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cometaryorbit

Why wasn't TLR more worried about the Pits?

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When the final rebellion happens, TLR is really dismissive of it, acting like it's no threat at all - even when Marsh and Vin attack him, he doesn't take them very seriously, ranting at Marsh rather than just killing him (which he could have done super-fast, given that he can Push and Pull metals in the body).

But by that point, Kelsier had already destroyed the Pits, and apparently the Steel Ministry had learned that (at least, Kelsier thinks the executions when he died were in response).

Since TLR needs atium to survive, why isn't he frightened when he finds out the Pits are destroyed? That's basically cut off his source of immortality (even though Kelsier didn't know that when he did it).

At the very least, that should be a hint to him that this rebellion is something special.

I guess he isn't totally panicked because he knows the Well is refilling in about two years, and he probably intended to use the Well to give himself more sustainable immortality, but it should still be a big clue this isn't just a bunch of criminals or another small-scale peasant rebellion.

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1 hour ago, cometaryorbit said:

When the final rebellion happens, TLR is really dismissive of it, acting like it's no threat at all - even when Marsh and Vin attack him, he doesn't take them very seriously, ranting at Marsh rather than just killing him (which he could have done super-fast, given that he can Push and Pull metals in the body).

But by that point, Kelsier had already destroyed the Pits, and apparently the Steel Ministry had learned that (at least, Kelsier thinks the executions when he died were in response).

Since TLR needs atium to survive, why isn't he frightened when he finds out the Pits are destroyed? That's basically cut off his source of immortality (even though Kelsier didn't know that when he did it).

At the very least, that should be a hint to him that this rebellion is something special.

I guess he isn't totally panicked because he knows the Well is refilling in about two years, and he probably intended to use the Well to give himself more sustainable immortality, but it should still be a big clue this isn't just a bunch of criminals or another small-scale peasant rebellion.

TLR didn't know about the pits being destroyed. Straff hid it from him. Even if he had figured it out, the well was being refilled soon as you pointed out, and besides that there was always the stockpile.

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On 2/23/2022 at 9:06 PM, Nameless said:

TLR didn't know about the pits being destroyed. Straff hid it from him. Even if he had figured it out, the well was being refilled soon as you pointed out, and besides that there was always the stockpile.

I know Straff is talking about fleeing before TLR finds out/responds, but if the executions where Kelsier died (with TLR present) were in response to that, wouldn't TLR have to know?

Yeah, he could have used the Well, and maybe the Trust would have had enough to last him a few centuries until the Pits "re-grew", but it still ought to have been a big clue this wasn't just another regular rebellion.

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3 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

I know Straff is talking about fleeing before TLR finds out/responds, but if the executions where Kelsier died (with TLR present) were in response to that, wouldn't TLR have to know?

Straff probably told TLR that there was an attack on the Pits, but if TLR knew the extent of it, then Straff would have been the first person executed.

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Part of it was the pure arrogance he developed from not having any real threats (besides Ruin) for so long. But I think from his perspective it wasn't anything worse than he's dealt with before. Sure it might be something more than any rebellion the skaa could every remember but it was still a far cry from the actual militaries he has crushed in the past. Even if he had known about what happened at the Pits, the more logical conclusion would be that they were trying to wreck his Atium economy than anything else. Plus, it doesn't take much Atium to live centuries, a single bag has lasted Marsh three hundred years after all.

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12 hours ago, StanLemon said:

Plus, it doesn't take much Atium to live centuries, a single bag has lasted Marsh three hundred years after all.

That's not necessarily true, it works with diminishing returns. The longer TLR did the atium trick, the more he needed to stay young. 

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3 hours ago, Harrycrapper said:

That's not necessarily true, it works with diminishing returns. The longer TLR did the atium trick, the more he needed to stay young. 

While true, we don't actually know how bad those diminishing returns actually are. Brandon has said that both that a single bead of Atium is very efficient, and he was able to store enough youth in his armbands, which Vin described as not having much Atium in them, to remain young and offset a millennium of age for several days at least. Between the Trust and what the Steel Inquisitors had on hand he probably had much more than enough to wait out the Pits reforming. But, as stated earlier in this thread, the Well was almost refilled and he almost certainly expected to simply make himself truly young again with its power.

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On 2/25/2022 at 9:03 PM, StanLemon said:

 Plus, it doesn't take much Atium to live centuries, a single bag has lasted Marsh three hundred years after all.

Hmm, good point. Though TLR would have had to compound much more youth at 1,000+ than Marsh yet needs to, there was probably enough in the Trust to last him until the Pits re-started.

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My unspoken question about the Pits of Hathsin is that evidently that was the standard portal "with any reasonable ease of access" for worldhoppers to get to and off of Scadrial. And that in turn was frequent/common enough for Hoid to refer to Kelsier's destruction of that portal as having "upended an entire mercantile ecosystem".

Any offworlder would obviously know the Pits represented a gathering place for a Shard's Investiture, otherwise it couldn't serve as a perpendicularity, and that would have to imply atium, right? Not to mention showing up amid the skaa slaves and non-Allomancer overseers and obligators working there would be kind of noticeable.

And that's for offworlders arriving - for there to be a "mercantile ecosystem" there has to be merchants on the Scadrian side as well, unless all of those contacts were some distance away from the Pits and ignorant of where these offworlders were coming from and how they got there. Which might work for a few years or decades, but come on, eventually the secret would have to get out, right?

Seems like knowledge that Pits = special place with lots of Investiture = skaa slaves sent to work to death (not known doing exactly what, until you've been there and seen it) should have gotten around over hundreds of years.

And how was there enough atium there to form a perpendicularity? Wasn't it constantly being harvested by those unfortunate skaa? Or was most of the atium geodes going undiscovered (too deep or hard to get to)?

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5 hours ago, robardin said:

And how was there enough atium there to form a perpendicularity? Wasn't it constantly being harvested by those unfortunate skaa? Or was most of the atium geodes going undiscovered (too deep or hard to get to)?

Other way around. The Atium formed in the pits because of the perpendicularity at the bottom. The actual perpendicularity wasn't destroyed, but the caverns were. I think. That's what's implied anyway.

But your point about knowledge of the pits getting out is probably accurate. I feel like that should have happened at some point, but maybe it didn't because worldhoppers know they need to keep secrets. 

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Posted (edited)

On 3/2/2022 at 4:44 PM, Wandering Shade said:

Other way around. The Atium formed in the pits because of the perpendicularity at the bottom. The actual perpendicularity wasn't destroyed, but the caverns were. I think. That's what's implied anyway.

But your point about knowledge of the pits getting out is probably accurate. I feel like that should have happened at some point, but maybe it didn't because worldhoppers know they need to keep secrets. 

So the "access" that was destroyed by Kelsier wasn't closing the Perpendicularity, but that some kind of passageway from it was now blocked up with collapsed tunnels? That would make a lot of sense.

I still wonder how to reconcile the extreme secrecy about What Goes On At The Pits of Hathsin with an apparent regular flow of traffic to and from there...

I guess the answer is, the true secret was not so much that atium production came from the Pits - while that WAS a secret, there were still people who would have to know about it. The obligators and the overseers who worked there but surely were allowed to go home from time to time, plus Straff and Elend Venture knew about it due to their House being given the commission to manage it, with the suggestion or overtone that that commission could be revoked and given to another House.

But the people entrusted with THAT secret always had it hanging over their heads that no less than God Himself would be Very Put Out if the secret got out - like, Inquisitor level put out. So it was really, really well kept. (Which didn't keep Elend from blabbing about it to "Valette", poor rash boy in love that he was.)

And finally, the big "secret within a secret" wasn't about atium coming from the Pits, nor even that there was a way off and back onto Scadrial located near/under there. It was that most of the atium mined at the Pits was disguised and never sent on to Luthadel at all, but squirreled away into the kandra Trustwarren: a sleight-of-hand operation managed over centuries by only the most trusted of obligators, "communicating only on metal plates".

In fact, if I were TLR I wouldn't even have had human obligators in that role - they'd be kandra.

Edited by robardin
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On 3/2/2022 at 10:15 AM, robardin said:

And that's for offworlders arriving - for there to be a "mercantile ecosystem" there has to be merchants on the Scadrian side as well

I believe this was through House Venture. Felt (a lesser nobleman working for House Venture) ends up as a worldhopper, so I think some of the Venture "employees"/retainers/etc were cosmere-aware to some degree (at least to the point of 'we trade with weird people who show up in the Pits' ... not necessarily having any broader understanding).

Elend doesn't seem to have known, but then, he's really not the kind of person one would send to help run a place as awful as the Pits.

7 hours ago, robardin said:

I still wonder how to reconcile the extreme secrecy about What Goes On At The Pits of Hathsin with an apparent regular flow of traffic to and from there...I guess the answer is, the true secret was not so much that atium production came from the Pits - while that WAS a secret, there were still people who would have to know about it. The obligators and the overseers who worked there but surely were allowed to go home from time to time, plus Straff and Elend Venture knew about it due to their House being given the commission to manage it, with the suggestion or overtone that that commission could be revoked and given to another House.

Right. The Pits existing as a deadly prison seems to be pretty public knowledge, enough that Kelsier escaping from them was meaningful to the skaa. The Pits being the atium source was secret, but not super ultra secret - a significant number of obligators, and House Venture, knew. Only the kandra Trust thing was really super ultra secret.

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On 27.02.2022 at 5:31 AM, cometaryorbit said:

Hmm, good point. Though TLR would have had to compound much more youth at 1,000+ than Marsh yet needs to, there was probably enough in the Trust to last him until the Pits re-started.

There's also (as per WoB) the fact that steel inquisitors have naturally longer lifespans than humans, so presumably the way that influences the math is by making them require less atium for the same amount of youth.

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4 hours ago, CryoZenith said:

There's also (as per WoB) the fact that steel inquisitors have naturally longer lifespans than humans, so presumably the way that influences the math is by making them require less atium for the same amount of youth.

I don't think it would actually change the "mass of atium metalmind = years of youth" math, but it would reduce the amount of atium Marsh needs to use, since he can stay at a higher current age; and he wouldn't have had to start using atium to live for the first X decades of Era 2.

(Marsh I think was mid-40s at the end of HoA, so he should be 380-something in AoL. I don't know how much his life would be extended by being an Inquisitor*, but if he could be - say - 100 without suffering physical effects of aging, vs maybe 50-60 for a regular human, he wouldn't have had to start Compounding seriously until maybe the year 55 post-Catacendre, and he could use 40-50 years less youth than a regular human Compounder would.)

*Although IIRC the WoB is that most have longer lifespans, some 'burn out faster'. But Marsh is kind of a super-charged Inquisitor, so his life might be more extended than usual.

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On 2022/3/4 at 6:33 AM, robardin said:

And finally, the big "secret within a secret" wasn't about atium coming from the Pits, nor even that there was a way off and back onto Scadrial located near/under there. It was that most of the atium mined at the Pits was disguised and never sent on to Luthadel at all, but squirreled away into the kandra Trustwarren: a sleight-of-hand operation managed over centuries by only the most trusted of obligators, "communicating only on metal plates".

In fact, if I were TLR I wouldn't even have had human obligators in that role - they'd be kandra.

Now I'm curious as to why TLR used human obligators at all. Did those obligators transport the mined atium straight to the Kandra Trustwarren or did they simply pass atium to Kandras, not knowing where those atium ended up? I originally thought it was the former but the latter could be possible as well. 

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5 minutes ago, Rashek's PR Manager said:

Now I'm curious as to why TLR used human obligators at all. Did those obligators transport the mined atium straight to the Kandra Trustwarren or did they simply pass atium to Kandras, not knowing where those atium ended up? I originally thought it was the former but the latter could be possible as well. 

Well at some level, there would have had to have been workers - either condemned skaa, ordinary skaa, or a rotation of junior Ministry people - sorting the atium and other metals, and hauling it off. TLR didn't allow for the development of any kind of factory automation, after all (nor was the technology level quite there yet even before his Ascension). So he'd have needed obligators to run the operation who knew What Was Really Going On, at least to the level of "mix some of the atium with other metals to ship to Luthadel, but send/put most of it here". Maybe a chute labeled "WARNING: Absolutely Not For Atium! Do NOT!!" (psst, silently read this metal plate that says YES THAT'S THE ONE)

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4 minutes ago, robardin said:

Maybe a chute labeled "WARNING: Absolutely Not For Atium! Do NOT!!" (psst, silently read this metal plate that says YES THAT'S THE ONE)

That's hilarious. I'm imagining a system of enclosed chutes made of metal to confuse Ati. 

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8 hours ago, robardin said:

Well at some level, there would have had to have been workers - either condemned skaa, ordinary skaa, or a rotation of junior Ministry people - sorting the atium and other metals, and hauling it off. TLR didn't allow for the development of any kind of factory automation, after all (nor was the technology level quite there yet even before his Ascension). So he'd have needed obligators to run the operation who knew What Was Really Going On, at least to the level of "mix some of the atium with other metals to ship to Luthadel, but send/put most of it here".

I think it was the obligators doing that. But I don't know that there was really any sorting needed, just breaking open the geodes (which was done in a metal-lined room) - I don't think the Pits produced other metals.

But the atium beads were then covered up by money so that that metal would hide it from Ruin, and shipped by the Steel Ministry with their money convoys. So I think it was all done by obligators, and hidden within the regular financial movements of the Ministry.

 

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Atium Convoys

The First Generation mention the Ministry convoys that carried the hidden atium to Luthadel from the Pits, or carried atium to the pits and other locations, where the Ministry had purchased beads of it back from the nobility. If you'll recall book one, Vin and Camon right at the beginning were planning to rob a convoy just like this. Instead, Camon decides to double-cross his associate and take a payoff.

However, assuming they'd ever managed to pull that off, they'd have broken the system and discovered the atium. And, in doing so, would have exposed the Lord Ruler's ruse to Ruin, probably leading to the end of the world.

Good thing they didn't pull it off, eh?

The Hero of Ages Annotations (April 1, 2010)

 

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1000 years of complacency 

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On 2/25/2022 at 6:38 PM, cometaryorbit said:

I know Straff is talking about fleeing before TLR finds out/responds, but if the executions where Kelsier died (with TLR present) were in response to that, wouldn't TLR have to know?

Yeah, he could have used the Well, and maybe the Trust would have had enough to last him a few centuries until the Pits "re-grew", but it still ought to have been a big clue this wasn't just another regular rebellion.

We have to consider the possibility that there's a bit of "unreliable narrator" going on - we don't know that the executions were because of what Kell did at the pits (though he thought so) - it is just as likely that when Renoux was captured (though probably not exposed as a Kandra, or TLR would have just compelled answers due to the First Contract and spread the rumor that "Lord Renoux" was killed while captured) the obligators assumed that they were behind the burgeoning house war and the executions were because of that (even if they didn't connect the house war part of the plan to the rebellion part of the plan - or only connected it to "Yeden's Big Mistake").

 

On 3/2/2022 at 11:15 AM, robardin said:

My unspoken question about the Pits of Hathsin is that evidently that was the standard portal "with any reasonable ease of access" for worldhoppers to get to and off of Scadrial. And that in turn was frequent/common enough for Hoid to refer to Kelsier's destruction of that portal as having "upended an entire mercantile ecosystem".

Any offworlder would obviously know the Pits represented a gathering place for a Shard's Investiture, otherwise it couldn't serve as a perpendicularity, and that would have to imply atium, right? Not to mention showing up amid the skaa slaves and non-Allomancer overseers and obligators working there would be kind of noticeable.

And that's for offworlders arriving - for there to be a "mercantile ecosystem" there has to be merchants on the Scadrian side as well, unless all of those contacts were some distance away from the Pits and ignorant of where these offworlders were coming from and how they got there. Which might work for a few years or decades, but come on, eventually the secret would have to get out, right?

Seems like knowledge that Pits = special place with lots of Investiture = skaa slaves sent to work to death (not known doing exactly what, until you've been there and seen it) should have gotten around over hundreds of years.

And how was there enough atium there to form a perpendicularity? Wasn't it constantly being harvested by those unfortunate skaa? Or was most of the atium geodes going undiscovered (too deep or hard to get to)?

I think this makes a lot of assumptions. What we really know is:

- The perpedicularity at the Pits helped facilitate off-world trade

- Felt was involved to some extent and became Cosmere aware through that exposure

- At least some Worldhoppers knew the Pits could be used to access the Physical Realm on Scadrial

However, we also know:

- Off-world trae on Roshar happens in Shadesmar - but without being anywhere near a perpendicularity

- Travel in Scadrial's Cognitive realm is . . . difficult for physical beings (especially if they have no means of applying investiture to cognitive aspects to make them solid enough to manipulate - like "Spanky" and the oar)

- Drifter said "mercantile ecosystem" (which does not imply actual trade on Scadrial's CR - just that some "goods" from Scadrial were important to cosmere aware merchants and off-worlders)

From this, I would guess that the pits were used to move "goods" from PR to CR (likely by Felt and a few other intermediaries); but the "market," if there was one, was probably on the solid part of Lake Luthadel (or similar location - more friendly to trade). I find it unlikely that more than a few WHs (like Hoid/Khriss) would have actually travelled all the way to the pits to access the perpendicularity themselves. This also implies that while knowledge of the perpendicularity might be fairly well-known off-Scadrial; there was not likely to be many with that knowledge on-world that could connect Perpendicularity = Pits = Atium (assuming they even knew enough about the metallic arts to know/care what Atium was or why it was important)

On 3/3/2022 at 5:33 PM, robardin said:

But the people entrusted with THAT secret always had it hanging over their heads that no less than God Himself would be Very Put Out if the secret got out - like, Inquisitor level put out. So it was really, really well kept. (Which didn't keep Elend from blabbing about it to "Valette", poor rash boy in love that he was.)

Well, to be fair, he didn't give away the pits; merely that "House Venture mined Atium." He couldn't suspect that "rural Laady Valette" would already know about the Pits or that the Atium was mined there.

 

TFE Ch 28

Quote

Vin frowned, and Elend leaned closer, speaking almost in a whisper. “My family mines the Lord Ruler’s atium, Valette,” he said. “That’s where our wealth comes from. In a way, our stability depends almost completely on the Lord Ruler’s whims.

 

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Because he was an idiot. There's really no excuse for his poor showing in TFE. He is easily the laziest, dumbest, most arrogant and sloppy person in the Cosmere. It's honestly a shame that he got to go to the Beyond. He should have been trapped in the Well forever and slowly gone mad.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/25/2022 at 0:16 AM, SwordNimiForPresident said:

Because he was an idiot. There's really no excuse for his poor showing in TFE. He is easily the laziest, dumbest, most arrogant and sloppy person in the Cosmere. It's honestly a shame that he got to go to the Beyond. He should have been trapped in the Well forever and slowly gone mad.

Bah! He saved the world once, and its people a second time!

Had he not done his atium hiding thing with the kandra, Ruin would likely have amassed his power back soon after being released (because atium would have been openly and commonly floating around the population otherwise - easy for his minions to find and to gather).

And without the storage cavern business with locations on steel plates and food caches and all, even had the kandra kept the atium from him all that time, all the people - including Vin - would have died of starvation before the end. It was made pretty clear. If not all the people, then the vast majority of people.

Even Vin and Sazed mentally thanked Rashek for "what he'd done for mankind" once they realized, and they suffered tremendously under the Final Empire!

I mean, could he have done a better job? Certainly to have done it... More nicely? Uh, yeah. But "poor showing", sorry, that's not fair to ol' Rashek.

Arrogant and a little bit dumb (given that he could infinitely compound zinc), OK, maybe; even "sloppy"; but "lazy"? There's good evidence he put his Compounding to use by personally seal those cans under Kredik Shaw!

Edited by robardin
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On 25/03/2022 at 4:16 AM, SwordNimiForPresident said:

Because he was an idiot. There's really no excuse for his poor showing in TFE. He is easily the laziest, dumbest, most arrogant and sloppy person in the Cosmere. It's honestly a shame that he got to go to the Beyond. He should have been trapped in the Well forever and slowly gone mad.

I have to side with this. TLR was complacent, arrogant and lazy. He held incredible power but only used a fraction of it in the confrontation. 
 

I think it’s also reasonable to say he wasn’t in full control of his faculties since he was being twisted by Ruin for over a thousand years. 
 

it’s a combination of everything people have said on this thread. 

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Posted (edited)

26 minutes ago, AerionBFII said:

I have to side with this. TLR was complacent, arrogant and lazy. He held incredible power but only used a fraction of it in the confrontation. 
 

I think it’s also reasonable to say he wasn’t in full control of his faculties since he was being twisted by Ruin for over a thousand years. 
 

it’s a combination of everything people have said on this thread. 

In an old post, I likened the Rashek we see at the end of TFE as being like someone who's spent hours on a frustrating crossword puzzle and then just giving up. Except "hours" for him was decades upon decades, and hundreds of years ago. So if you've ever worked at a puzzle or problem only to give up, you're in no position to judge him as "lazy", IMHO.

He's lived for a thousand years, with Ruin whispering at him all that time, and yet (as he himself wrote to his obligators, on a steel plate in a Ministry cache) he'd long ago given up trying to figure out how to defeat Ruin, instead laying plans for the world surviving Ruin's eventual escape - likely without him around. This despite being able to Compound zinc for nigh-infinite mental capacity, and bronze to stay awake all the time, and so on...

At a certain point, even having all the time in the world to think about something doesn't mean you'll ever figure it out.

At the end of the day, he was an angry, violent packman with a chip on his shoulder to begin with, who happened to be a Feruchemist and thus suitable for a guiding a long, hard mountain expedition. He wasn't prepared to figure out about Ruin - he may not even have been all that religiously grounded in the Terris religion before dealing with Ruin. All Terris Worldbringers were Feruchemists, but not all Feruchemists were Worldbringers (as Rashek was not, as Kwaan was the only Worldbringer to have gone back on backing Alendi going to the Well "to give up the power for the greater good").

But also at the end of the day, the very act of planning for the world surviving beyond him speaks well for him. Even his dying words were to express fear for the doom of all mankind without him, not to revile those who had brought him down, or the usual "NOOO I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" type of line.

Edited by robardin
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8 minutes ago, robardin said:

In an old post, I likened the Rashek we see at the end of TFE as being like someone who's spent hours on a frustrating crossword puzzle and then just giving up. Except "hours" for him was decades upon decades, and hundreds of years ago. So if you've ever worked at a puzzle or problem only to give up, you're in no position to judge him as "lazy", IMHO.

He's lived for a thousand years, with Ruin whispering at him all that time, and yet (as he himself wrote to his obligators, on a steel plate in a Ministry cache) he'd long ago given up trying to figure out how to defeat Ruin, instead laying plans for the world surviving Ruin's eventual escape - likely without him around. This despite being able to Compound zinc for nigh-infinite mental capacity, and bronze to stay awake all the time, and so on...

At a certain point, even having all the time in the world to think about something doesn't mean you'll ever figure it out.

At the end of the day, he was an angry, violent packman with a chip on his shoulder to begin with, who happened to be a Feruchemist and thus suitable for a guiding a long, hard mountain expedition. He wasn't prepared to figure out about Ruin - he may not even have been all that religiously grounded in the Terris religion before dealing with Ruin. All Terris Worldbringers were Feruchemists, but not all Feruchemists were Worldbringers (as Rashek was not, as Kwaan was the only Worldbringer to have gone back on backing Alendi going to the Well "to give up the power for the greater good").

But also at the end of the day, the very act of planning for the world surviving beyond him speaks well for him. Even his dying words were to express fear for the doom of all mankind without him, not to revile those who had brought him down, or the usual "NOOO I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" type of line.

Yeah I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Perhaps instead of lazy I should have wrote sluggish, the mental and emotional strain placed on him would have been incredible even without Ruin twisting his mind and whispering to him for over a thousand years. He seems to have been rather complacent in the Final Empire as a solution to the problem in a 'if it aint broke' kinda way. He seems oblivious to how far he'd fallen from his origional goals.  As you said he'd given up completely on figuring out a way to combat Ruin and had decided to ransom the world for another thousand years. In his position I honestly couldn't think of a permanent solution to the Ruin issue.

16 minutes ago, robardin said:

At the end of the day, he was an angry, violent packman with a chip on his shoulder

This is maybe the most succinct description of Rashek I have read by the way haha. As he aged he became more complex individual.
He mellowed a little with age and had some good intentions but I am not sure that things would have gone so smoothly as he suggests (I am sure there is a WOB on this somewhere) He would have simply taken up the power of the well of ascension and used it's power tried to tweak and solidify the empire to secure himself (and the empire) for another 1000 years. The most interesting thing we know is that he knew Ruin would be working against him and expected some kind of development but was unable to foresee it was Ruin backing Vin and Kelsier. 

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