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***Spoilers for the Mistborn series, Words of Radiance, Wax and Wayne series, and Mistborn: Secret History.*** So my friend and I (who host a nerd podcast and talk about Branderson's work about once a month) have talked for a while about this theory: Kelsier is the missing shard. He is the shard Survival/ Immortatlity/ Endlessness or whatever Sanderson is going to call that aspect of god. When Adonalsium was shattered, Survival tore memories of him from the other shards AND FROM HIMSELF, then he hid himself on another invested planet to hide his powers should they manifest. He chose to hide with Preservation and Ruin because he knew they would be in conflict, and that would help hide him. Kelsier's survival is too continual. Life on the streets. Fighting the inquisitor. Literal DEATH at The Lord Ruler's hands (pun pun pun). The Well of Ascension. His final appearance at the end of The Bands of Mourning. PLUS: "There's always another secret." I mean COME ON. Sanderson loves to use the narration trope of "The Unreliable Narrator" (see Writing Excuses episode 13.45) or just look at EVERY TIME HE USED A CHARACTERS THOUGHTS OR WORDS TO CONVINCE YOU OF AN UNTRUTH. MY favorite example is Shallan Davar thinking [paraphrase] "They must have dragged Jasnah's body up onto the deck." I think most of us bought that as truth and were shocked when Jasnah appeared at the end of the book. Anyway, what do you think? is Survival/ immortality a shard? is that shard kelsier? is that Brandon's deepest secret? HIT ME WITH YOU FACTS AND THEORIES.
In the Bands of Mourning, we hear the legends of the Lord Ruler’s bracers, endowing anyone bearing them with Mistborn and Feruchemist powers. A single pair of bracers. Obviously, we eventually find that the Bands are a real creation of Sovereign-Kelsier, a single, long, tapered piece of metal composed of carefully mixed metals. But I would like to talk about the Lord Ruler’s /actual/ bracers. Not all of them, as he wore many. His atium bracers. The special ones. Those bracers served as both a feruchemical storage and hemalurgic spikes. There are three things I find very interesting about them. First, Brandon had to know that any astute reader would doubt the Sovereign’s identity as the Lord Ruler, given that we know what Bracers he bore, and we know that his special ones, the atium bracers, would be unable to store other feruchemical traits, even given what we learned in the book early on re: F-Aluminum and F-Nicrosil. We know what his bracers were, and we know they don’t match the legends. Second, Vin and Elend sold the Lord Ruler’s atium bracers. Atium bracers that could only have ended up in the hands of Ruin’s inquisitors or burned by some Mistborn (barring somehow a Kandra contract or a Seer getting ahold of them.) And we don’t know what /burning/ a hemalurgic spike does, but that the results of such a thing, of effectively combining with someone else’s spiritual DNA could have crazy results. And these bracers were either repurposed by Ruin or burned by someone, more than likely. Third, we still don’t know what the Lord Ruler stored in those bracers. He had all 16 allomantic and feruchemical powers already, and he could have used either the well of ascension or nicrosil compounding to give himself such strength in allomancy as to need no hemalurgic boost, unless he was perhaps seeking a slight skill boost. Was he seeking the powers similar to a Kandra Blessing? Or something else entirely? in other words, there’s still some more to wonder about. I’ve tried to link this to Marsh’s feruchemical atium spike in the few minutes I’ve taken to write this, but I can’t see how he’d have made use of Rashek’s bracers, without any access to Rashek’s identity. Anyway, that about wraps up my ramblings.