bones of other deceased prisoners, in order to find geodes, which contained a single bead of atium
  • Those who were unable to find a bead of atium each week were summarily beaten to death (Chapter 21 in Mistborn)
  • Kelsier was the only prisoner known to have escaped from the Pits of Hathsin, earning himself the epithet “The Survivor of Hathsin
  • He bore distinctive scars layered on his arms from his time in the Pits
  • Several days before the Fall of the Final Empire, Kelsier returns to the Pits. There, he set free the enslaved skaa prisoners and proceeded to destroy the majority of Hathsin’s atium producing crystals using Allomancy
  • Kelsier didn’t truly destroy this place by shattering the atium crystals, for they would have eventually re-grown – in a few hundred years – and continued to deposit atium, as the place was a natural outlet for Ruin’s trapped power (Chapter 78 in The Hero Of Ages)
  • 4b1ff14f11ffbc47a64033d19afc2cef
    New kandra Homeland after the Collapse

    After the Collapse of the Final Empire and the end of the atium mining, the Pits become the new home of the Terris people, as the remaining infrastructure from the old mining camp had buildings, shelters and most importantly, fresh water along with farm crops of resilient hardy plants adapted to ash that needed little water

  • Once settled, the Terris people improved the valley, building more structures, brushing ash from the plant foliage to provide grazing for the adapted short-legged sheep that roamed the hills and returned to their heritage of herding, before the Lord Ruler’s Ascension
  • The Terris people’s lives became easier than most on Scadrial, living in pastoral villages that replaced the once brutal prison camps

 

titles of people

The Hero Of Ages

  • The Hero of Ages  is the prophesied savior of the Terris people and was also called Rabzeen and the Anamnesor
  • It was foretold that the Hero of Ages would come, take the power at the Well of Ascension, then be selfless enough to give it up in order to save the world from the Deepness
  • Kwaan originally thought that the Hero of Ages was Alendi from Khlennium
  • He later realized that Ruin had been tampering with the prophecies and that he was wrong about Alendi being the Hero
  • He sent his nephew Rashek to stop Alendi from reaching the Well of Ascension and if necessary to kill him
  • Rashek was successful in killing Alendi before he could complete his quest
  • Rashek then took the power at the Well instead of giving it up
  • Vin followed in his footsteps and got further, taking the power, then giving it up
  • The prophecies, however, proved to be falsified – a ruse intended to allow the god Ruin to escape imprisonment
  • Although, throughout most of the Mistborn books, Vin was thought to be the Hero of Ages, it was revealed that it was actually the Terrisman Keeper Sazed
  • At the revelation of this, much of the prophesied descriptions of the Hero of Ages become clear, as many did not meet Vin’s character
  • Sazed assumed the god role when he took the powers of both Ruin and Preservation which became known as the shard of Harmony

Worldbringers

  • 6603663109612d14b43d3cb13e4a2817
    Kwann

    Worldbringers were a sect of scholarly Terris Feruchemists before the Collapse, of which Kwaan was a member

  • Worldbringers were Feruchemists who mainly used their Feruchemical abilities creating Copperminds to become philosophers and scholars of religion
  • Some studied other subjects, including Kwaan, who studied nature (Chapter 32 epigraph in The Well of Ascension)
  • Kwaan first announced Alendi being the Hero of Ages (Chapter 13 epigraph in The Well of Ascension)
  • After the Worldbringers were wiped out by the actions of the Lord Ruler during his Ascension, the order of the Keepers in the Final Empire were inspired by their memory, dedicated to preserving pre-Ascension knowledge of religion and other studies
  • The Worldbringers – the Terris word for Keepers – were holy men and women who imparted knowledge but also wrote of their god, Terr
  • Terr was the ancient Terris word for “to preserve” and another title for Preservation (Chapter 75 in The Hero Of Ages)

Other Posts from “A Reader’s Guide to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy”:

Part I – Gods and Religion

Part II – Supernatural Powers

Part III – Supernatural People

Part IV – Groups of People

Part V – Allomatic Metals Part I

Part VI – Allomatic Metals Part II

Part VII – Feruchemal Metals or Metalminds

Part VIII – Events, Terms, Places and Titles of People

Part IX – Creatures Part I: Koloss

Part X – Creatures Part II: Mistwraiths and Kandra

Part XI – Characters

References

Mistborn Wiki. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://mistborn.wikia.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki

Sanderson, B. (2008). The Hero Of Ages (First ed.). New York: Tom Doherty Associates.

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