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You've also seen one other manifestation like this....
Such as...this?
The "lake" was barely ten feet deep—more like a pool. Its water was a crystalline blue, and Raoden could see no inlets or outlets.
If that's what you're hinting at...I never thought of the connection before! I just kept thinking of Aether of Night, and never thought of this pool at all.

I'm also thinking that the Dor in Elantris is another Shard of Adonasium. Certainly in the Elantris world, where the Dor came from is rather ambiguous, which I expected it would be. Of course, if other Shards of Adonasium do exist, the Dor could have come from that source.

I will RAFO from here on the other Shards of Adonalsium, as it would be better for me not to give spoilers.  Please feel free to speculate.  Readers have met four shards other than Ruin and Preservation.

You've also seen one other manifestation like this....
Such as...this?
The "lake" was barely ten feet deep—more like a pool. Its water was a crystalline blue, and Raoden could see no inlets or outlets.
If that's what you're hinting at...I never thought of the connection before! I just kept thinking of Aether of Night, and never thought of this pool at all.

Both are accurate, but the first is what I meant, as most people here don't have access to Aether.

Brandon, I'd like to see a timeline of when you fleshed out the parts of the cosmology we know about. I'd imagine Allomancy came before you fit it into the bigger picture, right? What was your method, come up with a cool image of hammering spikes through a living being, figure out how to integrate that into a larger picture, and then think about the implications of your new cosmology? Or what?

Boy, this is a hard one to ask because it's been such a LONG process.  There were bits of all of this popping around in my head almost twenty years ago, so it's going to be hard to define where what fit into place when.

Allomancy and Feruchemy were originally planned separately.  I linked them together into this book when I realized that the 'focus' items that could store attributes could be metal, and therefore work wonderfully with the Mistborn book I was planning.  

Hemalurgy came from the image of Inquisitors first, then developed as a need to integrate it in with the other two in a way that evoked the power of "Ruin" rather than the power of Preservation.  I figured that Ruin would steal, and it was a great way to add a third magic without having to overload people with a whole new set of powers.  The process of writing this series, since I did all three books together, was an interesting one, and I made a lot of connections as I went.  Some of the latest things on the timeline were figuring out how to fit atium and the Preservation nuggets into the already built framework.  But I don't know if I can give you an exact list.  Partially because there would just be too many spoilers in it.

I also really loved that there's an "cameo" for Kel at the end... that made me really happy to see.

Glad you liked the book, Rainbow!

You may want to note that the moment Preservation dropped out and let the last of his consciousness die, someone was waiting in the Cognitive Realm to seize the power and hold on for a short period until Vin could take it up more fully.  You'll find him using it to whisper in moments of great stress in the book, to one person in specific in two places.  (I'll bet someone on here has already found them.)

He never could just let things well enough alone....

First off, WHAT A GREAT STORY!!! Though I am both sadden and disappointed that it has , alas, come to a completion...or has it??? I think it may be pointless to do a spin-off, but who else could pull off such a masterful storyline than Brandon?? Of course, it is HIS story...but I hope that we get to see the New Empire, and who knows maybe we, the fans, can convince him, Brandon, to bring back the gang! I for one would love to see Kel and El go at it!!! 
Second, I am a bit confused as to why Vin and El had to die. I could careless about the other characters, but it seems to me that the more dynamic the character, the more likely his or her life will be in jeopardy! And Saze, though it fits the stereotypical conclusion, he actually was the best person to become god! I just don't see why he didn't get the full understanding about the prophesy until the end!
Third, is there anyone out there other than me that would pay to see this in theaters??

Well, I'd sure pay to see it in theaters!  ;) 

To be more serious, I think this series--particularly the first book--is quite cinematic.  I'd love to sell movie rights on it, assuming I can find the right people to work with.  So if you have any contacts, let me know.

2) Kwaan went into hiding, and he was eventually discovered and executed by Rashek.  He wasn't among the First Generation, though he would have been if he hadn't turned against Rashek.

I'm assuming you meant Alendi hunted him down because he turned against Alendi. Or did Kwaan also turn against Rashek?

No, I meant that he turned against Rashek.  Remember, the members of the First Generation were offered immortality in exchange for their Hemalurgy .  They had to make this choice for all of the world's Feruchemists.  Because his uncle had been the one who gave Rashek the chance to become the Lord Ruler in the first place, Rashek blessed him and included him in the decision.  (Speaking directly into his mind along with the others during Rashek's moment of ascension.)

Rashek was the only one who turned down this offer, calling it a betrayal of who they were as a people.  Rashek could have just made him one anyway, but in a moment of anger, he tried to destroy Kwaan--which he couldn't do, not with Preservation's power.  As the other Feruchemists changed, Kwaan remained the same.  Rashek eventually hunted him down and killed him. 

2)  Marsh is alive.  I changed this from when I talked to Ookla. I realized some things about his use of Allomancy that would allow him to survive.  Actually, he is immortal.  He can pull off the same Allomancy/Feruchemy trick that the Lord Ruler did.  (And he knows it too, since he was there when Sazed explained how it was done in Book One.)  He's actually the only living person who actually knows this trick for certain. (Though there's a chance that Spook, Ham and Breeze heard about it from Vin and the others.)  So yes, if there were another series, Marsh would make an appearance.

I thought that trick required atium and involved burning the atium.  With all the atium gone and Sazed not making any more, it would therefore not be possible even for a full mistborn/feruchemist.  Am I wrong, is Sazed providing atium specifically for Marsh to allow a friend and valuable servant to survive, or what?

In a future book series, Mistborn will also have become things of legend.  The bloodlines will have become diluted to the point that there are no Mistborn, only Mistings--however, the latter are far more common.   In this environment, a Nicrosil Misting could be invaluable both as an enhancer to your own team or a weapon to use against unsuspecting other Misthings.

I take it either Spook did not have children or Sazed made him a reduced-strength Mistborn rather than giving him the full potency of the 9 originals and Elend?

1.  Marsh has the bag of Atium that KanPaar sent to be sold, as well as several nuggets in his stomach.  So, I guess 'immortal' is the wrong phrase.  He's got the only remaining atium in the world and can keep himself around for a long, long while--but he WILL eventually run out.  Unless Sazed does something. 

2.  Spook is a reduced power Mistborn. 

A few more questions, mostly minor, one major:

1.  What was Vin _supposed_ to do at the end of WoA?  How exactly did not-using the power, end up releasing Ruin?  I still don't get how that all worked.  Can you explain it?

Minor q's:

2.  If Sazed is the HoA, then who is the Announcer?

3.  Allomancy is fueled by Preservation's body?  How exactly does that work?  And how does that interact with Atium -- it's fueled by _both_ gods' bodies?  

4.  Why exactly do some spike removals kill (dual eye, or central spike) but most don't?  

5.  Did Zane get spiked intentionally?  Did someone else (Straff?) know about hemalurgy?  

6.  Very minor question -- was Reen a misting or mistborn, and if so, did he end up as a spike in an inquisitor somewhere?  

1.  What was she supposed to do?  Well, this is difficult to answer, since the prophesies have been changed and shifted so much.  Originally, the prophesies intended for a person to go take the power every thousand years and become a protector of mankind for a period of time.  Someone to keep an eye on Ruin in Preservation's absence and watch over the world as he would have done.  Imagine an avatar who arrives every thousand years and lives for their lifetime blessing the people with the power of Preservation, renewing Ruin's prison, and generally being a force for protection.  (Note that Ruin wouldn't have gotten out if the prison wasn't renewed, he'd simply have been able to touch the world a little bit more.) Obviously, it changed a LOT during the years that Ruin was playing with things.

What should she have done?  Well, Ruin's release was inevitable.  Even if she hadn't let him go, the world would have 'wound down' eventually.  The ashfalls would have grown worse over the centuries, and the next buildup of the Well might not have come in time for them to do anything.  Or, perhaps, mankind would have found a way to adapt.  But Ruin was going to get himself out eventually, so the choice Vin made was all right.  There weren't really any good choices at this point.  She could have decided to take the power and become a 'good' Lord Ruler, trying to keep the world from falling apart.  Of course, she would have had to make herself immortal with Hemalurgy to make that work right.  And since she was already tainted, chances are good she wouldn't have ended up any better than the Lord Ruler himself.

2.  The Announcer was a fabrication of Ruin intended to reinforce the person HE wanted to be the Hero.

3.  The powers of Ruin and Preservation are Shards of Adonalsium, pieces of the power of creation itself.  Allomancy, Hemalurgy, Feruchemy are manifestations of this power in mortal form, the ability to touch the powers of creation and use them.  These metallic powers are how people's physical forms interpret the use of the Shard, though it's not the only possible way they could be interpreted or used.  It's what the genetics and Realmatic interactions of Scadrial allow for, and has to do with the Spiritual, the Cognitive, and the Physical Realms.

Condensed 'essence' of these godly powers can act as super-fuel for Allomancy, Feruchemy, or really any of the powers.  The form of that super fuel is important.  In liquid form it's most potent, in gas form it's able to fuel Allomancy as if working as a metal.  In physical form it is rigid and does one specific thing.  In the case of atium, it allows sight into the future.  In the case of concentrated Preservation, it gives one a permanent connection to the mists and the powers of creation.  (I.e., it makes them an Allomancer.)

So when a person is burning metals, they aren't using Preservation's body as a fuel so to speak--though they are tapping into the powers of creation just slightly.  When Vin burns the mists, however, she'd doing just that--using the essence of Preservation, the Shard of Adonalsium itself--to fuel Allomancy.  Doing this, however, rips 'troughs' through her body.  It's like forcing far too much pressure through a very small, fragile hose.  That much power eventually vaporizes the corporeal host, which is acting as the block and forcing the power into a single type of conduit (Allomancy) and frees it to be more expansive.

4.  For the same reason that a bullet through one part of the body will kill you, but getting shot somewhere else won't.  The physical form of a person who has undergone a Hemalurgic transformation is no longer what we think of it.  The direct connection to Preservation starts keeping them alive.  (Imagine stapling someone's soul to another person's soul, their life essence, then stapling that to the power of creation itself, giving you a conduit directly to power, letting you leech it and steal it.)  That power keeps you alive, despite the wounds.  Some of the time, the other staples are enough to keep you alive, even if one is pulled out.  Others are too important.  

5.  Zane spiked himself.  It was...a very twisted and messy process.  Note that Ruin tries to get Spook to do something similar.  It's much easier for him to work with someone to get them to spike themselves than it is to arrange the exact circumstances where someone gets spiked.  

6.  Reen had no Allomantic powers, I'm afraid.  His father was skaa.  (He was Vin's half-brother, if you recall.) And yes, he is dead.  

Another question came to mind:
Were the epigraphs meant to be in order? If so, reading them all straight through it seems Sazed keeps going off on tangents, seems more stream of conciousness than we're used to seeing from Saze...

They are in order, but there are large gaps of text left out.  So you're not getting the whole thing, just the 'good parts' versions.  That's why it feels jumpy.

Here's another question:

In one of the bumps, Sazed mentions a discussion between Vin and Ruin in which Vin asks Ruin why she was chosen to release him from the Well.  Did this discussion occur in the in-between afterlife where Vin, Elend, Kelsier, etc., were, or did it occur off-screen while Vin and Ruin were busy stopping each other from affecting the world?

Yes, as has been pointed out, that's in the text--unless I cut it during editing for pacing issues.  If I did, the conversation still happened, but it just didn't get shown on screen.

i would like to ask you one thing to consider when writing endings. fantasy is an escape, please dont ruin it with such depressing endings. when you have had the opportunity to look upon your dead wife in her coffin, reading about others dying isnt fun at all. it is absolutely terrible. happily ever after.

I understand your anger.  I wrote the ending that felt most appropriate to me for this book and series.  I didn't find it depressing at all, personally.  But people have reacted this way about every ending I've written. 

I won't always do it, I promise.  But I have to trust my instincts and write the stories the way they feel right to me.  I didn't 'kill off' Vin and Elend in my mind.  I simply let them take risks and make the sacrifices they needed to.  It wasn't done to avoid cliché or to be part of a cliché, or to be shocking or surprising, or to be interesting or poetic--it was done because that was the story as I saw it. 

I will keep this in mind, though.  I know it's not what a lot of people want to read.  Know that I didn't do it to try to shock you or prove anything.  And because of that, if a more traditionally happy ending is something that a story requires, I'll do that--even if it means the people on the other side of the fence from you will point fingers at me for being clichéd in that regard as well. 

If it helps, realize that one of the reasons I added the lines in Sazed's note was to let the characters live on for those who wanted them to live on.  I ALMOST didn't have Spook even discover the bodies, leaving it more ambiguous. 

Regarding Hemalurgy:

1)  In an annotation from book 1, it is mentioned that The Lord Ruler needed all 3 magic systems in order to do what he did.  I always assumed that it meant his Hemalurgy enhanced his Allomancy.  Did Marsh get a double power, or is the Feruchemy-Allomancy combo enough? ( a sidebar to this question is whether or not stacking abilities is possible through Hemalurgy).

2) Did Vin's mother actually have a spike, or was she so crazy that one wasn't necessary for Ruin to influence her?

3)  When the Kandra get their spikes back, do they remember who they were, or have they been "rebooted"?

1)  He used Hemalurgy to pull off his most dramatic effects.  Marsh didn't need them, but it makes things much easier. 

2)  She was crazy enough on her own.

3)  They remember, though some things are vague or foggy in their minds.  Depends on the individual. 

1) Who were Ruin and Preservation? I mean, when they died, they had bodies, like Vin. And you went as far as to describe their hair color (Red and Black, respectively). Preservation even had a prominent nose. Why describe their dead bodies, if they weren't at one time mortals themselves? They created humans, but were at one time human themselves?

2) I'm  sad Ten Soon never got to talk to Vin again, since it was apparent they both missed each other.

3) Lemme guess, the "Mistborn" following Vin was actually Ruin, since Elend never actually saw him, and he disappeared every time Vin got close? 4) Why did Ruin give off Allomantic Pulses? Because Preservation did and they're two sides of the same coin? Allomancy is of Preservation, so I figured that's why he did...

5) A modern world  update for a future mistborn trilogy prolly wouldn't involve as much metal, unless mistings were rare, which apparently will not be the case. I'm thinking more like plastics, ceramics, fiberglass, and silicon. I mean for cars and guns and all that.

Numbers added above by me.

1) RAFO.  (Sorry.)
2) Remember that TenSoon, with spikes, can communicate more easily with those on the other side....
3)  Yes.
4)  Manifestation of the awesome power he held, mixed with Vin's increased ability to sense these things.  Allomantic pulses are like a ripple of sound in the fabric of creation itself--the power of creation being used, creating a drum beat to those attuned to it.  Ruin created a similar beat when his conciousness was near.
5)  Yes and no.  For the rich, this would be an option.  But much like using metal weapons in the Mistborn world, it isn't always an option for everyone.  You will see both. 

If you study the interaction between the temporal metals, you might notice an inconsistency in the way they work...
Uh-huh. That was already noticed by theorizers in the forums here. Gold works like Malatium and Electrum works like Atium. Yet they're on opposite corners of the metal square.

Ah.  I wondered if that had been noticed.

Alendi's "Piercings of the Hero"?

The other lake in Alendi's bumps?

Spook gets repaired, does Cett get his legs?

Was there ever anything to Reen's obsidian?

1)  This is part of the manipulation Ruin did during the classical era on Scadrial, before the coming of the Lord Ruler.  Piercings, and Hemalurgy, were part of the world before the coming of Allomancy in its modern form.  Then, they were seen as a means of communicating with deity--which, indeed, they were.  Ruin manipulated this to make sure any Hero of Ages who came would be under his influence.  The reference is included mostly to indicate that yes, Alendi was under Ruin's influence.  He ignored Rashek, though.  (At least, right up to the moment when everything went 'wrong' for Ruin, when Rashek killed his chosen Hero of Ages.)

2) A manifestation of Ruin's gathered consciousness, much like the dark mists in book two.  The lake was still around in Vin's era, but had been moved under ground.  (Note that the Well is a very similar manifestation.  You've also seen one other manifestation like this....)

3)  To give humankind the best shot at survival, Sazed repaired all genetic defects and physical ailments in the people who were in the storage caches.  So yes, Cett can walk.  He was so shocked by this that he spent the entire epilogue walking around in the cavern, marveling.  

4)  Reen's obsidian was a memento from his father, the parent he didn't share with Vin.  I carried a small piece of obsidian like this for many years.  It has no story function other than being important to Vin as a keepsake.

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