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Age of the Well

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So. I was reading through the HoA annotations (chapter 63), and I found this quote:

Also, as a note, Alendi was an Allomancer, as the epigraph notes here. He had to be—he heard the pulsing at the Well of Ascension when nobody else could. "Ah," you might say, "but I thought that you said Allomancy didn't exist before those beads." That isn't 100% true. The legends say that Allomancy came with the Deepness. Alendi was one of the very first Allomancers, and he gained his powers as the mists began to cover the world.

That's important. ;)

<spoiler>

Because, of course, he was Snapped by the mists, like is happening to people in this book.

So, if he was one of the first Allomancers, and only allomancers can detect the Well, what does that mean about the previous Hero of Ages? My theory? There wasn't one. I think that Preservation made his prophecies and entraped Ruin's mind exactly 2048 years before the WoA.

Where do I get the date?

2. Why did the Well of Ascension refill every thousand years rather than 500 or 200, etc.

ANSWER: It's actually every 1024 years. The Lord Ruler just befuddled the information a bit.

"Wait" you say. "Couldn't Preservation have made someone a Mistborn like Sazed did to Spook?" Yes. That's possible (darn it....) "Or maybe the prophecies were good enough that people knew where it was, so when the time came, they sent someone in."

You know what random person? You're right. I think that it's very possible that there is a third generation, where the prophecies were effective enough to send someone in without giving up the Power as Vin did.

Except that three generations doesn't seem very special. And plus, it seems like Preservation's mind would've been alert enough to block Ruin from changing the prophecies for at least a little bit. So lets add a fourth generation.

That even makes it work better. It means there's 4 generations, which is a much better number than 2. Leras entraped Ruin and then the first two generation when they used the prophecies, and then there's the third generation of Alethi, when Preservation used mists, and Ruin countered with the Deepness, and the fourth generation of Vin and Sazed.

So, in other words, 4096 (or 4^6, or 16^3 or 2^12) years ago, Leras betrayed Ati, captured his mind in a well, and made it known to the Terris people the prophecies of the Hero of Ages. We have prophecies about that old here on this earth today. Hey, Jacob and Joseph are dated about that time period.

So, no, it's definitely not absolute. But I think that it makes sense. And I think that any other great numbers (like 65536) are too unrealistic.

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So. I was reading through the HoA annotations (chapter 63), and I found this quote:

So, if he was one of the first Allomancers, and only allomancers can detect the Well, what does that mean about the previous Hero of Ages? My theory? There wasn't one. I think that Preservation made his prophecies and entraped Ruin's mind exactly 2048 years before the WoA.

Where do I get the date?

"Wait" you say. "Couldn't Preservation have made someone a Mistborn like Sazed did to Spook?" Yes. That's possible (darn it....) "Or maybe the prophecies were good enough that people knew where it was, so when the time came, they sent someone in."

You know what random person? You're right. I think that it's very possible that there is a third generation, where the prophecies were effective enough to send someone in without giving up the Power as Vin did.

Except that three generations doesn't seem very special. And plus, it seems like Preservation's mind would've been alert enough to block Ruin from changing the prophecies for at least a little bit. So lets add a fourth generation.

That even makes it work better. It means there's 4 generations, which is a much better number than 2. Leras entraped Ruin and then the first two generation when they used the prophecies, and then there's the third generation of Alethi, when Preservation used mists, and Ruin countered with the Deepness, and the fourth generation of Vin and Sazed.

So, in other words, 4096 (or 4^6, or 16^3 or 2^12) years ago, Leras betrayed Ati, captured his mind in a well, and made it known to the Terris people the prophecies of the Hero of Ages. We have prophecies about that old here on this earth today. Hey, Jacob and Joseph are dated about that time period.

So, no, it's definitely not absolute. But I think that it makes sense. And I think that any other great numbers (like 65536) are too unrealistic.

64 generations (65,536 years) would make it 2^16

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I know, that number stood out to me (it's also 16^4), but that just seems like a little bit too long, don't you think? It seems like Ruin would've been able to completely change all of the prophecies to eliminate even the suggestion of keeping the power. Instead, it was so blatant that Sazed, who had access to only remnants of remnants of the prophecies finds the idea of giving up the power a touch out of place.

EDIT- But, I bet that would be a really good Creation date. I bet that that date was when Preservation and Ruin decided to make the world. Or maybe even when Adonalsium shattered.

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I'm not entirely sure why - maybe because of Jordan and WoT - but when I read Brandon's books, I always thought that there was a long, long time between "the beginning" and the events in the novels. For example, I remember being stunned when someone pointed out to me that Hoid's history lesson in Warbreaker only went back a few centuries. I thought it was at least a few millennia.

Similarly, my current feeling is that Preservation's betrayal of Ruin was many millennia in the past. (And part of that is the thought that it take a long time to mold a mind to its Shard, and Leras wouldn't have been able to make the betrayal if he was fully Preservation. (Although, why would he have had to betray Ati if Ati wasn't fully Ruin? I guess that might be attributed to Preservation's greater clairvoyance, so Leras would have foreseen how Ati what Ati would have become.))

All of this together is why I've been thinking that the Well produced one bead of Lerasium every "cycle" rather than a bunch of them being made all at once by Preservation. We don't have any in-world evidence about what would happen if nobody used the Well every 1024 years, so there's no way to tell if many cycles happened and someone used it every cycle, or if few cycles happened.

Brandon's mention of the Deepness, however, is interesting. And I think that part of deducing the age of mankind on Scadrial would lie in knowing how long it took Ruin to distort the mists of Preservation into the Deepness.

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Here's what would have happened if the Well hadn't of been emptied, as well as more info on the Hero of Ages:

1. What was she supposed to do? Well, this is difficult to answer, since the prophesies have been changed and shifted so much. Originally, the prophesies intended for a person to go take the power every thousand years and become a protector of mankind for a period of time. Someone to keep an eye on Ruin in Preservation's absence and watch over the world as he would have done. Imagine an avatar who arrives every thousand years and lives for their lifetime blessing the people with the power of Preservation, renewing Ruin's prison, and generally being a force for protection. (Note that Ruin wouldn't have gotten out if the prison wasn't renewed, he'd simply have been able to touch the world a little bit more.) Obviously, it changed a LOT during the years that Ruin was playing with things.

What should she have done? Well, Ruin's release was inevitable. Even if she hadn't let him go, the world would have 'wound down' eventually. The ashfalls would have grown worse over the centuries, and the next buildup of the Well might not have come in time for them to do anything. Or, perhaps, mankind would have found a way to adapt. But Ruin was going to get himself out eventually, so the choice Vin made was all right. There weren't really any good choices at this point. She could have decided to take the power and become a 'good' Lord Ruler, trying to keep the world from falling apart. Of course, she would have had to make herself immortal with Hemalurgy to make that work right. And since she was already tainted, chances are good she wouldn't have ended up any better than the Lord Ruler himself.

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Ah, nice.

Yeah, I'd remembered the gist of that second paragraph, but I'd forgotten about the first.

That first paragraph is obviously Preservation's ideal state of things, but obviously Ruin had other plans and things got off-kilter. The second paragraph definitely speaks to how things would have gone from TFE forward, but neither of them, IMO, speaks to how things were from Alendi's time back to the beginning.

Well, maybe it hints at it. You'd have to be a Seeker to feel the pulses of the Well, but that doesn't mean others couldn't have found it - accidentally or by being led there - and then followed Preservation's desire to renew the prison. (Aren't we told that Rashek was able to learn exactly what was going on when he immersed himself in the Well's powers?)

I also seem to recall something - maybe from Alendi's journal? - indicating that Preservation's mists weren't always around, that there was a time (perhaps a long time) when Scadrial could have easily been mistaken for Earth. I get the impression that Preservation's mists were something new and sudden in Alendi's time. Perhaps not within his lifetime, but at least within a generation of his birth.

Grr. I'd really like to get some kind of an answer from Brandon on this, so that I can at least know if I'm on the right track or completely wrong. Exact years aren't even needed. Even something along the lines of "Humanity existed only a few centuries/millennia before Rashek" would suffice. That may not tell us how long Preservation and Ruin were dancing back and forth, poking each other with sticks, but it would at least let us know about how long the pact had existed.

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Yes, the mists were a new thing for Alendi's time- that's why he was one of the first Allomancers, because you can't have natural mistings without mists. The Deepness came pretty quick.

You'd have to be a Seeker to feel the pulses of the Well, but that doesn't mean others couldn't have found it - accidentally or by being led there - and then followed Preservation's desire to renew the prison. (Aren't we told that Rashek was able to learn exactly what was going on when he immersed himself in the Well's powers?)

This reason why (people hearing about the well) is where I think the prophecies come in. They are the reason why I think it's 4 generations ago instead of just 2. But by the 3rd generation, when Preservation's mind had weakened, he needed another thing to show them the exact way to the well. Thus he introduced the Mists, which awakened Allomancy in people, but only a few at the beginning. Alendi was one of these few. Then a little while later, (perhaps even immediately) Ruin tainted the mists, fueling them with power and making them suffocate the land. This lead Alendi to desperation, leading him to the prophecies that spoke of a power, a power that might be able to use to save the land he worked so hard to protect- but only if he gave up the power.

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That makes sense, but it just seems (to me) like an incredibly short time, like everything (Shard-wise) is happening at a very quick pace. /shrug

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4098 years as a short time? At about 2000 BC for us, Abraham was apparently founding Judaism, Stonehenge was finished, and horses were first tamed and used (accoding to wikipedia).

I thing the biggest evidence of it being a longer time is the quote that Ruin was extremely precise in orchestrating TLR's death within 2 years of the that the Well was filled. But 2 years in 4098 is still about .05% I consider that pretty accurate.

But you could be right. I had the impression that the betrayl was recent-ish, that there had been peace for a while between them, but that Preservation saw what must be done, so he betrayed Ruin.

But the betrayal could've gone on for a much longer time than that.

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4098 years as a short time?

No, four generations is a short time.

A "generation" isn't an accurate measure of time, of course, since it's more designed to measure, um, genetic replication(?). But four generations could be anywhere from 75-125 years. That is a short time.

41 centuries, however, is much closer to what I would have imagined.

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Oh, I see what you mean. By 4 generations, I just meant 4 cycles of the well.

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Ah, ok. Misunderstanding corrected. Now we should feast on leftover Halloween candy.

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I think its more than four thousand years, but not much longer.

"Your opposite," Vin said. "The one who once stopped you from destroying the world."

Ruin was silent for a long moment. Then he smiled, and Vin saw something chilling in that smile. A knowledge that he was right. Vin was part of him. She understood him.

"Preservation is dead," Ruin said.

"You killed him?"

Ruin shrugged. "Yes, but no. He gave of himself to craft a cage. Though his throes of agony have lasted several thousand years, now, finally, he is gone. And the bargain has come to its fruition."

If I said "several thousand years," my feeling is around six or seven thousand years.

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That sounds good. I just wanted an estimated date that we could use for Chronology and such.

Also, according to the broadsheet we now have a date for Alloy of Law- 341 years since the end of Hero Of Ages (It's 341 in the upper left hand corner)

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We've known that for a while. It was in some pre-release material somewhere. (It was one of our trivia questions, in fact) I know the broadsheet wasn't the first time we had seen it.

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All of this together is why I've been thinking that the Well produced one bead of Lerasium every "cycle" rather than a bunch of them being made all at once by Preservation. We don't have any in-world evidence about what would happen if nobody used the Well every 1024 years, so there's no way to tell if many cycles happened and someone used it every cycle, or if few cycles happened.

This idea makes some of the most sense to me. It would explain why there was a Lerasim bead at the well when Vin and Elend were there (all ways bothered me. Seemed to be a bit of a stretch that TLR just "missed" one). So by this theory, we just have to go back and see how many beads TLR gave out to his "friends" and then you have an approximation of how many centuries ago the well was created. Does anyone recall? I think it was six or so, which would be right around what Chaos is saying.

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This idea makes some of the most sense to me. It would explain why there was a Lerasim bead at the well when Vin and Elend were there (all ways bothered me. Seemed to be a bit of a stretch that TLR just "missed" one). So by this theory, we just have to go back and see how many beads TLR gave out to his "friends" and then you have an approximation of how many centuries ago the well was created. Does anyone recall? I think it was six or so, which would be right around what Chaos is saying.

The total number of beads that we have documented evidence for is 11 or 12 (10 for the first Allomancers and 1 for Elend. As the Lord Ruler may not be listed as part of the 10 original Allomancers, the number goes up to 12 if TLR is not counted among them. There may be 12 or 13 beads in total if one thinks that Hoid swiped a bead.)

I would guess that the age of the Well is definitely more than 4000 years old and it is probably closer to 10000 years than 4000. (Stormlight Archive stuff: As the "Last" Desolation happened 4500 years before the events of TWoK, TWoK takes place 500 years after Elantris and there are at least 99 Desolations that happened before the breaking of the Oathpact suggests that the current state of affairs in the Cosmere has been going on for quite a while. I would hazard a guess of ~10000 years since the shattering of Adonalsium, based off of the SA evidence alone.)

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The total number of beads that we have documented evidence for is 11 or 12 (10 for the first Allomancers and 1 for Elend. As the Lord Ruler may not be listed as part of the 10 original Allomancers, the number goes up to 12 if TLR is not counted among them. There may be 12 or 13 beads in total if one thinks that Hoid swiped a bead.)

I would guess that the age of the Well is definitely more than 4000 years old and it is probably closer to 10000 years than 4000. (Stormlight Archive stuff: As the "Last" Desolation happened 4500 years before the events of TWoK, TWoK takes place 500 years after Elantris and there are at least 99 Desolations that happened before the breaking of the Oathpact suggests that the current state of affairs in the Cosmere has been going on for quite a while. I would hazard a guess of ~10000 years since the shattering of Adonalsium, based off of the SA evidence alone.)

But did the well exist before Preservation betrayed Ruin? There was time between when Adonalsium shattered and when Preservation betrayed Ruin.

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But did the well exist before Preservation betrayed Ruin?

I like that question.

I liked the idea of four cycles of the well. That's 163. Sixteen metals, three investments.

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But did the well exist before Preservation betrayed Ruin?

My understanding was that the well was created when Preservation betrayed Ruin because with it he built Ruin's prison. In the books it said that creating the well/entrapping Ruin stole most of Preservation's mind, so I don't think it was around before hand.

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This idea makes some of the most sense to me. It would explain why there was a Lerasim bead at the well when Vin and Elend were there (all ways bothered me. Seemed to be a bit of a stretch that TLR just "missed" one).

I think it was mentioned in the annotations (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that TLR saved a bead just in case he lost his powers with the next cycle of the well. That would also lend credence to him having eaten one the first time.

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I think it was mentioned in the annotations (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that TLR saved a bead just in case he lost his powers with the next cycle of the well. That would also lend credence to him having eaten one the first time.

That was Sazed in an epigraph contemplating why there was a bead there. That was given by him as a possible explanation. Here is the relevant quote (I'm not sure what chapter it is from as I got it off the Wiki. It is definitely one of the earlier chapters though, somewhere around 6 or 7 maybe?)

Nuggets of pure Allomancy, the power of Preservation itself. Why Rashek left one of those nuggets at the Well of Ascension, I do not know. Perhaps he didn't see it, or perhaps he intended to save it to bestow upon a fortunate servant.

Perhaps he feared that someday, he would lose his powers, and would need that nugget to grant him Allomancy. Either way, I bless Rashek for his oversight, for without that nugget, Elend would have died that day at the Well.

It is hard to draw conclusions based on that.

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I think it was mentioned in the annotations (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that TLR saved a bead just in case he lost his powers with the next cycle of the well. That would also lend credence to him having eaten one the first time.

If that actually were the case, then TLR would have been an idiot to just leave it laying around instead of locking it up somewhere safe.

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If that actually were the case, then TLR would have been an idiot to just leave it laying around instead of locking it up somewhere safe.

You mean like in a cave beneath his palace that is only accessible through the most guarded room of the palace and then only by an allomancer burning duralumin? :D

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I don't know if its a RAFO as to what Hoid was doing in the Well Chamber, but maybe he dropped the bead there in anticipation of someone needing it?

I don't believe for a second that TRL would have left it unattended down there. If he somehow lost his powers, how would he have moved the door to get down there in the first place? OTOH, down next the well was the safest place he could put it given the Allomantic strength necessary to move the door.

Here is an interesting tidbit that could be relevant to this discussion

So, yes. The crew has been manipulated. Everyone’s been manipulated for a good thousand years. By this thing wanting to be released.

So it seems like Ruin had only been manipulating the prophecies for this last cycle since TLR took power...

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