Wed
Jul 27 2011 12:00pm

The Alloy of Law: Chapter Four

We are very excited to offer the next excerpt from Brandon Sanderson’s fourth and latest Mistborn novel, The Alloy of Law, out November 8th from Tor Books!

 

Tor.com will be releasing six excerpts in all from The Alloy of Law as the weeks go on, along with sweepstakes, news, and other fun stuff, so keep checking back!

Read through all of the excerpts in order in the Alloy of Law index.

4

Harmony’s forearms,” Waxillium mumbled, stepping into the grand ballroom. “This is what passes for a modest wedding dinner these days? There are more people in here than live in entire towns in the Roughs.”

Waxillium had visited the Yomen mansion once in his youth, but that time, the grand ballroom had been empty. Now it was filled. Rows and rows of tables lined the hardwood floor of the cavernous chamber; there had to be over a hundred of them. Ladies, lords, elected officials, and the wealthy elite moved and chatted in a low hum, all dressed in their finest. Sparkling jewels. Crisp black suits with colorful cravats. Women with dresses after the modern fashion: deep colors, skirts that went down to the floor, thick outer layers with lots of folds and lace. Most women wore tight, vestlike coats over the top, and the necklines were much lower now than he remembered them being in his childhood. Perhaps he was simply more likely to notice.

“What was that, Waxillium?” Steris asked, turning to the side and letting him help off her overcoat. She wore a fine red dress that seemed calculatedly designed to be completely in fashion but not too daring.

“I was simply noting the size of this gathering, my dear,” Waxillium said, folding her coat and handing it—along with his bowler hat—to a waiting attendant. “I’ve been to quite a number of functions since my return to the city, and none were this enormous. Practically half the city seems to have been invited.”

“Well, this is something special,” she said. “A wedding involving two very well-connected houses. They wouldn’t want to leave anyone out. Except, of course, the ones they left out on purpose.”

Steris held out her arm for him to take. He’d received a detailed lecture during the carriage ride on how, precisely, he was to hold it. His arm above hers, taking her hand lightly, fingers wrapping down under her palm. It looked horribly unnatural, but she insisted that it would convey the exact meaning they intended. Indeed, as they stepped down onto the ballroom floor, they drew a number of interested looks.

“You imply,” Waxillium said, “that one purpose of this wedding dinner is not in who is invited, but who is not.”

“Precisely,” she said. “And, in order to fulfill that purpose, everybody else must be invited. The Yomens are powerful, even if they do believe in Sliverism. Horrid religion. Imagine, revering Ironeyes himself. Anyway, nobody will ignore an invitation to this celebration. And so, those to be slighted will not only find themselves without a party to attend, but unable to arrange their own diversions, as anyone they might have wanted to invite will be here. That leaves them to either associate with other uninviteds—therefore reinforcing their outcast status—or to sit alone at home, thinking about how they have been insulted.”

“In my experience,” Waxillium said, “that sort of unhappy brooding leads to a high probability of people getting shot.”

She smiled, waving with calculated fondness to someone they passed. “This isn’t the Roughs, Waxillium. It is the City. We don’t do such things here.”

“No, you don’t. Shooting people would be too charitable for City folks.”

“You haven’t even seen the worst of it,” she noted, waving to someone else. “You see that person turned away from us? The stocky man with the longer hair?”

“Yes.”

“Lord Shewrman. An infamously dreadful party guest. He’s a complete bore when not drunk and a complete buffoon when he is drunk—which is most of the time, I might add. He is probably the least likable person in all of upper society. Most people here would rather spend an hour amputating one of their own toes than spend a few moments chatting with him.”

“So why is he here?”

“For the insult factor, Waxillium. Those who were snubbed will be even more aghast to learn that Shewrman was here. By including a few bad alloys like him—men and women who are utterly undesirable, but who don’t realize it—House Yomen is essentially saying, ‘We’d even prefer spending time with these people to spending it with you.’ Very effective. Very nasty.”

Waxillium snorted. “If you tried something that rude out in Weathering, it would end with you strung up by your heels from the rafters. If you’re lucky.”

“Hum. Yes.” A servant stepped forward, gesturing for them to follow as she led them to a table. “You understand,” Steris continued more softly, “that I am no longer responding to your ‘ignorant frontiersman’ act, Waxillium.”

“Act?”

“Yes,” she said distractedly. “You are a man. The prospect of marriage makes men uncomfortable, and they clutch for freedom. Therefore, you have begun regressing, tossing out savage comments to provoke a reaction from me. This is your instinct for masculine independence; an exaggeration meant, unconsciously, to undermine the wedding.”

“You assume it’s an exaggeration, Steris,” Waxillium said as they approached the table. “Maybe this is what I am.”

“You are what you choose to be, Waxillium,” she said. “As for these people here, and choices made by House Yomen, I did not make these rules. Nor do I approve of them; many are inconvenient. But it is the society in which we live. Therefore, I make of myself something that can survive in this environment.”

Waxillium frowned as she released his arm and fondly kissed cheeks with a few women from a nearby table—distant relatives, it seemed. He found himself clasping hands behind his back and nodding with a civil smile to those who came to greet Steris and him.

He’d made a good showing for himself these last months while moving among upper society, and people treated him far more amiably than they once had. He was even fond of some of those who approached. However, the nature of what he was doing with Steris still made him uncomfortable, and he found it difficult to enjoy much of the conversation.

In addition, this many people in one place still made his back itch. Too much confusion, too difficult to watch the exits. He preferred the smaller parties, or at least the ones spread across a large number of rooms.

The bride and groom arrived, and people rose to clap. Lord Joshin and Lady Mi’chelle; Waxillium didn’t know them, though he did wonder why they were speaking with a scruffy man who looked like a beggar, dressed all in black. Fortunately, it didn’t seem Steris intended to drag him over to wait with those intent upon congratulating the newlyweds at the earliest possible moment.

Soon, the first tables were served their meals. Silverware began to clatter. Steris sent for a servant to prepare their table; Waxillium passed the time by inspecting the room. There were two balconies, one at each shorter end of the rectangular ballroom. There appeared to be space for dining up there, though no tables had been set up. They were being used for musicians today, a group of harpists.

Majestic chandeliers hung from the ceiling—six enormous ones down the center, outfitted with thousands of sparkling pieces of crystal. Twelve smaller ones hung at their sides. Electric lights, he noted. Those chandeliers must have been a horrible pain to light before the conversion.

The sheer cost of a party like this numbed his senses. He could have fed Weathering for a year on what was being spent for this single evening. His uncle had sold the Ladrian ballroom a few years back—it had been a separate building, in a different neighborhood from the mansion. That made Waxillium happy; from what he remembered, it had been as large as this one. If they’d still owned it, people might have expected him to throw lavish parties like this.

“Well?” Steris asked, holding out her arm for him again as the servant returned to lead them to their table. He could see Lord Harms and Steris’s cousin Marasi sitting at the table already.

“I’m remembering why I left the City,” Waxillium said honestly. “Life is so damn hard here.”

“Many would say that of the Roughs.”

“And few of them have lived in both,” Waxillium said. “Living here is a different kind of hard, but it’s still hard. Marasi is joining us again?”

“Indeed.”

“What is going on with her, Steris?”

“She’s from the Outer Estates and badly wanted the chance to attend university here in the City. My father took pity on her, as her own parents haven’t the means to support her. He is allowing her to reside with us for the duration of her studies.”

A valid explanation, though it seemed to roll out of Steris’s mouth far too quickly. Was it a practiced excuse, or was Waxillium assuming too much? Either way, further discussion was interrupted as Lord Harms rose to greet his daughter.

Waxillium shook hands with Lord Harms, took Marasi’s hand and bowed, then sat. Steris began speaking with her father about the people she’d noted to be attending or absent, and Waxillium rested elbows on the table, listening with half an ear.

Hard room to defend, he thought absently. Snipers on those balconies would work, but you’d need some on each one, watching to make sure nobody gets beneath the other. Anyone with a strong enough gun—or the right Allomantic powers—could take out snipers from below. The pillars below the balconies would also be good shelter, though.

The more cover there was, the better the situation for the one who was outnumbered. Not that you ever wanted to be outnumbered, but he’d rarely been in any fight where he wasn’t. So he looked for cover. In the open, a gunfight came down to who could field the most men with weapons. But once you could hide, skill and experience started to compensate. Maybe this room wouldn’t be too bad a place to fight after all. He—

He hesitated. What was he doing? He’d made his decision. Did he have to keep remaking it every few days?

“Marasi,” he said, forcing himself into conversation. “Your cousin tells me you’ve entered into university studies?”

“I’m in my final year,” she said.

He waited for a further reply, and didn’t get one.

“And how go your studies?”

“Well,” she said, and looked down, holding her napkin.

That was productive, he thought with a sigh. Fortunately, it looked like a server was approaching. The lean man began pouring wine for them. “The soup will be along presently,” he explained with a faint Terris accent, lofty vowels and a slightly nasal tone.

The voice froze Waxillium stiff.

“Today’s soup,” the server continued, “is a delightfully seasoned prawn bisque with a hint of pepper. You shall find it quite enjoyable, I think.” He glanced at Waxillium, eyes twinkling in amusement. Though he wore a false nose and a wig, those were Wayne’s eyes.

Waxillium groaned softly.

“My lord doesn’t like prawns?” Wayne asked with horror.

“The bisque is quite good,” Lord Harms said. “I’ve had it at a Yomen party before.”

“It’s not the soup,” Waxillium said. “I’ve just recalled something I forgot to do.” It involves strangling someone.

“I shall return shortly with your soup, my lords and ladies,” Wayne promised. He even had a fake line of Terris earrings in his ears. Of course, Wayne was part Terris, as was Waxillium himself—as evidenced by their Feruchemical abilities. That was rare in the population; though nearly a fifth of the Originators had been Terris, they weren’t prone to marrying other ethnicities.

“Does that server look familiar?” Marasi asked, turning and watching him go.

“He must have served us last time we were here,” Lord Harms said.

“But I wasn’t with you last—”

“Lord Harms,” Waxillium jumped in, “has anything been heard of your relative? The one who was kidnapped by the Vanishers?”

“No,” he said, taking a sip of his wine. “Ruin those thieves. This kind of thing is absolutely unacceptable. They should confine such behavior to the Roughs!”

“Yes,” Steris said, “it does somewhat undermine one’s respect for the constabulary when things like this occur. And the robbery inside the city! How terrible.”

“What was it like?” Marasi suddenly asked. “Lord Ladrian? Living where there was no law?” She seemed genuinely curious, though her comment earned a glare from Lord Harms, likely for bringing up Waxillium’s past.

“It was difficult sometimes,” Waxillium admitted. “Out there, some people just believe they can take what they want. It would actually surprise them when someone stood up to them. As if I were some spoiler, the only one who didn’t understand the game they were all playing.”

“Game?” Lord Harms said, frowning.

“A figure of speech, Lord Harms,” Waxillium said. “You see, they all seemed to think that if you were skilled or well armed, you could take whatever you want. I was both, and yet instead of taking, I stopped them. They found it baffling.”

“It was very brave of you,” Marasi said.

He shrugged. “It wasn’t bravery, honestly. I just kind of fell into things.”

“Even stopping the Surefires?”

“They were a special case. I—” He froze. “How did you know about that?

“Reports trickle in,” Marasi said, blushing. “From the Roughs. Most of them get written up by someone. You can find them at the university or at the right bookshop.”

“Oh.” Uncomfortable, he picked up his cup and drank some wine.

As he did, something slipped into his mouth. He nearly spat out the entire mouthful in surprise. He contained himself. Barely.

Wayne, I really am going to throttle you. He moved the object into his hand, covering the act with a cough.

“Well,” Steris said, “hopefully the constables will soon deal with these ruffians and we can return to peace and law.”

“Actually,” Marasi said, “I don’t think that’s likely.”

“Child,” Lord Harms said sternly. “That’s quite enough.”

“I’d like to hear what she has to say, my lord,” Waxillium said. “For the sake of conversation.”

“Well . . . all right . . . I suppose.”

“It’s simply a theory I had,” Marasi said, blushing. “Lord Ladrian, when you were lawkeeper in Weathering, what was the population of the city?”

He fingered the item in his hand. A spent bullet casing that had been capped with a dab of wax. “Well, it started to grow rapidly in the last few years. But for most of the time, I’d say it was around fifteen hundred.”

“And the surrounding area?” she asked. “All the places you’d patrol, but didn’t have their own lawkeepers?”

“Maybe three thousand total,” Waxillium said. “Depending. There are a lot of transients out in the Roughs. People looking to find a mineral claim or to start up a farmstead. Workers moving from place to place.”

“Let’s say three thousand,” Marasi said. “And how many of you were there? Those who helped you keep the law?”

“Five or six, depending,” he said. “Wayne and I, and Barl most of the time. A few others on and off.”

And Lessie, he thought.

“Let’s say six per three thousand,” she said. “Gives us an easy number to work with. One lawman per five hundred people.”

“What is the point of this?” Lord Harms asked sufferingly.

“The population of our octant is around six hundred thousand,” she explained. “By the same ratio Lord Ladrian described, we should have roughly twelve hundred constables. But we don’t. It’s somewhere closer to six hundred, last I looked over the numbers. So, Lord Ladrian, your ‘savage’ wildlands actually had double the number of lawmen watching over it as we have here in the city.”

“Huh,” he said. Odd information for a young woman of means to have.

“I’m not trying to diminish your accomplishments,” she said quickly. “You more likely had a higher percentage of lawbreakers as well, since the reputation of the Roughs draws that type. But I think it’s a matter of perception. As you said, out of the city, people expect to get away with their crimes.

“Here, they are more circumspect—and many of the crimes are smaller in scope. Instead of the bank getting robbed, you get a dozen people being robbed on their way home at night. The nature of the urban environment makes it easier to hide if you keep your crimes below a certain level of visibility. But I wouldn’t say life is really safer in the city, despite what people think.

“I’ll bet more people are murdered here, by percentage of the population, than out in the Roughs. There is so much more going on in the City, however, that people pay less attention to it. By contrast, when a man is murdered in a small town, it’s a very disruptive event—even if it’s the only murder that’s happened in years.

“And all of this isn’t even counting the fact that much of the wealth in the world is concentrated in a few places inside the city. Wealth draws men looking for opportunity. There are a whole host of reasons why the City is more dangerous than the Roughs. It’s just that we pretend that it isn’t.”

Waxillium folded his arms in front of him on the table. Curious. Once she started talking, she didn’t seem shy at all.

“You see, my lord,” Harms said. “This is why I tried to still her.”

“It would have been a shame if you had,” Waxillium said, “as I believe that’s the most interesting thing anyone has said to me since I returned to Elendel.”

Marasi smiled, though Steris just rolled her eyes. Wayne returned with the soup. Unfortunately, the area right around them was crowded—Wayne wouldn’t be able to create a speed bubble around just Waxillium and himself. It would catch someone else, and anyone caught in it would have time sped up for them as well. Wayne couldn’t shape the bubble or choose whom it affected.

While the others were distracted by the soup, Waxillium broke the wax off the sealed shell casing and found a small rolled-up piece of paper inside. He glanced at Wayne, then unrolled it.

You were right, it read.

“I usually am,” he muttered as Wayne placed a bowl in front of him. “What are you up to, Wayne?”

“One seventy, thank you,” Wayne said under his breath. “I’ve been lifting weights and eating steak.”

Waxillium gave him a flat stare, but got ignored as Wayne proceeded to explain—with his slight Terris accent—that he’d soon return with a bread basket and more wine for the group.

“Lord Ladrian,” Steris said as they began eating, “I suggest that we begin compiling a list of conversational topics we can employ when in the company of others. The topics should not touch on politics or religion, yet should be memorable and give us opportunities to appear charming. Do you know any particularly witty sayings or stories that can be our starting point?”

“I once shot the tail off a dog by mistake,” Waxillium said idly. “It’s kind of a funny story.”

“Shooting dogs is hardly appropriate dinner conversation,” Steris said.

“I know. Particularly since I was aiming for its balls.”

Marasi just about spat her soup across the table.

“Lord Ladrian!” Steris exclaimed, though her father seemed amused.

“I thought you said I couldn’t shock you any longer,” he said to Steris. “I was merely testing your hypothesis, my dear.”

“Honestly. You will eventually overcome this rural lack of decorum, won’t you?”

He stirred his soup to make sure Wayne hadn’t hidden anything in it. I hope he at least washed that bullet casing. “I suspect that I will, indeed, eventually overcome it,” he said, raising the spoon to his lips. The soup was good, but too cold. “The amusing thing is that when I was in the Roughs, I was considered to be highly refined—so much so, in fact, that they thought me haughty.”

“Calling a man ‘refined’ by Roughs standards,” Lord Harms said, raising a finger, “is like saying a brick is ‘soft’ by building-material standards—right before you smash it into a man’s face.”

“Father!” Steris said. She glared at Waxillium, as if the comment were his fault.

“It was a perfectly legitimate simile,” Lord Harms said.

“We will have no further talk of hitting people with bricks or of shootings, regardless of the target!”

“Very well, cousin,” Marasi said. “Lord Ladrian, I once heard that you threw a man’s own knife at him and hit him right through the eye. Is the story true?”

“It was actually Wayne’s knife,” Waxillium said. He hesitated. “And the eye was an accident. I was aiming for the balls that time too.”

“Lord Ladrian!” Steris said, nearly livid.

“I know. That’s quite off target. I’ve got really bad aim with throwing knives.”

Steris looked at them, growing red as she saw that her father was snickering, but trying to cover it up with his napkin. Marasi met her gaze with innocent equanimity. “No bricks,” Marasi said, “and no guns. I was making conversation as you requested.”

Steris stood. “I’m going to see myself to the women’s washroom while you three compose yourselves.”

She stalked away, and Waxillium felt a stab of guilt. Steris was stiff, but she seemed earnest and honest. She did not deserve mockery. It was very hard not to try provoking her, however.

Lord Harms cleared his throat. “That was uncalled for, child,” he said to Marasi. “You must not make me regret my promise to start bringing you to these functions.”

“Don’t blame her, my lord,” Waxillium said. “I was the primary offender. I’ll offer a suitable apology to Steris when she returns, and will guard my tongue for the rest of the evening. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to go so far.”

Harms nodded, sighing. “I’ll admit, I’ve been tempted to such lengths myself a time or two. She’s much as her mother was.” He gave Waxillium a pitying look.

“I see.”

“This is our lot, son,” Lord Harms said, standing. “To be lord of a house requires certain sacrifices. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I see Lord Alernath over at the bar and I think I’ll grab a nip of something harder with him before the main course. If I don’t go before Steris gets back, she’ll bully me into staying. I shouldn’t be long.” He nodded to the two of them, then waddled toward a group of higher-built tables off to the side, next to an open bar.

Waxillium watched him go, idly thinking and rolling Wayne’s note in his fingers. Previously, he’d assumed Lord Harms had driven Steris to be as she was, but it appeared he was more under her thumb than vice versa. Another curiosity, he thought.

“Thank you for your defense of me, Lord Ladrian,” Marasi said. “It appears that you are as quick to come to a lady’s aid with words as you are with pistols.”

“I was merely stating the truth as I saw it, my lady.”

“Tell me. Did you really shoot off a dog’s tail when aiming for his . . . er . . .”

“Yes,” Waxillium said, grimacing. “In my defense, the damn thing was attacking me. Belonged to a man I hunted down. The aggressiveness wasn’t the dog’s fault; the poor thing looked like it hadn’t been fed in days. I was trying to shoot it somewhere nonlethal, scare it off. That part about the man I hit in the eye was fabricated, though. I wasn’t actually aiming for any body part in particular—I was just hoping I’d hit.”

She smiled. “Might I ask you something?”

“Please.”

“You looked crestfallen when I spoke of the statistics dealing with lawman ratios. I didn’t mean to offend or downplay your heroics.”

“It’s all right,” he said.

“But?”

He shook his head. “I’m not sure if I can explain it. When I found my way out to the Roughs, when I started bringing in the warranted, I started to . . . Well, I thought I’d found a place where I was needed. I thought I’d found a way to do something that nobody else would do.”

“But you did.”

“And yet,” he said, stirring his soup, “it appears that all along, the place I left behind might have needed me even more. I’d never noticed.”

“You did important work, Lord Ladrian. Vital work. Besides, I understand that before you arrived, nobody was upholding the law in that area.”

“There was Arbitan,” he said, smiling, remembering the older man. “And, of course, the lawkeepers over in Far Dorest.”

“A distant city and with a short reach,” she said, “which had a single capable lawman to serve a large population. Jon Deadfinger had his own problems. By the time you had built things up, Weathering was protected better than those in the City—but it did not start that way.”

He nodded, though—again—he was curious about how much she knew. Were people really telling stories about him and Wayne all the way over here in the city? Why hadn’t he heard of them before now?

Her statistics did bother him. He hadn’t thought of the City as dangerous. It was the Roughs, wild and untamed, that needed rescuing. The City was the land of plenty that Harmony had created to shelter mankind. Here, trees grew fruit in abundance and cultivated lands had water without need for irrigation. The ground was always fertile, and somehow never got farmed out.

This land was supposed to be different. Protected. He’d put away his guns in part because he’d convinced himself that the constables could do their jobs without help. But don’t the Vanishers prove that might not be the case?

Wayne returned with the bread and a bottle of wine, then stopped, looking at the two empty seats. “Oh dear,” he said. “Did you grow so tired of waiting that you devoured your two companions?”

Marasi glanced at him and smiled.

She knows, Waxillium realized. She recognizes him.

“If I may note something, my lady,” Waxillium said, drawing her attention back. “You are far less unassuming than you were at our first meeting.”

She winced. “I’m not very good at being shy, am I?”

“I wasn’t aware it was something that required practice.”

“I try all the time,” Wayne said, sitting down at the table and taking the baguette out of his basket. He took a healthy bite. “Nobody gives me any credit for it. ’S because I’m misunderstood, I tell you.” His Terris accent had vanished.

Marasi looked confused. “Should I pretend to be aghast at what he’s doing?” she asked Waxillium in a hushed tone.

“He saw that you’d recognized him,” Waxillium said. “Now he’s going to sulk.”

“Sulk?” Wayne started eating Steris’s soup. “That’s right unkind, Wax. Ugh. This stuff is far worse than I was telling you guys. Sorry ’bout that.”

“It will reflect in my tip,” Waxillium said dryly. “Lady Marasi, I was serious in my inquiry. To be frank, it seems that you’ve been trying to act with exaggerated timidity.”

“Always looking down after you speak,” Wayne agreed. “Raising the pitch of your tone a little too much with questions.”

“Not the type to be studying at the university at her own request,” Waxillium noted. “Why the act?”

“I’d rather not say.”

“You’d rather not,” Waxillium said, “or Lord Harms and his daughter would rather you not?”

She blushed. “The latter. But please. I would really prefer to leave the topic.”

“Ever charming, Wax,” Wayne said, taking another bite from the loaf of bread. “See that? You’ve pushed the lady almost to tears.”

“I’m not—” Marasi began.

“Ignore him,” Waxillium said. “Trust me. He’s like a rash. The more you scratch him, the more irritating he gets.”

“Ouch,” Wayne said, though he grinned.

“Aren’t you worried?” Marasi asked softly of Wayne. “You’re wearing a waiter’s uniform. If they see you sitting at the table and eating . . .”

“Oh, that’s a good point,” Wayne said, tipping his chair back. The person behind him had left, and with Lord Harms gone, Wayne had just enough room to—

—and there it was. He leaned his chair forward again, clothing changed back to a duster with a loose button-down shirt and thick Roughs trousers underneath. He spun his hat on his finger. The earrings were gone.

Marasi jumped. “Speed bubble,” she whispered, sounding awed. “I thought I’d be able to see something from outside!”

“You could, if you were watching closely,” Waxillium said. “A blur. If you look at the next table over, the sleeve of his waiter’s coat is sticking out from where he tossed it. His hat folds—though the sides are stiff, you can compress it between your hands. I’m still trying to figure out where he had the duster.”

“Under your table,” Wayne said, sounding very self-satisfied.

“Ah, of course,” Waxillium said. “He had to know beforehand which table would be ours so he could be assigned as our waiter.” I really should have looked under the table before we sat, Waxillium thought. Would that have seemed too paranoid? He didn’t feel paranoid; he didn’t lie awake at nights, worried that he’d be shot, or think that conspiracies were trying to destroy him. He just liked to be careful.

Marasi was still looking at Wayne; she seemed bemused.

“We aren’t what you expected,” Waxillium said. “From the reports you read?”

“No,” she admitted. “The accounts usually omitted matters of personality.”

“There are stories ’bout us?” Wayne asked.

“Yes. Many.”

“Damn.” He sounded impressed. “Do we get royalties for them or something? If we do, I want Wax’s share, seeing as to how I did all the stuff they say he did. Plus he’s already rich and all.”

“They are news-style reports,” Marasi said. “Those don’t pay royalties to their subjects.”

“Filthy cheats.” Wayne paused. “I wonder if any of the other fine ladies in this establishment have heard of my outrageously heroic and masculine exploits. . . .”

“Lady Marasi is a student at the university,” Waxillium said. “I’m assuming she read reports that are collected there. Most of the public won’t be familiar with them.”

“That is true,” she said.

“Oh,” Wayne said, sounding disappointed. “Well, maybe Lady Marasi herself might be interested in hearing more of my outrageously—”

“Wayne?”

“Yes.”

“Enough.”

“Right.”

“I do apologize for him,” Waxillium said, turning to Marasi. She still wore the bemused expression on her face.

“He does that a lot,” Wayne said. “Apologizing. I think it’s one of his personal failings. I try to help him out by being damn near perfect, but so far, that hasn’t been enough.”

“It’s quite all right,” she said. “I do wonder if I should write something for my professors describing how . . . unique it was to meet you two.”

“What is it, exactly, that you are studying at the university?” Waxillium asked.

She hesitated, then blushed deeply.

“Ah, see!” Wayne said. “Now, that’s how to act shy. You’re getting much better! Bravo.”

“It’s just that . . .” She raised a hand to shade her eyes and looked down in embarrassment. “It’s just . . . Oh, all right. I’m studying legal justice and criminal behavioristics.”

“That’s something to be ashamed of?” Waxillium said, sharing a confused look with Wayne.

“Well, I’ve been told it’s not very feminine,” she said. “But be- yond    that . . . well,    I’m    sitting    with    you    two . . . and . . . well,    you know . . . you’re two of the most famous lawkeepers in the world, and all . . .”

“Trust me,” Waxillium said. “We don’t know as much as you might think.”

“Now, if you were studying buffoonery and idiotic behavior,” Wayne added, “that is something we’re experts on.”

“That’s two things,” Waxillium said.

“Don’t care.” Wayne continued eating the bread. “So where are the other two? I’m assuming you didn’t really devour them. Wax only eats people the weekend.”

“Both will likely be returning soon, Wayne,” Waxillium said. “So if you had a purpose to your visit, you may wish to be on with it. Unless this is just normal, run-of-the-mill tormenting.”

“I told you what it was about,” Wayne said. “You didn’t accidentally eat my note, did you?”

“No. It didn’t say much.”

“It said enough,” Wayne said, leaning in. “Wax, you told me to look at the hostages. You were right.”

“They’re all Allomancers,” Waxillium guessed.

“More than that,” Wayne said. “They’re all relatives.”

“It’s only been three hundred years since the Originators, Wayne. We’re all relatives.”

“Does that mean you’ll take responsibility for me?”

“No.”

Wayne chuckled, pulling a folded piece of paper from his duster pocket. “It’s more than that, Wax. Look. Each of the women kid- napped was from a particular line. I did some researchin’. Real, serious stuff.” He paused. “Why do they call it research if I’ve only done it this one time?”

“Because I’ll bet you had to look things up twice,” Waxillium said, taking the paper and studying it. It was written awkwardly, but was decipherable. It explained the basic lines of descent of each of the women kidnapped.

Several things stood out. Each of them could trace back to the Lord Mistborn himself. Because of that, most of them also had a strong heritage of Allomancy in their past. They were all fairly closely related, third or fourth cousins, some first.

Waxillium looked up, and noticed Marasi smiling broadly, regarding him and Wayne.

“What?” Waxillium asked.

“I knew it!” she exclaimed. “I knew you were in town to investigate the Vanishers. You showed up to become house lord only one month after the first robbery happened. You’re going to catch them, aren’t you?”

“Is that why you insisted that Lord Harms bring you to meetings with me?”

“Maybe.”

“Marasi,” Waxillium said, sighing. “You’re jumping to conclusions. Do you think the deaths in my family, making me house lord, were fabrications?”

“Well, no,” she said. “But I was surprised that you’d accepted the title until I realized that you probably saw it as a chance to find out what is going on with these robberies. You have to admit, they are unusual.”

“So is Wayne,” Waxillium said. “But I wouldn’t uproot myself, change my entire lifestyle, and accept responsibility for an entire house just to study him.”

“Look, Wax,” Wayne jumped in—ignoring the barb, which was unusual for him. “Please tell me you brought a gun with you.”

“What? No, I didn’t.” Waxillium folded up the paper and handed it back. “Why would you care?”

“Because,” Wayne said, snatching the paper from his hand and leaning in. “Don’t you see? The thieves are looking for places they can rob where the wealthy upper class of Elendel can be found—because among those wealthy upper-class types, they find their targets. People with the right heritage. Those types, rich types, have stopped traveling on the railway.”

Waxillium nodded. “Yes, if the women really are the true targets, the high-profile robberies will make potential future targets much less likely to travel. A valid connection. That must be why the thieves attacked the theater.”

“And where else are there wealthy individuals with the right heritage?” Wayne asked. “A place where people wear their finest jewelry, which will let you rob them as a distraction? A place where you can find the right hostage to take as the real prize?”

Waxillium’s mouth grew dry. “A large wedding reception.”

The doors at both ends of the ballroom suddenly burst open.

Mistborn: The Alloy of Law © Brandon Sanderson 2011

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68 comments
Don Juan IV
1. Don Juan IV
So...umm....no chapter three? How are we supposed to read this without context or ruining chapter three when we finally get the book? Don't tell me the next one will be the last chapter...
Bob Seiter
2. kbob_o
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/07/the-alloy-of-law-chapter-three
Don Juan IV
3. Sorcha
They posted chapter 3 on July 13th...

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/07/the-alloy-of-law-chapter-three
Don Juan IV
4. Viola
AGH. You're worse than Steven Moffat.
Francesco Paonessa
5. ErrantKnave
This is going to be good. Badger from Firefly Wayne has the lead so far in my sweepstakes for Favorite-Character-Appearing-In-This-Book.

(Seriously, though. I picture him looking like Badger: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v250/six_two_four/Whedon%20Favs/badger.jpg)
Sean Arthur
6. wsean
Oh, Brandon. Wax and Wayne. I just got it.
Don Juan IV
7. Gordo
“Don’t care.” Wayne continued eating the bread. “So where are the other two? I’m assuming you didn’t really devour them. Wax only eats people the weekend.” It should probably say, "Wax only eats people on the weekend."
Harry Burger
8. Lightbringer
Did anybody else have the music from the Matrix pop into their head at the last line? The scene right after "Guns. Lots of guns." where Neo and Trinity are running up the walls?

I thought Wax was still carrying arround a smaller gun everywhere - what happened to that? Seriously. Well I hope at least he's got some iron and steel ready to go, silverware should make good missiles.

A speed bubble must be great for reloading.
Don Juan IV
9. AhoyMatey
Who was the Lord Mistborn? I don't remember Elendel and Vin having kids...
Don Juan IV
10. truist
ErrantKnave - me too, exactly! Thanks for reminding me where I got that image from :)
andrew smith
11. sillyslovene
@9- I would guess that is Spook, who was made a full Mistborn by Sazed at the end of the first trilogy. What with the bloodlines discussed here, there is probably some conspiracy going to steal/combine the best and strongest lines of descent to create more mistborn...
Lauren W
12. laurene135
@ 11. sillylovene
But if that was the case, wouldn't they want men too?
" 'All four are women from wealthy families...' "
Unless they were to use spikes, but then they'd be making an inquisitor, not a mistborn.
It certainly is an interesting idea though, but creating a mistborn doesn't seem very practical. All that work and time to breed a mistborn, seems too distant of a goal.
andrew smith
13. sillyslovene
Who says they don't also want men? There have only been 4 women taken so far, a very low number, and considering how spread out the kidnappings have been there could be any number of reasons for that: ease, location, resources at hand for the bandits, what allomantic power they have, etc.
As for the breeding and the time it would take, it is a good point, but there could be all kinds of mitigating factors also: they could be looking to use hemalurgy (unlikely), or they could have something else in mind. Then again, maybe they are playing for the long haul and are so committed to their cause (whatever that is) that they all know and understand that it will take generations to achieve.
Heck, it could be a group of all male bandits who are wanting to both
"raise up seed" as it were to continue their ideology of stealing and figure the best way to prepare the next generation is to ensure for them the best chance to have allomantic powers...
Or it could be the opposite, and in no way connected to breeding- a group of female bandits that feel they can only fully trust other females to bring into their plans (in which case there probably isn't the whole breeding thing going on... but this seems unlikely, unless the whole discussion of lineage is a complete red herring...)
Peter Ahlstrom
14. PeterAhlstrom
@ 7 Gordo:
That should get fixed here soon. It was fixed in the book a few weeks ago.
Harry Burger
15. Lightbringer
@11. sillyslovene Didn't all the survivors of the original crew become Mistborn? Spook just read the note, and got "healed" of being a Tin savant.
Anon ymous
16. Kurkistan
@15. Lightbringer

*SPOILERS for Mistborn trilogy*

I just checked the HoA, and the note Sazed left (addressed to Spook) said "I have made you Mistborn, and healed the damage you did to your body by flaring tin so much." No mention is made of the other characters gaining Mistborn status.
Simon
17. sc7606
As to the point of 'breeding' the women taking too long, couldn't that be solved by a couple of speedsters flaring their metals for the equivalent of nine months? Given how much these bubbles seem to speed up time (got to be at least by a factor of 10 to become nothing more than a blur me thinks) you could feasably bring someone to term in about a month and raise them to adolesence in about 18 months, so 2 years, less if you are prepared to use child soldiers.

I can see that you'd need more than one - probably quite a lot more to keep a round the clock bubble going, but presumably it could be done.
Also, this may be a bit 'out there' but if you could create a bubble within a bubble, this could multiply the effects depending on how the mechnics works.

The biggest drawback to this scenario that I see is that the forced 'breeding' on the captives might be a bit dark for Brandon, although he had no problems killing of skaa misstresses in the earlier books......
Don Juan IV
18. AhoyMatey
Thanks, I'd forgotton that Spook became a full mistborn at the end. I'd also forgotten Elend's name was Elend and not Elendel! Time for a reread...
Jager Hein
19. darniil
While I'm definitely interested in the robberies and the motives, I have to say that I'm much more interested in the "flavor" stuff - Pathians / Survivorists / Sliverism; Ironeyes; the Faceless Immortals. That stuff.

I imagine religion must be something that interests Sanderson, as it pops up quite a lot - and rather detailed - in his works. (Or, perhaps, how religion / history / etc. changes and evolves over time; that might be the interest. Oddly, it reminds me of Tolkien trying to determine how the Elvish language would adapt over time.)


*** MISTBORN SPOILERS FOLLOW ***


I can't help but think that Ironeyes is Marsh, who probably shoved another spike back into his head to fill the gaping hole that Vin left. (Though why Sliverism would relate to Marsh, I can't figure out.) But I wonder about the Faceless Immortals. One thought that came to mind was that they might be "inquisitors" made by Marsh for the purpose of helping and doing anonymous good. I use the word in quotations because, with this idea, they wouldn't be full Steel Inquisitors, as that would require killing people, and Sazed would probably have something to say about that. But there's nothing saying that they couldn't be regular people augmented with hemalurgy in much the same way the mistwraiths were augmented into kandra. I doubt Sazed would object to that. Heck, maybe they *are* kandra. Unless I just glossed over it, I don't remember seeing anything about mistwraiths or kandra in these chapters or the broadsheet, so this might be how they're referenced.
andrew smith
20. sillyslovene
@19 Darnill-
Sliverism is probably a corruption of the religion established by the Lord Ruler, who was considered the "Sliver of Infinity" or some such. The connection is that the people/house, the Yomens, are named after Yomen, who is the Obligator that Elend faces off against in HoA (right? seems right, but now I'm second guessing myself). As such, they would have a heavy bent religiously towards Hemalurgy, and thus a connection with Marsh, as the only continuing remnant/aspect of the Lord Ruler's reign...

@17- good thought on the time bubbles, could be a good twist. Honestly, I don't see it as being as dark as either Hemalurgy or the forced breeding programs the Lord Ruler enforced on the Terris...
Jager Hein
21. darniil
@20 sillyslovene
Ah! Good point. I'd forgotten about Yomen. (And I just re-read HoA, too. Dummy me.) That makes a lot of sense.
Lauren W
22. laurene135
@ 17. sc7606
Good point. I love the idea of a bubble in a bubble. I wonder how that would work. Would certainly be interesting to explore. I kind of hope BS does so in M:AOL

@19 Darnill & @20 sillyslovene
When I saw the Sliverism I immeditely thought of Yomen. And it would make sense that they would revere Marsh because of his connection to the Lord Ruler. Yomen himself was very much bent on keeping with the traditions of the Lord Ruler (remember the balls? His main reasoning--if I remember them correctly--on having them was to harken back to the times of the LR).

It'll be interesting to see how big of a part the religions play into the plot of the book. Are they just flavoring and fun tid-bits for those who've read the trilogy? Or do the villians have religious motives? Bloody Tan seemed to have religion play into his lunacy somewhat--claiming to have seen God, the whole shpeel on everyone being puppets, etc etc.
Niki Grasern
23. kraefzke
Why does everybody think hemalurgy so unlikely? The broadsheet tells us that sightings of Ironeyes recently became more frequently. If the broadsheet has any connection to the book (and I would guess it's more than just a teaser), I would think that somebody figured out about spikes (Marsh would probably be dead by now, though I won't argue that he is the one the sliverists worship) and is now trying to make his own "inquisitor".
Jager Hein
24. darniil
@23. kraefzke - Why does everybody think hemalurgy so unlikely?

*** Mistoborn Spoilers in My Reply ***

tl;dr: Sazed wouldn't let Marsh kill people to make new spikes.

Long answer:

I can't speak for the others, but here's my reasoning. Hemalurgy, (the methods used to create koloss and steel inquisitors, at least), requires killing someone in order to imbue a hemalurgic spike. Ruin didn't care about that; he actually liked it, since it fit his domain.

Sazed, before the end of the series, certainly wasn't big on murder. He didn't actually strongly oppose Kelsier's tactics, but killing wasn't usually near the top of his list on how to do things.

Now that he's Harmony - which I guess is the name of the entity when the Preservation and Ruin shards reunite - he has the abilities that were once only Ruin's domain, and that includes hemalurgy (and, possibly, varying degrees of control of anyone impaled with metal, much like Ruin could do). Add all that together, and I find it unlikely that he'd let anyone make new hemalurgic spikes.

We know there were koloss tribes left at the end of the trilogy, and Marsh wasn't accounted for. Despite the worldwide upheaval that apparently happened when Sazed fixed things, the koloss survived (as evidenced by the broadsheet ) and Marsh probably survived, too, since steel inquititors don't age.

Sazed probably didn't provide any more koloss spikes, but that doesn't matter, as they learned during the Lord Ruler's time how to "procreate". I don't know the method of making kandra Blessings, but if it involves the same loss required for koloss and inquisitor spikes, he probably didn't make any more of those (nor inquisitor spikes). But it's possible that the Blessings and inquisitor spikes are still around, requiring only a little digging to find. Then it's just a matter of reusing them. Sazed may not allow for more spikes to be made, but if Marsh placed them in certain ways, he could make a pseudo-inquisitor just by implanting spikes in certain places. (Maybe like what was done with Zane? Sazed, I think, said that there were hundreds of places on the human body where spikes could be placed, and different spikes in different places did different things.)
karl oswald
25. Toster
Does anybody else think that either Steris or Harms, or even both are part of the Vanishers? the timing of them excusing themselves seems far too suspicious not to indicate something. of course, this could be a red herring, but there's got to be a reason that little more than five minutes after they both left, the robbery begins.
Jager Hein
26. darniil
@25. Toster
The same thought ran through my mind, but I don't think we have enough evidence yet to say one way or another.

I'm also expecting Marasi to get kidnapped.
karl oswald
27. Toster
@26 darniil

I agree it seems likely that Marasi is the target here. her story is very similar to Vin's fake story, and i've suspected she's an allomancer from the start
Seva
28. Satsuoni
Inquisitors do age, though. Marsch, however, did have access to atium and requisite Feruchemy and Allomancy to use youth-enchancing trick for some time. Also, during the planet recovery, kolossi and, i think, Kandra, were changed into true-breeding species, so they may not need spikes anymore. I still think somebody sniffing out hemalurgy is likely to be a culprit behind kidnappings. I don't think Harmony interferes too much into the affairs of men...
Harry Burger
29. Lightbringer
@16 - Ah, I stand corrected. I must have interpreted the "you" as plural, thinking he'd reward all of the crew, but evidently not. I also just re-read a bit, and I don't see how Marsh could have survived, or anybody else not in the caves - the sun seared the earth, burned cities to ash while Sazed made the adjustments. No reference is ever made to events on the other side of the world where it might be night then, so it would be rather deus ex machina for him to have somehow moved there for that moment in order to survive.

Where is evidence of Kandra and Koloss being changed into independent species that can breed on their own? I really think they only exist in fairy tales at this point, barring an actual appearance in the book. The Koloss story in the boadsheet sounds a little too much like Tarzan for me, and when I asked Brandon about metals charts in an email, he said they were all in-world artifacts generated by characters who don't necessarily have all the information or all of the info correct. The same unreliability would pressumably apply to the broadsheet.

Like since exactly 1/16 of the Mistings generated by *spoiler event* are Atium mistings, there must be a set of 16 Allomantic metals, and Atium is one of them, but everybody who knew about that died before telling anybody else. Gold/Atium and their alloys make too much sense to not be a quadrant of the Circle - one is internal, the other external, and both involve seeing ghost images of past or future of yourself or others. I think the time bubble metals belong on another chart.

Has anyone else thought it odd that, so far as we know, in the Trilogy age every Feruchemist could use all of the metals, but now people only get one at most?
Don Juan IV
30. Sir Read-a-Lot
@Lightbringer
Did we know any Feruchemists other than Sazed? I can't remember if Sazed's love was a Feruchemist or not, but I don't think so, and I don't recall any others.
Jager Hein
31. darniil
@30 Lightbringer
She was a feruchemist. That's why she was put into the breeding program by the Terris ruling council.
Jack Lego
32. Jack Lego
"Lord Joshin and Lady Mi’chelle; Waxillium didn’t know them, though he did wonder why they were speaking with a scruffy man who looked like a beggar, dressed all in black."

Did anyone else think this might be Hoid?
Alice Arneson
33. Wetlandernw
Toster @25 - More likely to be Steris, since she actually went out of sight. As far as we know, Harms is still in view over by the bar.

darniil @31 - Good chance of Marasi being the (a?) target, I agree. Would be pretty funny if that was Steris instead, though, wouldn't it?

Jack @32 - High probability, I'd say - especially considering the names of the couple.
Don Juan IV
34. Nitish
Wouldn't a ratio of 1 lawkeeper per 500 inhabitants imply 1200 constables for the octant's population of 600,000? So the difference between Weathering and the city is only a factor of 1.2, not 2. One would think Merasi's arithmetic would be more careful.
Niraj Merchant
35. NirajMerchant
@Lightbringer, Satsuoni
Kandra themselves bred, but they created mistwraiths, which required the spikes to become sentient. So without new blessings you cant make new kandra, since the old ones dont die though
** Minor Spoiler for HoA** the mass suicide at the end of Hero of ages would probably have left a lot of extra blessings.

Also I found the only one feruchemical power thing odd. I am pretty sure that during the original trilogy, all feruchemists had all the powers. However, maybe you need to be of a pure terris line to have this ability, remember wax is only half terrisman.

On the significance og the number 16, there are 16 allomantic metals other than the 'god' metals atium and larasium. I think the number 16 has some significance in brandon sanderson's cosmology, but i am not sure what it is.
Jager Hein
36. darniil
@35. NirajMerchant

*** Various Spoilers Below ***

I skimmed through HoA recently while I was getting my car worked on - read all the headers, and then the chapters dealing with TenSoon and Marsh. (Then, when I got near the climax, I just read all the chapters.) So, my memory is kinda fresh, but I won't say I'm remembering everything perfectly.

From TenSoon's comments, I was under the impression that mistwraiths could breed freely, breeding other mistwraiths, but kandra were made from mistwraiths only when given a Blessing. And since new kandra generations only happened once a century - only when the Lord Ruler gave the kandra new Blessings - that implied to me that kandra could not procreate. Now it's entirely possible that they could, and that, like you said, produce only mistwraiths, but I also get the feeling that they were haughty enough that they wouldn't procreate, even if they could.

Also, if I remember correctly, the Resolution - the intentional self mass-removal of Blessings from the kandra - didn't kill them. It just revered them to mistwraiths.

I think you have a solid theory as to why some feruchemists had all abilities, and some now only have one. It kind of meshes with the dilution of allomancy over the generations to the point where, in Vin's time, you either had one or you had all.

The number 16 has something to do with the overall cosmere that Sanderson's books take place in. Sazed mentioned, in the HoA chapter headers, that an entity named Adonasium once existed, but had shattered. I don't remember if Sazed mentions it, or if it's a character in a different book, but Adonasium shattered into 16 shards, two of which were called Preservation and Ruin. (Other shards exist in his other books.) But, I'm pretty sure 16 is significant only because 16 was the number of shards that Adonasium broke into.
Don Juan IV
38. Euphemism
@34. Nitish: I thought the population was one million. Hence, 2000 constables.

Steris seemed was more interesting at the beginning of the chapter, then settled back into her original characterization. It looks like Marasi will be the love interest in the end. I was hoping for more of a twist to Steris' characterization that would lead to a suitable pairing between her and Wax, though.

My guess is that Steris will get kidnapped. Hard for Marasi to figure prominently in the novel if she's gone for half of the book, and this is a fairly easy way to derail the marriage agreements temporarily.

Has anyone commented on that groaner of a pun in Wax and Wayne yet?
Harry Burger
39. Lightbringer
For a "happy" ending, Steris will wind up getting killed off and her father will decide that having Wax marry Marasi instead is good enough since she would then be his closest unmarried female relative (possibly). She's really reminding me of Cameron Diaz's character from Green Hornet - I don't know if we got a physical description of her yet, but that's the picture I've got in my head.

Also, am I the only one wondering if I could pull off Wax's sense of style IRL?

@38 - no, you aren't the first to catch that.
Antoni Ivanov
40. tonka
@33. Wetlandernw
Why the names of the couple are important ?
Lord Joshin and Lady Mi’chelle ? Does not ring a bell.

@29. Lightbringer
Marsh is alive, he was not outside when the sun was burning and Brandon said that he will show up in some of the future books set in this world.
Jager Hein
41. darniil
@37. Wetlandernw
Thanks for the correction. I was wondering why there was a difference between the book and the 17th Shard wiki. Considering how many typos I found in Way of Kings, I guess I should start assuming that, when I see two different spellings, the wrong one is the one in the book. :P
Alice Arneson
42. Wetlandernw
tonka@40 - Josh & Mi'chelle are real people whom Brandon has known for quite a few years; IIRC they're the top gurus on 17thshard.com. I figure if he used their names in the book, it stands to reason that the guy they're talking to would be Hoid. ::shrug:: As soon as I saw their names, and the man they were talking with was described with some care, I just assumed it was Hoid.

darniil @41 - I found it accidentally. :) I wanted to see if I could find a little more info on Adonasium, and the first or second thing I found was Brandon's annotation, where he specifically mentioned the typo. Ain't the web a wunnerful thang?
Don Juan IV
43. D'jango
@24. darniil
I don't think that Sazed would forbid people from using Hemalgery. It seems unlikely to that he would completely ignore one of the shards which he holds, especially sense holding a Shard changes a person. (ruin was a good person before he came into possession of his shard, as learned from the chapter headers of part two of the Way of Kings.) Hemalgery is just as much a part of him as it was a part of Ruin and Allomancy was a part of Preservation

@36 You are correct that the importance of sixteen is the sixteen shards. Aside from Ruin and Preservation, the shards we know of Odium and The Almighty (I'm not sure what the name of the Almighty's shard is) as well as Cultivation, from Way of Kings, and the two shards from Elantris, I can never remember their names. We also know that the two shard holders from Elantris have been killed, which is learned in the chapter headers from part two of Way of Kings
Peter Ahlstrom
44. PeterAhlstrom
Re: Constable math error. That's something I should have caught and is mostly my fault. It may not be too late to fix it in the book.
Andrew
45. knownothing
#34 & Peter, As it reads now (8/1 @ 10PM), I think the math is right. (regardless of my name)

Merasi says that if the octant had the same ratio (1 per 500) as Weathering, the Octant would have 1200 constables, which she mentions as the ideal. In reality, Merasi says the Octant has 600 constables--according to her last research--which is the evidence she uses to suggest the Octant is twice as dangerous as Weathering.

Lauren W
46. laurene135
27. Toster

Your point about Marasi story seeming similar to Vin's fake story makes me think that she's in on the robberies. BS likes reversals.
Peter Ahlstrom
47. PeterAhlstrom
@45 knownothing: You commented after it had already been fixed on this page. They can be very fast about fixing errors here. :)
Harry Burger
48. Lightbringer
@ 46. laurene135 Or BS is faking you out because he KNOWS people expect him to do reversals like that. He's already doing a reversal in that we are seeing from the POV of the people hunting the thieves not the thieves themselves. Also, she's a bit too helpful with pointing out things they had missed, why would she do that if she was on the crew, unless she was leading them in the wrong direction...

This dribbling out chapters is giving us too much time to think ourselves in circles over it. Just give us the book already!
Lauren W
49. laurene135
@ 48. Lightbringer
Excellent point! On the BS fake out, her being too helpful (unless for misdirection), and having waaaaay too much time to over analyze these chapters haha.

Another option is that she's related to the robbers some how, and wants to take them down but doesn't feel confident enough to do it herself.

Regardless, I concur. It needs to be Nov 8th already
Sean Calhoun
50. Musicspren
A thought on speed bubbles:
We have read that the strength of the burning does not affect the amount of speeding (or slowing), but just affects the size of the bubble. Because this is in the Cosmere, I suspect they speed or slow time by a factor of 16. We don't know how long Wayne was "a blur" from the outside; if observers were not expecting it, one or two seconds might pass before they registered that he had disappeared/blurred (observers will see what they expect to see, and if they expect him to still be sitting there, they won't notice the instant he isn't). However, I don't know if Wayne could change in under half a minute; it may be that the bubble actually changes time's speed by a factor of 32 or 64.
Josh Smith
51. Master_Moridin
@50-The idea that the speed change is a factor of 16 is interesting, but you might be off. Wayne is a Slider, so he can speed up time, which means time would be moving 16 times as fast. So a second to us would have been 16 for him. If you've ever seen quick change artists, then you know alot can be done in just a few seconds, not to mention 16.
Jager Hein
52. darniil
@ 50 & 51:
Has anyone tried to time how long the conversation in the earlier chapter took? That might help give a "guesstimate" of speed ratios.
Josh Smith
53. Master_Moridin
I wasnt able to time the conversation, but MysticBells, it is stated there that flaring does speed up the time more.
Sean Calhoun
54. Musicspren
@51. Master_Moridin
That's what I'm thinking. And you're right, if he's practiced changing quickly, he might could cut it down to under a second outside (by changing in under 16 seconds inside).

@52. darniil
I just tried reading it (only speaking the dialogue, skipping everything else), and finished in a little under a minute. I'm guessing I was slower than they would have actually been speaking, so I think probably between 2-3 seconds outside or (hypothetically) 32-48 seconds inside.

@53. Master_Moridin
I had forgotten that. Where does it say that?
Don Juan IV
55. Soph
@ Gordo: Actually, Brandon is using a older form of speech there; it's called a "gerundive," if I'm remembering correctly from my historical linguistics class last semester. We don't use them much anymore, preferring to use specific articles like "on," "of," "the," etc. However, it is still technically correct. (Just as "those which rang loudly" is correct without a comma in older English; only our modern Word Processors tell us the "which" requires a comma before it to signify it is NOT the clause-marker, but a trace of the specifier, or subject. The human brain, however, knows this already. Why we must indicate the obvious in our writing is still something that escapes me, despite studying both linguistics and editing.)
Don Juan IV
56. Tommy Gentry
Facts:
Iron-Eyes == Marsh. Staying alive using TLR's age storage trick. BS has said that Marsh will be in the second trilogy that takes place 200 years after this book.

Deduction:
Faceless Immortal == Kandra. Proabaly in True Bodies with no human faces. BS has said that after HoA some people figured out how to put the Blessings back in.
Tan == Seer. Tan talked about seeing Marsh and probably gave him an Atium bead. That's how he knew where to put Lessie's head.

Educated Guesses:

Marsh is teaching Hemalurgy;
Sazed uses Kandra to do good things;
No one that lives on the same continent as the main characters have encountered anyone from the south pole yet(BS has said that TLR stuck people at the southern pole as a backup just in case his changes failed.);
Marasi is a Copper Feruchemist, possibly Twinborn;
The physical presence of the Harmony shard is under Elendel as per Wax talking about the ground never getting farmed out and over-furtile plants and things like that.

That's my list; anyone else?
Jager Hein
57. darniil
@56:
I don't mean to sound like a jerk or be dismissive of your claims, but do you have any links to where Sanderson said those things? (Or, if said at an event, do you know which event?)

What you say makes sense to me, but I'd still like to read Sanderson's comments.
Don Juan IV
58. Tommy Gentry
@57:
I really wish I had links. I've never been to a live event or met BS, all the information I've gotten from him has been either forum posts on The Time-Waster's Guide, his blog, or the annotations for the books.
A lot of the information that I have came from the HoA spoiler thread on TWG:
http://www.timewastersguide.com/forum/index.php?topic=6655.0
But the discussion about the Allomantic metals poster and the annotations hold a good bit of information as well.

I'm a SciFi person at heart and BS is the first fantasy author that really ever pulled me in. I'm also and information junkie. That makes me a sponge for anything related to his magic systems and worlds. When I got my hardcover Elantris I didn't ask for dedications, my name written by a famous author or anything like that, asked to know what Cadmium Feruchemically stored and what Nicrosil Hemalurgically stole. Of course I got a snarky response about wanting to know all the secrets before he was willing to reveal them.

I understand the POIDH(Pics Or It Didn't Happen), I just don't have links to them all. I think the last time I was looking hard for Mistborn stuff was over a year ago.
Brandon Wood
59. brad21088
I'm not going to preface this with a spoiler warning. Go read the original trilogy before you read AoL. For a million little reasons, not the least of which is that it's a fucking fantastic trilogy.

@24: Sazed wouldn't make new inquisitor spikes because there's not really such a thing in the Mistborn world as an "inquisitor spike." If you'll recall, Vin's earring was was infused with a hemalurgic charge, and the sword shard that got lodged in Spook's shoulder was hemalurgically charged as well. So Sazed wouldn't need to create anything new: the Vanishers could have figured out the trick and be hemalurgically charging metal to which they already have access.

Also, Ironeyes is, I'm pretty sure, Marsh. Marsh isn't dead, I don't think. He had spikes that were charged from Feruchemists, so he could have used the Lord Ruler's trick of combinging Feruchemy and Allomancy in order to live forever.
Josh Smith
60. Master_Moridin
@54-During the conversation in Chapter 2, while Wax is describing the speed bubble, he says Wayne is flaring to give them as much time as possible.
Harry Burger
61. Lightbringer
The problems with the idea of Marsh using the Lord Ruler's atium age storing trick are:
1. Where does he get the atium? The Pits are gone, and nobody is going to go down there to get the beads even if it was still around. He would need a lot of it to last that long.
2. Each Feruchemical and Allomantic power required a seperate Hemalurgical spike for each power transferred. charging a spike kills the person the power is stolen from, and they needed to be driven at the right points. We know Inquisitors had Allomantic Atium burning, but why would TLR use another Terrisman life to give each Inquisitor age-storing? It's fairly useless, unless you are doing the live-forever trick, and I don't think he would want to give that one away, let alone use up all the atium it would take keeping multiple Inquisitors alive. It's a very expensive addiction.

I've seen other people post that Inquisitors just don't age - I don't know the cannon source for this though.
Jager Hein
62. darniil
@61
I don't think that TLR gave his Steel Inquisitors feruchemical powers. Marsh mentions in HoA that he had a lot more spikes put into him after Ruin was freed, and I think it was even mentioned that he had more than any of the other twelve Steel Inquisitors. The number 20 comes to mind for some reason.

TLR either ignored or was ignorant of the fact that the Terris people were managing to maintain feruchemy. Ruin, however, was well aware of this. I think the suggestion was that the creation of hemalurgic spikes from feruchemists was done after Ruin was freed, and at Ruin's command, not TLR's.
Anon ymous
63. Kurkistan
@62
Actually, TLR did give at least some feruchemical powers to his Inquisitors. They were able to store health, as I recall, as well as wakefulness (possibly). I haven't read the books in a while, so I'm not sure what else TLR gave them, but health was definitely on the list.

I think that TLR knew that feruchemy still existed, as shown by his breeding programs and attempts to limit Terrismen handling metal: he most likely captured feurchemists occasionally. At the very least, he could hold onto used feruchemy spikes and reuse them over time.
Don Juan IV
64. kateydidnt
@38 "I was hoping for more of a twist to Steris' characterization that would lead to a suitable pairing between her and Wax, though."

I was hoping the same! Though this is Brandon so...anything is possible.
Don Juan IV
65. laurene135
@ 62. & @63
in HOA it was also revealed that the Inquisitors were giving themselves
feruchemical powers, such as speed (if you recall the Inquisitor Elend and Vin fought at the beginning of the book).
Don Juan IV
66. Tommy Gentry
@61:
The head of the Seconds -- Don't remember his name -- sent a Kandra up to the surface with a large bag of Atium to sell after the Firsts said that The Resolution may be at hand.
Later, when Elend and his group of Seers are fighting the Koloss, Marsh shows up and tells Elend that he found a lone Kandra carrying a bag of Atium and that he relieved him of it.
From what BS has said, that's Marsh's Atium supply.
T C
67. Freelancer
Comment removed because the substance referenced an already corrected passage in the chapter text. ~ Nice work, Peter.

PS ~ Hiya, Wetlandernw

I believe it is obvious that Marasi is much more than she seems, and I'm leaning in the direction that her flattery of Wax (and Wayne) is false. Keep an eye on her.

I don't believe Steris is involved. She is too candid with Wax about her unkind manipulations of people; if she was planning something sinister, she wouldn't be sharing anything sinister, even to such a lesser degree, with a trained investigator. For that matter, she wouldn't be planning to wed the most notorious lawkeeper in the region if she were such a criminal, unless she believed that he was a complete rube, and I don't see that. It just doesn't scan.
Don Juan IV
68. DangerBoy
If there is no Hemalurgy than how are there Koloss?

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