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The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#51 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Ruin in the Cache

So, you'll notice that Ruin appears to Vin here in the form of Reen. One might wonder why he even needed her to investigate if he could visit the cache himself.

This reveals the main problem Ruin was dealing with in this instance. The Lord Ruler was very clever in how he placed and organized these caches. He planned them in locations where there was so much metal in the ground that it would prevent Ruin from discovering them. And, more importantly, he trained his obligators—Yomen included—not to speak of what was down below or reveal the locations of the caches.

Ruin didn't know there was a cache here, not until Vin found the previous plate. Even once he knew where the cache was, he couldn't see much when he visited it. He couldn't know if there was atium there, for the entire area—particularly because of the metal cans Vin mentions—glowed so brightly that Ruin had no idea what he was seeing.

He needed a pawn to visit, one through whose eyes he could see. One who could discover where the atium was. Ruin drew the same conclusion Vin did here—that if there had been atium, Yomen would have moved it. But where? Ruin still needed her to find it for him. Either that or bring in an Inquisitor, something he eventually decided to do.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#52 Copy


Have you ever thought (just for fun) which KR Order your characters for other books would fit the best? Like, Sazed is Bondsmith, Kelsier is probably Skybreaker.

Which Rosharian Shard, Honor, Cultivation or Odium, better fits with Dalinar's personality?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd agree with the other commenter that Kelsier isn't much of a Skybreaker. But picking orders would depend on what point in the person's life we're talking, and the situation. It's not a hard-fast rule.

For example, young Dalinar is very Odium. Modern Dalinar is very Honor.


What about Magic: The Gathering color alignments?

Like, would Kelsier be Red/White or Red/Black?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier is blue/black. Vin is Red/green. Sazed is white/green--with arguments for mono-white. Elend is red white. The LR is white/black.


This actually surprises me a lot. I would have expected Sazed to be Bant-colored, and Elend seems much bluer than he does red.

Brandon Sanderson

Actually, I don't know why I said red/white for Elend. Must have been answering quickly. You're right, blue/white is a better match for him. Ham is red/white.

Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A ()
#54 Copy

Chaos (paraphrased)

I continued to ask about the Lord Ruler and his Allomantic strength.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There's an upper bound to the amount of power you can get from being a savant. Brandon said that, obviously, the Lord Ruler wasn't using duralumin and Elend could only get that powerful in Soothing using duralumin. He implied that there was a way to Compound to enhance Allomancy.

YouTube Spoiler Stream 2 ()
#55 Copy


Are any of the Lord Ruler's descendants alive during Era 1?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. A lot of people have asked that. The descendants of the Lord Ruler only are things I've confirmed in Words of Brandon, they are not confirmed in book. RAFO. They did exist, he has had progeny.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#56 Copy


Does the Lord Ruler have children?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I've been dodgy about this before, but the answer is yes, the Lord Ruler did have children. I don't think I've-- I've strongly hinted at it, and so I think people basically know. But yes, he did... But it is children.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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A Coinshot able to store weight can, as you showed us with Wax Push in a ridiculously powerful manner, as the weight/mass is the largest factor which controls the Push strength.

I'm wondering if the same can be done with soothing(or rioting). If you where to increase your identity, that may/should increase your emotional imprint(or whatever you might call it), would your soothings/riotings become vastly more powerful in a similar way as weight makes steelpushing more powerful?

And if it does, is this how the Lord Ruler improved his Soothing in such a spectacular fashion?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, the Lord Ruler--don't forget--could compound any Allomancy he wanted. That creates some crazy effects. As for what you discuss in your first question, I don't want to touch too much on Identity yet as I am saving it for later books. Talking too much here might undermine my ability to reveal interesting and cool things in books when the time is right. I like your theory, and it has merit, but I'm not going to give you a yes or a no as it delves too much into what Identity, as an attribute, can do.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#60 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

"Then you have doomed us all."

We can finally explain the Lord Ruler's final quote, given at the end of book one and then quoted again in this chapter. "You don't know what you've done," he said. "You've doomed yourselves." (Or, at least, something like that. I hate it when I misquote myself, but it happens a lot.)

He knew that the power would soon return to the Well, and he'd been planning how to resist Ruin. Yet he knew that Ruin would try something—something to stop him, to destroy him. The Lord Ruler wasn't expecting it to come in the form of a rebellion to overthrow his empire and kill him, but he was expecting something.

And so, as he lay dying, he realized what had happened. He knew that Ruin must have orchestrated it—the timing was too perfect. He knew what was coming, and that it would probably mean the end of the world.

Doomed indeed. Another nice connection back to previous books here with Vin's quoting of that.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
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So here's my last question. If there ARE people on the other side of the world, did Vin kill them all by placing the sun on their side, or do they have they're own Ruin/Preservation battle going on over there as well? Do they also have allomancy feruchemy and hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

No, they're not dead. Yes, Rashek was aware of them. In fact, he placed them there as a reserve. I knew he wanted a 'control' group of people in case his changes to genetics ended with the race being in serious trouble. All I'll say is that he found a way other than changing them genetically to help them survive in the world he created. And since they were created by Ruin and Preservation, they have the seeds of the Three Metallic Arts in them—though without anyone among them having burned Lerasium, Allomancers would have been very rare in their population and full Mistborn unheard of.

Chris King interview ()
#67 Copy

Chris King

Did the Lord Ruler use lerasium to gain his super Allomantic abilities or did he grant that to himself with the Well's power? If he used the bead, does he count as one of the nine original Allomancers that Sazed mentions?

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. He did not use the bead. He-- In all of this he granted himself basically, he rebuilt himself to be extremely powerful and he did not use one of the beads.

Skyward release party ()
#68 Copy


If Vin had not killed the Lord Ruler. I would think that the Lord Ruler would take up the Well of Ascension a year later. Would he have just fixed the world to be what it was pre-...?

Brandon Sanderson

I think there are various theories of where this could have gone. Some, it would have been okay. I think that assuming things would turn out the way the Lord Ruler thought he was capable of doing would be assuming a lot, for what his state was at the time that he was *inaudible*. It is possible that things would have gotten much much worse. I'll just say that. I'm not gonna canonize either way, but I think there's a good argument in both directions.

Forbidden Planet Interview ()
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If the Lord Ruler was able to enter the Well of Ascension a second time, what would he have done with its power?

Brandon Sanderson

He probably would have tried to fix and tweak a few of the problems that were happening, but he had learned not to do too much. So I would say: minor tweaks, and perhaps some power solidification things, and stuff like that. He would not, probably, have been able to fix things as well as he wanted to. It probably would have gone more poorly than he implies that it would have gone.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#73 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Why the Lord Ruler Created the Kandra as They Are

You may have noticed something in this chapter. TenSoon mentions the food pits that the kandra people cultivate, a mixture of algae and fungus that they grow in holes in the ground. Yes, they can survive on this. No, it doesn't taste very good. However, it doesn't need light to grow.

Humankind couldn't survive on this mixture, unfortunately. However, one thing that is never brought up in the text is something that not even the kandra know. There are several reasons that the Lord Ruler created them as he did. One of those reasons was so that there would be a people who could survive beneath the ground, should the world above be destroyed by the mists. In other words, he created a race of subterranean dwellers to outlast humankind, should that become necessary. He was the one who gave them the Homeland as their inheritance and taught them to begin growing food that would survive underground.

Then, of course, he decided to add the Resolution to their code of law. That was a precaution in case Ruin decided to claim them as his own. A bit self-defeating, true, but the Lord Ruler felt it was better for them to die than to become pawns of his most dangerous enemy.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#74 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Seventy-Four

Allomantic Secrets

Some people have asked me why the Lord Ruler was so careful to keep secrets about Allomancy. What would it have mattered if he let out that there were atium Mistings?

Some of the secrets offered a sizable tactical advantage. Keeping back duralumin and aluminum gave him and his Inquisitors (the only ones told about those metals, other than a few select obligators) tools that nobody knew about. Very few Inquisitors could burn duralumin (and most who did it gained the ability through the use of spikes reused from previous, dead Inquisitors—and those spikes were therefore much weaker.). However, those who did have the power could appear inordinately skilled in Allomancy, enhancing the Lord Ruler's divine reputation.

Beyond that, knowledge is power. I believe that. And I think that if you're the Lord Ruler, you want to keep a few secrets about your magic system. Mistborn are very rare. Mistings among the nobility—particularly in the early centuries—were not rare. If they'd known about atium Mistings, it could have upset the balance by creating too many superwarriors.

Plus, if there are unknown superwarriors to be had, then you want to keep them for yourself.

Tel Aviv Signing ()
#75 Copy


Who gave the Lord Ruler the name "Sliver of Infinity?" Because he's kind of secretive about his past, and that seems like a very descriptive nickname.

Brandon Sanderson

"Sliver" is a cosmere term used by Arcanists, and it would've come from there. They knew what he was, even if a lot of people on the world did not.


So they sort of spread the...?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it just entered the... people talking about it and it eventually spread, and things like that.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#77 Copy


You've mentioned that the Lord Ruler had children? Have we been introduced to any of them in the books?

Brandon Sanderson



Interesting. But they're out there?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, they were. It's been a while... Descendants, potentially. You have not met any of the Lord Ruler's children.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#78 Copy


Did the Lord Ruler have any hobbies / anything he just enjoyed doing not related to being a tyrant?

Brandon Sanderson

He did. Actually, across a thousand years he tried pretty much everything. He was most fond of music.


Composing, playing, or listening to?

Brandon Sanderson

Playing and listening to. Not composing.


Did he perhaps play the flute?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he did.


Is that the flute Hoid gave to Kaladin?

Brandon Sanderson