Wed
Aug 10 2011 12:00pm

The Alloy of Law: Chapter Five

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.

5

The bandits didn’t look like the kind Waxillium was used to. They didn’t mask their faces with kerchiefs or wear dusters and wide-brimmed Roughs hats. Most of them wore vests and bowler-style city hats, dull trousers, and loose, buttoned shirts that were rolled to the elbows. They weren’t better dressed, really, just different.

They were well armed. Rifles held at shoulders for many, pistols in the hands of others. People throughout the ballroom noticed immediately, silverware clanking and curses sounding. There were at least two dozen bandits, perhaps three. Waxillium noticed with dissatisfaction that some more were coming in from the right, through the doors to the kitchens. They would have left men behind to watch the staff and keep them from running for help.

“Hell of a time to leave your guns,” Wayne said. He moved off his seat and crouched beside the table, slipping his twin hardwood dueling canes out from underneath.

“Put those down,” Waxillium said softly, counting. Thirty-five men he could see. Most were congregated at the two ends of the rectangular ballroom, directly in front of and behind Waxillium. He was in almost the very center of the room.

“What?” Wayne said sharply.

“Put the canes down, Wayne.”

“You can’t mean—”

“Look at this room!” Waxillium hissed. “How many bystanders are there in here? Three hundred, four? What will happen if we provoke a firefight?”

“You could protect them,” Wayne said. “Push them out of the way.”

“Maybe,” Wayne said. “It would be very risky. So far, none of these robberies have turned violent. I won’t have you turning this one into a bloodbath.”

“I don’t have to listen to you,” Wayne said sullenly. “You’re not in charge of me anymore, Wax.”

Waxillium met his eyes and held them as the room filled with cries of alarm and concern. Looking reluctant, Wayne slid back up into his seat. He didn’t put down the dueling canes, but he did keep his hands under the tablecloth, hiding them from view.

Marasi had turned, watching the thieves begin to move through the room, her eyes wide and her rose lips parted. “Oh my.” She spun around, digging out her pocketbook with trembling fingers. She whipped out a small notepad and a pencil.

“What are you doing?” Waxillium asked.

“Writing down descriptions,” she said, her hand shaking. “Did you know that, statistically, only one out of two witnesses can accurately describe a criminal who assaulted them? Worse, seven out of ten will pick the wrong man out of a lineup if a similar but more threatening man is presented. In the moment, you are far more likely to overestimate the height of an assailant, and you will often describe him as being similar to a villain from a story you’ve recently heard. It’s vital, if you are witnessing a crime, to pay special attention to the details of those involved. Oh, I’m babbling, aren’t I?”

She looked terrified, but she started writing anyway, jotting down descriptions of every criminal.

“We never needed to do stuff like that,” Wayne said, eyeing the thieves as they leveled guns at the partygoers, silencing them. “Seein’ as to how if we witness a crime, the guys doing it are usually dead by the end.” He shot Waxillium a glare.

Several thieves began forcing cooks and servers out of the kitchens to join the guests. “If you please!” one of the robbers bellowed, shouldering a shotgun. “Sit down! Remain calm! And be quiet.” He had a faint Roughs accent and a solid though not tall build, with bulging forearms and a mottled, grayish complexion, almost as if his face were made of granite.

Koloss blood, Waxillium thought. Dangerous.

People quieted save for a few whimperings from the overtaxed. The bride’s mother appeared to have fainted, and the wedding party was hunkered down, the groom looking angry, with a protective arm over his new wife.

A second Vanisher stepped forward. This one, in contrast to the others, wore a mask: a knit cloth covering his face, with a Roughs hat atop it. “That’s better,” he said in a firm, controlled voice. Something about that voice struck Waxillium.

“If you’re sensible, we’ll be done with this in a matter of moments,” the masked Vanisher said calmingly, walking amid the tables as about a dozen of the bandits began to fan through the room, opening large sacks. “All we want is your jewelry. Nobody needs to get hurt. It would be a shame to spoil such a fine party as this with bloodshed. Your jewelry isn’t worth your life.”

Waxillium glanced toward Lord Harms, who was still sitting by the bar. He’d begun patting his face with a handkerchief. The men with the sacks quickly fanned out through the room, stopping at each table and gathering necklaces, rings, earrings, pocketbooks, and watches. Sometimes the items were tossed in readily, sometimes reluctantly.

“Wax . . .” Wayne said, voice strained.

Marasi continued writing, pen and paper down in her lap.

“We need to get through this alive,” Waxillium said softly. “Without anyone getting hurt. Then we can give our reports to the constables.”

“But—”

“I will not be the cause of these people dying, Wayne,” Waxillium snapped, voice much louder than he’d intended.

Blood on the bricks. A body in a leather coat, slumping to the ground. A grinning face, dying with a bullet in the forehead. Winning, even as he died.

Not again. Never again.

Waxillium squeezed his eyes closed.

Never again.

“How dare you!” a voice suddenly yelled. Waxillium glanced to the side. A man at a nearby table had stood up, shaking off the hand of the stout woman beside him. He had a thick, graying beard and wore a suit of an older cut, tails in the back reaching all the way down to his ankles. “I will not stay quiet, Marthin! I am a constable of the Eighth Guard!”

This drew the attention of the bandit leader. The masked man strolled toward the outspoken man, shotgun resting easily on his shoulder. “Ah,” he said, “Lord Peterus, I believe it is.” He waved to a pair of bandits, and they rushed forward, weapons trained on Peterus. “Retired chief of the Eighth constabulary. We’ll be needing you to give up your weapon.”

“How dare you commit a robbery here, at a wedding celebration,” Peterus said. “This is outrageous! You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“Ashamed?” the bandit leader said as his minions patted down Peterus and pulled a pistol—Granger model 28, optional thick grip—out of his shoulder holster. “Ashamed? To rob these? After what you people have done to the Roughs all these years? This isn’t shameful. This here, this is payback.

There is something about that voice, Waxillium thought, tapping the table. Something familiar. Quiet down, Peterus. Don’t provoke them!

“In the name of the law, I will see you hunted down and hanged for this!” Peterus cried.

The outlaw leader smacked Peterus across the face, knocking him to the ground. “What know your sort of the law?” the bandit leader growled. “And be careful about warning people you’re going to see them executed. That gives them less reason to hold back. Rust and Ruin, you people sicken me.”

He waved for his lackeys to resume gathering riches. The bride’s mother had recovered, and was sobbing as her family was shaken down for its cash, including even the bridal necklace.

“The bandits really are interested in the money,” Waxillium said softly. “See? They make each person at the table speak, to find jewelry hidden in mouths. Notice how they make each one stand up and then do a quick check of their pockets and around their seats.”

“Of course they’re interested in the money,” Marasi whispered back. “That’s the expected motive for robbery, after all.”

“It’s the hostages too, though,” Waxillium said. “I’m sure of it.” Originally, he’d assumed the robberies were just a cover for the bandits’ real purpose. If that were the case, however, they wouldn’t be so thorough about the money. “Hand me your notebook.”

She glanced at him.

“Now,” he said, sprinkling steel dust into his wine, then reaching under the table. She hesitantly handed over the notebook as a bandit walked toward their table. It was the gray-skinned one with the thick neck.

“Wayne,” Waxillium said, “bat on the wall.”

Wayne nodded curtly, sliding over his dueling canes. Waxillium drank his wine, and pressed the spiral-bound notebook and the dueling canes against his side of their square table. He slipped a small metal rod from his sleeve and pressed it against the canes, then burned steel.

Lines sprang up around him. One pointed toward the rod, and another to the notebook’s wire coil. He lightly Pushed against them, then let go. The canes and the notebook remained pressed against the table’s side, obscured by the tablecloth, which draped down over them. He had to be careful not to Push too hard, lest he move the table.

The bandit came to their table, proffering his sack. Marasi was forced to take off her small pearl necklace, the only jewelry she was wearing. With shaking hands, she searched in her pocketbook for any bills, but the bandit just snatched the entire thing and dumped it into his sack.

“Please,” Waxillium said, making his voice shake. “Please, don’t hurt us!” He pulled out his pocket watch, then dumped it to the table, as if in haste. He yanked its chain free of his vest and threw it in the sack. Then he got out his pocketbook and tossed it in, conspicuously pulling out both of his pockets with shaking hands to show he had nothing else. He began patting his coat pockets.

“That’ll do, mate,” the koloss-blooded man said, grinning.

“Don’t hurt me!”

“Sit back down, you rusting git,” the bandit said, looking back at Marasi. He leered, then patted her down, making her speak so he could check her mouth. She bore it with a deep blush, particularly when the patting down turned into a few solid gropes.

Waxillium felt his eye begin to twitch.

“Nothing else,” the bandit said with a grunt. “Why’d I get the poor tables? And you?” He glanced at Wayne. Behind them, another of the bandits found Wayne’s servant’s coat under the table, holding it up with a confused expression.

“Do I look like I’ve got anything of value, mate?” Wayne asked, dressed in his duster and Roughs trousers. He’d turned up his Roughs accent. “I’m just ’ere by mistake. Was begging in the kitchen when I heard you blokes come in.”

The bandit grunted, but patted Wayne’s pockets anyway. He found nothing, then checked under the table and made them all stand up. Finally he swore at them for being “too poor” and snatched Wayne’s hat off his head. He threw away his own hat— he was wearing a knit cap underneath, aluminum peeking through the holes—then walked off, sticking Wayne’s hat on his head over the cap.

They sat back down.

“He took my lucky hat, Wax,” Wayne growled.

“Steady,” Waxillium said, handing Marasi back her notebook so she could return to taking covert notes.

“Why didn’t you hide your pocketbook,” she whispered, “as you did the notebook?”

“Some of the bills in it are marked,” Waxillium said distractedly, watching the masked leader. He was consulting something in his hand. Looked like a couple of crinkled-up sheets of paper. “That’ll allow the constables to track where they get spent, if they do get spent.”

“Marked!” Marasi said. “So you did know we’d be robbed!”

“What? Of course I didn’t.”

“But—”

“Wax always carries some marked bills,” Wayne said, eyes narrowing as he noticed what the leader was doing. “Just in case.”

“Oh. That’s . . . very unusual.”

“Wax is his own special brand of paranoid, miss,” Wayne said. “Is that bloke doing what I think he’s doing?”

“Yes,” Waxillium said.

“What?” Marasi asked.

“Comparing faces to drawings in his hand,” Waxillium said. “He’s looking for the right person to take as a hostage. Look how he’s strolling through the tables, checking every woman’s face. He’s got a few others doing it too.”

They fell silent as the leader strolled past them. He was accompanied by a fine-featured fellow with a scowl on his face. “I’m tellin’ you,” the second man said, “the boys are gettin’ jumpy. You can’t give ’em all this and never let ’em fire the bloody things.”

The masked leader was silent, studying everyone at Wax’s table for a moment. He hesitated briefly, then moved on.

“You’re gonna have to let the boys loose sooner or later, boss,” the second man said, his voice trailing off. “I think . . .” They were soon too far for Waxillium to make out what they were saying.

Nearby, Peterus—the former constable—had gotten back up into his seat. His wife was holding a napkin to his bleeding head.

This is the best way, Waxillium told himself firmly. I’ve seen their faces. I’ll be able to track down who they are when they spend my money. I’ll find them, and fight them on my own terms. I’ll . . .

But he wouldn’t. He’d let the constables do that part, wouldn’t he? Wasn’t that what he kept telling himself?

A sudden disturbance from the far side of the chamber drew his eyes. A few bandits led a couple of frazzled-looking women into the hall, one of them Steris. It looked like they’d finally thought to sweep the ladies’ room. The other bandits were making pretty good time gathering goods. There were enough of them that it didn’t take too long, even with this large crowd.

“All right,” the boss called out. “Grab a hostage.”

Too loud, Waxillium thought.

“Who should we take?” one of the bandits yelled back.

They’re making a show of it.

“I don’t care,” the boss said.

He wants us to think he’s picking one at random.

“Any of them will do,” the boss continued. “Say . . . that one.” He waved at Steris.

Steris. One of the previous abductees was her cousin. Of course. She was in the same line.

Waxillium’s eye twitching grew worse.

“Actually,” the boss said. “We’ll take two this time.” He sent his koloss-blooded lackey running back toward the tables of people. “Now, nobody follow, or they’ll get hurt. Remember, a few jewels aren’t worth your life. We’ll cut the hostages loose once we’re sure we aren’t being followed.”

Lies, Waxillium thought. What do you want with them? Why are you—

The koloss-blooded man who had stolen Wayne’s hat stepped up to Wax’s table and grabbed Marasi by the shoulder. “You’ll do,” he said. “You’re coming for a ride with us, pretty.”

She jumped as he touched her, dropping her notepad.

“Here now,” another bandit said. “What’s this?” He picked it up, looking through it. “All it’s got is words, Tarson.”

“Idiot,” the koloss-blooded man—Tarson—said. “You can’t read, can you?” He craned over. “Here, now. That’s a description of me, isn’t it?”

“I . . .” Marasi said. “I just wanted to remember, for my journal, you see. . . .”

“I’m sure,” Tarson said, tucking the notebook into a pocket. His hand came out with a pistol, which he lowered at her head.

Marasi grew pale.

Waxillium stood up, steel burning in his stomach. The other bandit’s pistol was trained at his head a second later.

“Your lady will be just fine with us, old boy,” Tarson said with a smile on his grayish lips. “Up you go.” He pulled Marasi to her feet, then pushed her before him toward the northern exit.

Waxillium stared down the barrel of the other bandit’s pistol. With a mental Push, he could send that gun with a snap back into its owner’s face, perhaps break his nose.

The bandit looked like he wanted to pull the trigger. He looked eager, excited by the thrill of the robbery. Waxillium had seen men like that before. They were dangerous.

The bandit hesitated, then glanced at his friends, and finally broke off, jogging toward the exit. Another was shoving Steris toward the door.

“Wax!” Wayne hissed.

How could a man of honor watch something like this? Every instinct of justice Waxillium had demanded he do something. Fight.

“Wax,” Wayne said softly. “Mistakes happen. Lessie wasn’t your fault.”

“I . . .”

Wayne grabbed his dueling canes. “Well, I’m going to do something.”

“It’s not worth the cost of lives, Wayne,” Waxillium said, shaking out of his stupor. “This isn’t just about me. It’s true, Wayne. We—”

“How dare you!” a familiar voice bellowed. Lord Peterus, the former constable. The aging man removed the napkin from his head, stumbling to his feet. “Cowards! I will be your hostage, if you require one.”

The bandits ignored him, most jogging toward the exits of the room, waving their guns about and enjoying making the dinnergoers cringe.

“Cowards!” Peterus yelled. “You are dogs, each and every one of you. I’ll see you hanged! Take me instead of one of those girls, or it will happen. I swear it by the Survivor himself!” He stumbled after the retreating boss, passing lords, ladies, and the wealthy—most of whom had gotten down and were hiding under their tables.

There goes the only man in this room with any courage, Waxillium thought, suddenly feeling a powerful shame. Him and Wayne.

Steris was almost to the door. Marasi and her captor were catching up to the boss.

I can’t let this happen. I—

“COWARD!”

The masked bandit leader suddenly spun, hand snapping out, a gunshot cracking the air, echoing across the large ballroom. It was over in a heartbeat.

The aged Peterus collapsed in a heap. Smoke curled in the air over the bandit boss’s pistol.

“Oh . . .” Wayne said softly. “You just made a bad mistake, mate. A very bad mistake.”

The boss turned away from the body, holstering his gun. “Fine,” he yelled, walking toward the door. “You can have some fun, boys. Burn it out of your blood quickly and meet me outside. Let’s—”

Everything froze. People stopped in place. The curling smoke hung motionless. Voices quieted. Whimpering halted. In a circle around Waxillium’s table, the air rippled just faintly.

Wayne stood up, shouldering his dueling canes, inspecting the room. He was placing each and every one of the bandits, Waxillium knew. Judging distances, preparing himself.

“As soon as I drop the bubble,” Wayne said, “this place is going to erupt like an ammunition store in a volcano.”

Waxillium calmly reached into his jacket and slid a hidden pistol from beneath his arm. He set it on the table. His twitch had vanished.

“Well?” Wayne asked.

“That’s a terrible metaphor. How would an ammunition store get into a volcano?”

“I don’t know. Look, are you going to fight or not?”

“I’ve tried waiting,” Waxillium said. “I gave them a chance to leave. I tried giving this up.”

“You gave it a good show, Wax.” He grimaced. “Too good a show.”

Waxillium rested his hand on the pistol. Then he picked it up. “So be it.” With his other hand, he poured out his entire pouch of steel into his wine cup, then downed it.

Wayne grinned. “You owe me a pint for lying to me, by the way.”

“Lying?”

“You said you hadn’t brought a gun.”

“I didn’t bring a gun,” Waxillium said, reaching to the small of his back and sliding a second pistol out. “You know me better than that, Wayne. I never go anywhere with only one. How much bendalloy do you have?”

“Not as much as I’d like. The stuff’s damn expensive here in town. I’ve got maybe enough for five minutes’ extra time. My metalminds are pretty much full, though. Spent a good two weeks sick in bed after you left.” That would give Wayne some healing power, should he get shot.

Waxillium took a deep breath; the coldness inside him melted away and became a flame as he burned steel that pinpointed each and every source of metal in the room.

If he froze again . . .

I won’t, he told himself. I cannot. “I’ll get the girls. You keep the bandits on the south side off me. Our priority is to keep the bystanders alive.”

“Gladly.”

“Thirty-seven armed baddies, Wayne. In a room full of innocents. This is going to be tough. Stay focused. I’ll try to clear some space as we start. You can catch a ride, if you want.”

“Perfect as Preserves,” Wayne said, turning and putting his back to Waxillium’s. “You wanna know why I really came to find you?”

“Why?”

“I thought of you happy in a comfy bed, resting and relaxing, spending the rest of your life sipping tea and reading papers while people bring you food and maids rub your toes and stuff.”

“And?”

“And I just couldn’t leave you to a fate like that.” Wayne shivered. “I’m too good a friend to let a mate of mine die in such a terrible situation.”

“Comfortable?”

“No,” Wayne said. “Boring.” He shivered again.

Waxillium smiled, then raised thumbs to hammers and cocked his pistols. When he’d been young and sought the Roughs, he’d ended up going where he’d been needed. Well, maybe that had happened again.

“Go!” he yelled, leveling his guns.

Mistborn: The Alloy of Law © Brandon Sanderson 2011

The Alloy of Law: ‹ previous | index | next ›
57 comments
Kristoff Bergenholm
1. Magentawolf
Argh! No! Just give me another couple of pages! >.>
Seek
2. Seek
"“Maybe,” Wayne said. “It would be very risky. So far, none of these robberies have turned violent. I won’t have you turning this one into a bloodbath.”
“I don’t have to listen to you,” Wayne said sullenly. “You’re not in charge of me anymore, Wax.”"

Is it just me, or should that be Wax?
Mark Lawrence
3. incurablyGeek
*Excellent* setup.

The "You're not in charge of me anymore" by Wayne sounded like something a petulent 2 year old would say.
John Skotnik
4. ShooneSprings
@Seek - I believe you are correct.

This was a very exciting chapter. Can't wait for the next one!
Robin Burgess
5. nibor7301
Aaargh!! Why can't November come any faster?!
Seek
6. Mrs.Yarborough
Absolutely amazing. I love your writing style and your characters! Can not wait to get my hands on this book and read it again and agin. You books truly come alive.
Seek
7. Clara
I'm a happy girl, I knew Wax wouldn't wuss out on us!
Seek
8. Studynot
Gah!?!

This is so dang good! Sanderson's writing has evolved and gotten so much better just over the last couple of years.

I can't wait to see all the goodies in the future from him!
Sim Tambem
9. Daedos
Tor:
You know, you could release 90% of this book as "excerpts", and we'd still all pay full price for the book when it comes out. Actually, a lot of people might be more likely to do so.
Just a thought.
Josh Smith
10. Master_Moridin
"He had a faint Roughs accent and a solid though not tall build, with bulging forearms and a mottled, grayish complexion, almost as if his face were made of granite. Koloss blood, Waxillium thought. Dangerous."
Very, very interesting.
Seek
11. danchops
Shoot, you could release the entire book as excerpts, and I'd still pay full price for the thing. I got hooked on Mistborn when Tor gave out a free .pdf of the first book a few years back. I bought that one later on too.
Ruth M Be
12. rbette1299
Such a fun read...thanks. Big surprise they wanted Steris and Marasi! Bet they get away with the hostages and Wax & Wayne will be on their trail. Wax needs a talk with Lord Harms. What special abilities do Steris and Marasi have? Ooooh, hard to wait to finish this story.
Seek
13. kowai462
Not fair! You can't just leave it hanging like that!! I guess that's why they call them cliff hangers...
Alice Arneson
14. Wetlandernw
Interesting development, in light of the Chapter 4 discussion on whether Steris or Marasi would be taken hostage, or whether either of them were working with the gang... The latter is still possible; I don't think anyone suggested that the answer to the former would be "both."
Sean Calhoun
15. Musicspren
@5. nibor7301
Actually, all you need is to find a Pulser (Cadmium Misting) or two, and have them burn Cadmium around you at all times until then. You probably would only have feel like you waited about a week for the book to come out.

@10. Master_Moridin
Very interesting indeed. I have two thoughts on that: Either he's a literal mix of human and koloss (we know koloss are now a sustaining race without requiring spikes), or he has some but not all of the four spikes needed to transform a human into a koloss (I know some Hemalurgic creatures won't work without the full set of spikes, but it's theoretically possible that Koloss can work with a single pair, making a sort of demi-koloss).
Josh Smith
16. Master_Moridin
@15MysticBells-Judging by Wax's reaction, im guessing it's the interbreeding. As if it's common enough to be noticeable. Course, when you think about it, the koloss aren't actually seperate from humans, just hemalurgically enhanced, which. It actually seems like an obvious development now. I just hope we get to see some example of koloss society, cause im sure it'll have changed in some way by now.
Sim Tambem
17. Daedos
@11 Yeah, I guess you're right. I read all of Warbreaker on Brandon's website, then bought the hardcover when it came out.
Seek
18. Sir Read-a-Lot
Loved the "ammunition store in a volcano" discussion, but...

That's a simile, not a metaphor.
Yubin Kim
19. shdwfeather
@16 You may want to take a look at the PDF of the Elendel Daily released here on Tor.com. It has a fascinating glimpse of Koloss society.
Seek
20. Morsk
@3 Wayne said the "not in charge of me" comment sullenly, which doesn't fit the mood of the scene at all, so he was probably joking. The character is a bit of a ham.
Seek
21. Tommy Gentry
@15
On your Koloss hypothesis I'm going with the first option.
My thought when Wax thought the line was a 'How could that be?!'. Then, reading nibor7301's comment about it being very interesting, it hit me: Koloss and humans have the same number of chromosomes because the Koloss that were left after Sazed became Harmony were just Hemalugically "enhanced" humans. That should net some interesting results indeed. Of course, this entire section of my comment is moot because Master_Moridin made all my points. That'll teach me to spend time on a carefully crafted comment before refreshing a page that's been up for ten hours.
On a similar note, one must wonder how many chromosomes a mistwraith/Kandra have seeing as how they're also based on humans.
Jager Hein
22. darniil
@9 & @11: QFT

@14: Yeah, I should have expected that. If one of them were to be taken, both probably would; they're related after all.

Though they didn't take Lord Harms. Odds are he has similar abilities to what the Vanishers want, but they don't want men. (Or did they take a male hostage and I forgot about it?)

@Koloss Comments: The Vanisher was described as slightly gray-skinned, though. Weren't koloss during the Final Empire blue?
Sean Calhoun
23. Musicspren
@16. Master_Moridin
Good point. I hadn't imagined Sazed had improved the koloss enough that humans would really want to be around them. Although perhaps I give them too little credit; in WoA, the koloss recognize payment of money from Jastes. They don't have the intelligence at that point to recognize that it's a poor counterfeit, but it takes a level of intelligence just to understand that the coin they have, which is of no direct use to them or most others, can have exchange value. The story in the Elendel Daily is interesting, but I doubt its credibility, so I take everything it says about the koloss with a grain of salt. Or, perhaps, aluminum.

@22. darniil
Yes, koloss are blue. But what color is halfway between some sort of tan (we don't know dark the humans' skin colors are) and blue? And it isn't necessarily half and half; it could be lower descendent of a koloss.
Jager Hein
24. darniil
@23: I was just making sure I wasn't mis-remembering the koloss from the Final Empire. I'd hate to have had the wrong mental image of them this whole time. :-/

And your point about "halfway-skintones" makes sense.
Alice Arneson
25. Wetlandernw
darniil @22 - IIRC, you're right in thinking that all of the hostages have been women. I'm sure it's significant, but knowing Brandon, it probably won't be as simple as a "breeding program" kind of thing. That's too obvious. :)
Alice Arneson
26. Wetlandernw
@25 & 22 - I went back and checked. All hostages were women, all were Allomancers, all were related (however loosely). I also noticed that according to Lord Harms, Steris's cousin Armal, who was taken hostage at the theater, was from the other side of the family than Marasi. Both are cousins to Steris, but not to one another.

Then again, as Wax notes, all the Allomancers are related if you go back a ways, so it may not be particularly significant.
Francesco Paonessa
27. ErrantKnave
Awwww yeeaaaah. That's what I'm talking about. Seriously, Tor, why are you making us wait so long for the book? I didn't take you for the cruel sort.
Seek
28. DocStu
My wife and I just finished discussing the Koloss-blooded thing and she made an outstanding point... As is the case in other settings, especially RPG-based ones, think of Half-Orcs, Half-Ogres etc... The likelihood of a child of any monstrous race and a human, in most cases, is not likely to involve interspecies romance... Which makes the Koloss-blooded an even LESS pleasant thought than it already is.

Great chapter... Wish it was November, because the more I read, the more I lose patience with waiting!
Seek
29. Aerudaer
Argh!!!! Just a few more minutes... Seriously, I am going to get this book as soon as it comes out. Great story, so far.
Seek
30. Sprouts
Why can't the book just come out already!!! Waiting 3 months for it is going to kill me. Especially after reading these chapters...
Sean Calhoun
31. Musicspren
Here's a rather crazy idea (or, if you will, an aluminum-foil hat theory):
All the koloss we saw in the trilogy were, to the best of our knowledge, male, and lacking in allomantic powers. The spikes were easy enough to place that koloss could do it themselves (and I wouldn't trust the koloss to have great subtlety). It's conceivable (albeit far-fetched) that the Vanishers have figured out the koloss spike placement, and have tried it on women who were allomancers. We don't know what becoming a koloss does to a woman or to an allomancer, but perhaps the Vanishers are making a particularly powerful form of koloss out of their hostages. This would somewhat get around the "Sazed won't intervene" problem; the people doing the hemalurgy wouldn't be spiked, and turning their victims against them might be more vengeful than Sazed would like.

I'll admit, this theory is a bit crazy, and open to onslaughts of aluminum hole-pokers.
Jager Hein
32. darniil
I got my mom hooked on Sanderson's stuff, and she's as bothered by the distance between now and November as the rest of us.

She had an interesting thought, though: mitochondrial DNA.

mtDNA is passed from mother to child, and it is passed on only by the mother; male children inherit it from their mothers, but they do not pass it on to their children.

Armal, Steris' cousin, was taken from the theater. Marasi is from the "other side of the family". I'm probably wrong, but for some reason I was thinking that Marasi is the daughter of Lord Harms' sister. If that's the case, then Armal would be from Harms' in-laws' side. If Marasi is Harms' sister's daughter, the mtDNA angle would support why Harms wasn't abducted, even though he probably is a misting.

If mtDNA is a factor in this, why? Well, as Wax mentioned, each of the kidnapped people can be traced "back to the Lord Mistborn himself." While it's theoretically possible that some of the other houses had a mistborn that never showed up in the trilogy, we've all pretty much assumed that Spook is the Lord Mistborn. All of the women kidnapped can trace back to him, which means even though they're all simply mistings, they're also carriers for all of the other variations of mistings which are dormant in their genes. (Wayne also said they were all kidnapped "from a particular line.")

I'm guessing that 16 - or multuple groups of 16 - women will be kidnapped. I'm not sure why, but I'm pretty sure of that. One guess, related to the mtDNA, is that someone is going to try to manufacture a mistborn out of those 16 women, much like how koloss were manufactured out of four men. Why a woman? Maybe someone thinks they can recreate Vin. Or bring her back if they have a suitable "host". Or, since it's been mentioned before, maybe that's where the breeding program begins.

-----

Completely different bit of speculation:

Does a mistborn having children with a non-mistborn reduce the chance of the children being mistborn? If so, would two mistborn parents increase the chances of the children being mistborn? If both are true, then would a mistborn having children with a misting mean that particular misting ability would be stronger than the other types? That might suggest why aluminum bullets are so sought after - there could be a greater number of coinshots in this time than other mistings, since Beldre, Spook's love-interest, was a coinshot.
Matt Skol
33. mattskol
A thought: what if the earings used in prayer by Pathists are hemalugic spikes, hence why when Wax is meditating he sometimes feels like he can hear something or gets emotional impressions. He's got an earing in... That might be wayyy to obvious a connection to Vin's earing, but it caught my attention. Also seems unlikely that the religion proposed by Spook, through Sazed (it's the one that has people read from all the 300 religions that the lord ruler stamped out, hence it must be "Sazed's" religion), would make use of a hemalugic spike of some kind, given that they're made by forcing them through the heart of an allomancer.. kinda cruel, but it would give Sazed a voice in the ear of anyone praying to him.

My guess is that if people are kidnapping mistings, they may be making inquisitors. There is evidence that Marsh is still out there, as Ironeyes, and he would be immortal, since he was hemalurgically granted ferruchemical as well as allomantic abilities. Maybe ruin and preservation are waring inside of Sazed, and sometiems ruin is dominant in Sazed, so he makes Marsh do bad stuff, and sometimes preservation is dominant and can do more.. i dunno, just a lot of possibilities that are popping up. Perhaps a cosmological imballance is too much to wrap into one novel. The whole central conflict will likely have a more corporeal and early explanation.
Seek
34. prock
Just an observation but the koloss in previous Mistborn books could be controlled through emotional allomancy. I wonder if this feature is present in the present day human-koloss mix to any degree. That could explain why the one here was wearing an aluminum hat.
karl oswald
35. Toster
@33 mattskol

i think it unlikely that ruin and preservation could 'war' inside of sazed, seeing as how they are essentially one power now. sazed isn't called harmony for nothing. i also think it unlikely that sazed would require his pathians to kill people in order to pray to him.

take a look at the comments of chapter two (i think. the one where wax prays). there is a bucketload of speculation on these subjects and i think some pretty solid theories came out of it.

edit: check that, it's chapter three
Seek
36. jarlaxle75
In the first book when kelsier destroyed the atium mines he said ill take 300 years to get them back so if this story is 300 years in the future does that mean that the atium mines are working again?
Jager Hein
37. darniil
@36:
Good catch. Some have said that they doubt it, but I think it's not that far-fetched. Someone said that they don't see why Sazed would release that part of his "power/body", but if the mists are around, why not the atium (Sazium?)? Balance-wise, it makes sense to me: the mists were the most visible form of Preservation's body, and the atium was the most visible form of Ruin's.
Patrick Ransdell
38. pmrbluepat
@37 & @36
I like both of these theories. I was looking at the Elendel Daily that someone linked above, and the first story I read was:

"In our exclusive series, Allomancer Jak continues his exploits exploring the distant Roughs. In this installment, he writes of the days he spent inthe infamous Pits of Eltania,where Koloss tribes rule the land and precious, unknown metals can be discovered. Full story below the fold. One hundred percent true and from the pen of the explorer himself!"

So, Pits of Hathsin, Pits of Eltania - unknown metals - atium/sazium (its been 314 years since this metal has existed so it would be unknown) - Koloss blood runs in some of the Vanishers.

Would make an interesting storyline... don't know how "real" the Elendel Daily thing is.
Jager Hein
39. darniil
@38, re: "real" Elendel Daily:
BS has said that the broadsheets distributed by PDF (and printouts, at various places) are the actual broadsheets in the book. (Minus the book's excerpt, of course.) So, in that regard, they're fully real.

Now, whether or not those articles' writers and editors have been completely forthcoming, well, that's an entirely separate question.
Alice Arneson
40. Wetlandernw
Correct me if I'm wrong (it's been a while), but I didn't think the "pits" where the koloss live were the same as the "pits" where the atium was mined. Were they?
Jager Hein
41. darniil
I don't remember the details about where the koloss were located, except that it was far from civilization (in case they got out of hand).

The Pits of Hathsin, however, did not have koloss at them. (It would be too easy for Ruin to find out that's where the atium came from.) House Venture (IIRC) was in charge of things there, and the ordinators were the ones who got the atium from the miners. (Even Straff didn't know that's where the atium came from.) No koloss, no allomancers (as allomancy would shatter the crystals that "coalesced" the atium). The only non-human beings near the Pits of Hathsin were the kandra. (Inquisitors, of course, were never allowed to go there.)
Alice Arneson
42. Wetlandernw
Thank you. Just wanted to reassure myself that the "Pits of Eltania" from the broadsheet are indeed NOT the Pits of Hathsin. Or at least, not likely to be the same place, unless the koloss came in and took them over in the intervening years for some (seriously!) unknown reason.
Patrick Ransdell
43. pmrbluepat
This is a post by Patrick (pmrbluepat now that I have an account):
@39
Thanks Darnill for clearing that up for me. I think that is really cool of Sanderson to put that out there.
@40-42
It has been over 300 years since the last book, HoA. Plus Sazed restructured most of the world. What was formerly the Pits of Hathsin could EASILY by now be the place where the Koloss have camped out at. Why, during the time this new book takes place, does a Koloss presence garuantee that it is NOT the former Pits of Hathsin?

I am not saying that it is, I just think it is an interesting theory.
Seek
44. Clockwise
Actually, it would make sense for there to be a koloss presence there since that was where they were last seen in Hero of Ages. You have to remember that there was a period were pretty much everything was burning up before Sazed fixed the world. The koloss now are probably descendants of those that survived because they were in the kandra's caves near the Pits of Hathsin.
Alice Arneson
45. Wetlandernw
There were koloss in/near the Pits of Hathsin at the end of HoA?? Clearly I need to go read the trilogy again before November.
Jager Hein
46. darniil
Yeah. At the very end, when Vin/Preservation is fighting Ruin. Marsh by that point had already discovered the one kandra trying to sell atium, and Ruin was able to use this to figure out where the atium was. The only fighters available to Ruin were the koloss, and the kandra homeland was being defended by Elend and the atium mistings.

Oh, and the kandra homeland was right next to the Pits of Hathsin. They were so close that TenSoon(?) told Sazed(?) that they had to block off some tunnels so that the miners wouldn't accidentally stumble into the kandra's tunnels.
Alice Arneson
47. Wetlandernw
Okay. Clearly I need to read Mistborn again!
Tate Thorpe
48. FearTheWiggum001
I almost coughed when it said, "Koloss blood". Odd, and very, very cool.
Seek
49. ChocolateRob
Ooh let's see, how would you use a bubble of increased time in a fight?
The two major functions that I can see -
1) Time to think. As we have already seen Wayne creates the bubble and can then use it to safely examine his surroundings, no-one can sneak up on him, he can completely assess his situation and even perfectly line up the first shot to be fired when the bubble is gone
2)Flash Step, much cooler. The bubble cannot move once it is created but Wayne can move in it, so if he moves to the edge before dropping it then to an outside observer he has just teleported a pace or two to the side. It would only take a few seconds to make a bubble, move to the edge then drop it. With a full five minutes he could bounce around like crazy, it just depends on his control. Try drawing a bead on that target.

Any other ideas?
Jager Hein
50. darniil
@49, Q2:

Well, it's already been established that time bubbles aren't incredibly large. Even though two grown men can comfortably stand within one, and one grown man can change clothes within one, I'd be surprised if they were 2-4 paces across. (Remember, the slider starts off in the center of the bubble, so if he could take two paces to get to the edge, that'd put the bubble at four paces across. That's rather large.)

I also don't think it would be too hard to extrapolate where a slider might show up, if they were doing a Flash Step, as you put it. Knowing where the slider starts and how large the bubble would be, there's only so many places s/he could show up. Fewer, if one takes into account the location this is taking place and the likely ultimate destinations of the slider.

I'm willing to bet, too, that doing something like that would be taxing on the slider. (Much like how multiple sequential teleportations were taxing on Nightcrawler of the X-Men.) Something tells me that the use shown here is one of the few good uses in combat. (Since Wayne can use feruchemical healing, that could be another in-combat use of a time bubble.)
Seek
51. RJW8
I don't know if anyone already posted this thought:
They only take females with a strong allomantic line to "breed" super criminals? =D
Seek
52. kowai462
@47 thats exactly what I thought bit after I read the first chapter
Seek
53. the1nerd
Allomancers would be hard to bend or break to the vanasher's will. So why gather allomancers? I can think of two reasons. The first is that they are in it for a very long term and want to breed an army of allomancers, or, they rediscovered hemalurgy and are trying to make an inquisitor with all the allomantic abilities. With this world only having mistings, an inquisitor would go through them like a hot knife through butter. Also, I will be very interested in the hemalurgic properties that we don't know about, as well as the furuchemical abilities
Seek
54. nycatscratch
How nice! I have to wait another year at least beyond the year I have already waited for the final book of "The Wheel of Time" while Sanderson takes a break by making money on other books. I had gotten "Elantris" to try out the author and because I understood it was a stand-alone. Then I hear book 2 may come out before the final book of TWOT. This is insult on injury. I will not read Elantris now or the Mistborn books or any other book by Sanderson after A Memory of Light, if it ever does come out. In fact I may never read another book by a living author again. These days I am reading everything I can get my hands on by Isaac Asimov.
Jager Hein
55. darniil
@54: Well, aren't you just all kinds of special? :)
Rob Munnelly
56. RobMRobM
@54. BS is very clear that unless he takes breaks from a project to work on side projects, he goes crazy and his work on the main project suffers. He wrote this in the period following ToM, and is actively drafting AMOL now. If you want to bail on BS, good luck, but you're taking an extreme position, IMO.

Rob
Grant H
57. Magic-Fire
@54 Fine, we don't want you in our fandom anyway, since you don't bother to find out how Brandon is almost done with AMoL. And how this project only took a couple of months away from your precious WoT, which he was going to take off anyway after ToM. But then again, we don't want you.

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