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The Well Of Ascension Chapters 41-42

Child Bahkbar


In these next two chapters are completely Elend centered. Resolutions are come to, friendships are broken, and a man is made... sort of.

Part Four

Chapter 41

Sazed's doing what he's been doing all day every day for the past week; Studying with Tindwyl. While reading one of Kwaan's notes, they discover a rather shocking fact. Kwaan was Rashek's uncle. That's right, Kwaan sent his nephew with instructions to mislead and kill the supposed Hero of Ages. He succeeded. Hhe

It's pretty clear that something here doesn't quite add up. Kwaan feared the deepness, yes? He even wrote earlier that he hoped for Alendi to succeed, and yet he actually sent someone to keep Alendi from accomplishing just that. Kwaan presumably knew Alendi well enough to know that he not type of person to take the power of the Well for himself, and yet sent someone who would take the power for himself to stop him. That's insane. He also wrote that he hopes that Alendi will he "exposed" in the mountains of Terris. Does this mean that he believed that his death would be proof of his inauthenticity? There's a riddle here that the characters cannot decipher. I can't either.

This also begs the question of why, if he truly thought so highly of Terris, Rashek would subject his people to slavery. You'd think that with his elitist attitude he would have elevated them instead. I don't want to believe his fear of someone else obtaining godlike powers akin to his own was enough to drive him to such lengths.

Tindwyl says that something dramatic must have happened to turn Kwaan on his friend. No duh, yo. The question is, what? They're obviously missing something. It seems as though Kwaam believed that Alendi in particular getting his hands on the power could possibly be as catastrophic as allowing the deepness to roam free. What was so special about Alendi?

Sazed suggests they take a brake, but Tindwyl says that they have no time. She's right, too. This city doesn't have much time left, and they need to get as much work done as possible before they're all slaughtered. Sazed understands, for once not even considering some slightly naive and optimistic alternative, so they return to their research. I, for one, hope they get to the bottom of this before Luthadel is attacked. Not that there's any chance of that happening, though.

Elend is standing on his balcony looking out at the cold buildings, wishing he could do more for his people. Sinking deeper and deeper into the pit of shame and regret. The Koloss are still out there, and he now knows that they have not been given proper attention. True that. Those beasts will most likely be the death of them all.

Demoux shows up, politely requesting that ELend take shelter inside from the cold winds. Yeah, I'm sure he doesn't want to die before the koloss can get to him.

Elend has been under constant guard ever since the assassination attempt, so Demoux and another man accompany him when he decides to leave the room. Elend pities himself as he walks down the halls. He's noticed the change in Vin since his deposition, and he thinks it's a reaction to his "colossal failure." He's not king anymore, so why would someone as amazing as Vin want to be with him? Ha! If only he knew.

Elend, deciding to try and make himself useful instead of wallowing in pity all day, pays Tindwyl and Sazed a little visit. He's come for advice His unwillingness to tell a lie cost him the throne, and he wants to know if telling the truth was really the right choice. Their answers are totally different, but, the way I see it, they're answers both hold some merit.

Tindwyl says that he must think of the consequences of his actions,regardless of morality. When asked what the kings of old would have done, she says they never would have lost their thrones in the first place, so the question is moot.

Sazed, on the other hand, believes that he was right to tell the truth, because lying would not have been "cohesive with himself", and that he can trust in providence to "fill the holes caused by the conflict of morality and logic." So he actually does believe in something? I thought he was full of crap when he said he believed in all religions, but he apparently wasn't lying. Doesn't make any sense to me, but whatever.

Their answers have somehow helped him come to a resolution on how to proceed, and he, thanking Tindwyl, leaves the room. He has decided to keep moving forward, and not to return to the way he was before the Collapse, so he returns to his chambers to adorn his uniform. Good on him.

End of Chapter 41

Kwaan had super good memory. So good, if fact, that he didn't even need metal mind to memorize a sheet in an instant. Great. And he felt the need to write this because...?

Chapter 42

Penrod has busied himself with the task of convincing the Assembly to hand the city over to Elend's tyrannical father. I guess that means his plans are out in the open now? Why then does Elend seem so unperturbed? I would have expected him to be more concerned, considering that he faces absolutely certain death if Penrod is successful, but no, his thoughts are centered on other matters.

Elend, driven by his newfound motivation, is working over a map with Demoux. They're making plans to help the skaa stay warm during the surprisingly cold winter. It seems like he's going to be making some serious...renovations in the city, mainly the pillaging of many unoccupied noble keeps for firewood. He's having a number of the idle soldiers help him with the work.

He also has a scout named Felt investigating the poisoned food and wells. Now, I don't mean to offend anyone in real life who may happen to have been cursed with this name, but... really? Felt? What kind of sadistic parents would name their own child "Felt?" Had they no conscience? No shame?

Anyway, Felt says that the that the poisoners are not getting into the city through passwalls. Felt has to explain to Elend what a passwall is, and once he understands, he seems slightly displeased at the thought of people fleeing the city despite his orders. Oh come on. Does he seriously expect all the people to sit around waiting to starve, be raped and murdered by Straff's soldiers, or Die by Koloss? Of course they're fleeing. I bet he would do the same, were he not such a prestigious fellow.

Anyway, Felt says that it's much more likely that the poisoners are infiltrating the city through the canals, so Elend orders his men to take care of this. About damnation time, too. Those poisoners must be caught and put to justice. Once they are caught, I suggest, if I may, Death by Slow Torture, for there is no honor in killing as they do. Not to mention that they have targeted innocents, and that's just not cool.

Demoux brings another man, Larn by name, who Demoux believes offers a second opinion to how the poisoning is taking place. Larn claims to have spotted an Inquisitor in the city. Apparently he and a few others have seen one hanging around Kredick Shaw. Only one? It might have been Marsh, then! What business does he have at Kredik Shaw, though? Actually, now that I think about it, we still don't even know what he was looking for at the Conventical of Sarand.

Elend orders a patrol from his own house to keep watch over the area. Won't do much good, but eh.

Ham finally shows. With an operation this big, he's got to be involved. He thinks it's a bit risky to be keeping so many soldiers out here. If Cett were to chose this moment to stage an attack, these men would be caught with their pants around their ankles.

Elend suddenly sees what Cett is doing. He's trapped himself inside the city to forcibly align he and Elend's armies in the event of an attack from Straff or Jastes. A clever ploy, but it reeks of desperation. Why is he so desperate? I can think of several reasons, but Death by Koloss seems to be the most likely.

Elend is finally starting to grasp their situation. He realizes that someone needs to do something drastic tip scales of this three way standoff, and he knows exactly who that "someone" must be. With that, Elend gives Demoux charge of this operation, and turns to Ham, asking him just how crazy he's feeling.

Next thing you know, He, with Ham's reluctant assistance, is sneaking out of the city through one of the passwalls. Elend, who seems to be experiencing alarmingly rapid metaphorical testicular growth, is going to meet with his old friend Jastes. Alone.

Elend has a passing familiarity with koloss, so when he arrives at the camp, he knows exactly how to deal with the band of koloss who come to greet him. With a firm hand--er--tone of voice, he gets the twelve foot leader of the band to escort him to the command tent.

While riding to the tent, he notices that the koloss have more pouches than Sazed described, and, for some mad reason, they're wearing clothes. Which, of I might add, seem to fit them about as well as their skin does...didn't I write earlier that I wouldn't say dwell any more on the koloss' appearance? I'll just picture them as giant pink teddy bears, thank you.

The lead koloss, shortly before finally hearkening the voice of the Zane-god and getting himself killed in a failed attempt to murder one of his companions, clears up a bit of the confusion by explaining to Elend that they're not koloss at all, but are in fact humans. He also finds the need to point out that that they will take Elend's city and slaughter his people. So they know who he is, or at least where he came from? These creatures never cease to amaze.

Upon arriving at the command, he is led by human guards into the chamber of the balding ruin that is Jastes Lekal. When Jastes lays eyes on him, the balding, rapidly aging king exclaims, "what in the lord rulers name happened to you?". Funny that he should be the one to utter those words, considering the shape he's currently in.

Speaking of funny, I can't stop laughing at this guy. I know he must have been through something horrible to get like this, but he just seems so pathetic that I can't help myself.

Anyway, Jastes offers Elend a drink, but Elend's a bit pre occupied with being a judgmental chull. That's not to say that Lekal isn't deserving of some harsh criticism, because he totally is.

Elend calls Jastes a tyrant, but Jastes calls himself a realist. Yeah, leading an army of koloss to a crowded city is totally realistic. It sounds to me like he's just in denial of the facts. Foremost of which is that his mind is rapidly fading.

Through their discourse we learn a bit more about what happened to turn Jastes into...this. I can feel my good amusement rapidly fading into guilt as Jastes explains that he apparently did implement Elend's idea for a free government, as planned, but he didn't fare near so well as his friend. In the course of just one year, he lost everything. Including his entire family.

Elend makes a rather insensitive remark, prompting Jastes to call for the guards. He was planning on taking him captive, but reveals that he is no longer king, and then he actually has the nerve to compare his deposition to Jastes horrible loss. Always saying the wrong thing, this guy.

He pleas with Jastes to take his koloss and go, but Jastes remains stubborn. He refuses to allow Straff to get the atium, so he orders his guards to seize Elend. Elend quickly and rather shockingly makes short work of the two guards, and then rams a knife into his old friend's arm. Woah! When did Elend become such a bad chull, and why is he handling this meeting so poorly? I thought he was supposed to be a diplomat!

Elend warns Jastes once more to take his koloss and go, then, holding Jastes hostage, he backs out of the human camp. Before the koloss come to get him, he sees in Jastes eyes that he probably won't be taking his advice. He realizes that this trip was a total waste, as all he did was antagonize Jastes. You don't say! He honestly could not have handled this meeting more poorly. Had he taken a different, less self righteous stance, perhaps he could have accomplished something here.

The koloss don't waste any time in coming to escort him out. As he regards them, Elend decides to make this trip useful and find out exactly what they carry in those pouches. So, in a fit of insanely manly madness, he attacks one of the smaller koloss and, with a small dagger, smites his ruin upon the hillside. The beast allegedly ate his horse.

Upon opening the pouch, Elend discovers that Jastes has been controlling his koloss the old fashioned way. Money. Suddenly their position seems just that much more precarious. There is just no way in hell this will work for long. Eventually something is going to go wrong, and then they'll have twenty thousand raging koloss on their hands.

What will they do then?

End of Chapter 42

Kwaan wrote that many believed him to be mad. I kind of do too. What sane man contradicts himself as often as Kwaan does. Could that be the big secret? Will our "Hero" find an obscenely old immortal madman huddled in some cave where the supposed "Well of Ascension" is hinted at being?



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"Kwaan had super good memory. So good, if fact, that he didn't even need metal mind to memorize a sheet in an instant. Great. And he felt the need to write this because...?"

That is actually a critically important detail for reasons that will become clear.

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