Ah, after refreshing my memory in a few areas, I can finally return to reading the book and writing this blog. The end is in sight, and it's about time I finished this book already.
The father they get from Luthadel, the further into the day mists linger. Vin notices this, thinking that they shouldn't be able to withstand the heat of the Sun. That... That's it! I get it now! I've finally uncovered the grand mystery. The mists are not, and never have been, the issue. It's the Sun. The Sun is dying. The freezing weather. The early/late mists. It all makes sense now!
The farther they get from Luthadel, the weaker the thumping becomes. Vin has noticed this as well, and she fears that something has happened to weaken the Well. She still seems to believe that the pulsing--though weakening--continues to lead her in the right direction. Odd, that.
Unlike Alendi, Vin is firm in her resolve. She doesn't question her calling, instead holding to more of an "It is what it is" stance. Is this a good or a bad thing? I suppose time will tell.
Vin is dragged from her thoughts when she feels the mist spirit's malicious presence emanating from Elend's tent. She rushes to the tent to find the creature hovering over her husbands sleeping form in room. The Death draws it's incorporeal blade, and Vin brandishes her own obsidian daggers, somehow clashing with the incorporeal spirit's very corporeal blade. Apparently thinking better of the encounter, the mist spirit flees, taking the cold mists with it.
Elend awakens shortly afterwards, asking Vin if anything is wrong. Vin tells him that she's just being jumpy again, but he should know that she's lying; she never says such things about herself. He doesn't, though, for whatever reason.
Anyway, Vin exits their tent, leaving Elend to get some more shut eye. They're not in any hurry, after all. Upon returning to the outdoors, she finds that Spook has returned from his scouting, and he tells her that there are five men following them. Real men. Not made up mist ghosts.
Vin tells him that she'll let Elend decide how to deal with them, but she thinks that they're just Straff scouts. Doubtful, that. They've been travelling for a while now, what reason would Straff's men have to follow them all this way?
Vin and Spooks proceed to chat for a little while. Lestibournes says that Vin has changed, and she explains that she's finally made up her mind about where she's going in life. I can't help but comment on how she still thinks of him as a kid when he's less than two years younger than her. Why? Is it because he's never killed before? Or perhaps because he's not quite as uptight as the rest of them? Whatever it is, I do hope that he'll eventually manage to earn some respect from Vin and the Crew.
Anyway, Spooks goes on to tell Vin that he wants to be needed. He wishes that he was Mistborn. He says that he's weak and cowardly, but if he were powerful, like Vin, he'd be able to make a difference--to save people. Vin doesn't have any words of encouragement to offer him. She doesn't even get where he's coming from. Clearly he's lost someone--or, more accurately, several people.
The perspective shifts to Sazed here, which is where it should've started, in my humble opinion. Picking up right where his last chapter left off, he runs to the top of the wall, where he meets with Ham, Clubs, and the rest.
There is a massive brawl going down in the koloss ranks. It looks like a hopeful sign at first, but, like everything that's happened recently, it turns out to be a sign of impending doom. According to Tindwyl, The koloss always begin their battles by fighting amongst themselves and enraging their ranks. Hmm. I wonder if Jastes is still alive down there.
Dockson and Clubs immediately begin dispersing troops as the koloss begin charging towards Luthadel's ill defended walls, and ash begins to fall from the sky. How fitting.
Straff, still weak from his earlier brush with death, is riding away from the city when a messenger arrives with the good news. He immediately orders his men to turn around and return to city-- but to take their time doing so. He's a conniving, pox ridden, bastard, but it looks like he actually will be going back to save the Luthadel. I guess not even Straff is evil enough to let an entire city be slaughtered.
Sazed stands atop his watchtower, watching the koloss--the raging doom--unfurl themselves. Luthadel was not prepared for this. They never could be prepared. The creatures they face are much more than a simple army. These are koloss! A force of nature! Easier to cool the burning fire than to escape their wrath. Easier to halt the wind. Easier to move the ash mounts! Easier to calm the raging tempest! Waaagh!
Erm. With their uprooted trees and vicious snarls, the Koloss reach the walls. They batter the gates, and men begin to die. They choose to spread out and strike at several gates at once, and the end grows nearer still. I guess the koloss aren't all that stupid after all. I mean, they're smart enough to use battering rams.
Meanwhile, away from Luthadel, Vin attacks the camp of the men following them. This time, not taking any lives unnecessarily.
A man steps out of one of the tents, and, Lo and behold! It's
none other than Jastes Lekal himself. Ha! When he sees his imbecilic former friend, Elend steps out of the bushes he was hiding behind during the skirmish.
Jastes, upon seeing Elend, requests to travel with them. Elend, of course, just wants to know what Jastes did with his Koloss, so Jastes explains in detail exactly how it all went down. Assuming that he isn't lying, he actually took Elend advice and tried to get the koloss to pull back, but they refused, becoming even more unruly. Things quickly began to fall apart from there, culminating with his coins somehow being set ablaze. Seeing the serious peril they were in, Jastes and his few surviving men skedaddled. Can you really blame him for that, though?
Elend can, apparently. He is outraged, to say the least. Jastes brought that army of savages to his city, and now has the audacity to come to Elend, begging to ride with him? When Jastes steps forward, begging forgiveness, Elend, shooting some self righteous one liner, draws his blade and cleaves his former friends head from his shoulders.
This took me entirely by surprise, and not in a very good way. Did Jastes deserve to die? Absolutely. Did Elend have the right to be the one to dispense justice? It's hard to say. Was there any real need for him to do this? No. He could have just sent Jastes away; it would have amounted to the same thing in the end, but at least then Elend's hands would be clean. Now they are stained with the blood of a man he once named friend. Who knows how this will haunt him in the days to come?
After ordering Lekal's men to bury him, Elend walks off into the trees. Vin follows him and comforts him as he spills his insides to her.
He hopes that the koloss will at least attack Straff's army instead of the city, but Lestibournes comes along and spoils that hope. See, it turns out that Spooks actually knew all along about Sazed plan, and he tells Vin and Elend all about it now. He says that he's a coward, and that he went along because didn't want to die, which is understandable. It's not like he could have made any difference by sticking around in that doomed city. Running away was probably one of the wiser decisions he's made in his life.
Elend is shocked, and takes a few steps toward Spook, but when he realises what he's doing--or what it looks like he's about to do, anyway--he tells "the boy" that he isn't angry at him. Only ashamed. Ha! Says the man who just slew an unarmed man. Why should Spooks feel ashamed? All he did was spare himself from a, more or less, completely meaningless death.
Vin begins to panic, realising why the thumping has been growing weaker. They're going the wrong way. She then tells Elend that the Well must be in Luthadel, and she fears that Sazed may have doomed them all with his good intentions. Wouldn't that be just like him?
Elend, selfless man that he is, tells Vin to pewter drag back to the city ahead of him and Spook, but One Mistborn isn't going to make a hell of a lot of a difference against twenty thousand koloss. Especially one that's already been worn half to death by pewter dragging.
End of chapter 51
Alendi continued to ignore Kwaan's objections in favour of his new counsellors. I'm pretty sure there's a name for situations like this, but it eludes me presently.