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The Sovereign

The Goals of "The Set"

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In AoL the group know as "The Set" hires Miles Hundred lives to kidnap people they suspect are Allomancers that are hiding their Allomancy.

Wax, Wayne, and Marise conclude that they are going to use them to breed out more Allomancers. I suspect their conclusion is wrong. I would guess that they are kidnapping Allomancers to use for Hemalurgy. Perhaps they are going to try to make a Mistborn?
 

Some possible support for this is contained in the book Marsh gives to Marise:

The book, which is suspected to have been written by Spook, seems to reference that Spook was using Hemalurgy and thought is was okay because "It is of Sazed now". As the set is a group of some of the most influential people in Elendel I do not think it would be a stretch that if anyone still knows about how Hemalurgy works it would be them.



A WoB stating that Hemalurgy is still being used at the time of AoL:


Interview: Mar 11th, 2014 Question
Will there still be Hemalurgy in the Alloy of Law series?
Brandon Sanderson
Yes.



What do ya'll think?

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I don't know that it's been confirmed that they actually suspected that the women kidnapped actually were allomancers. If they did assume this about Steris, we have reason to suspect they were wrong. Also you don't address the fact that every hostage was a woman.

 

One interpretation of the quote is that hemalurgy, of course, still exists, whether or not anyone knows about it or practices it. Also, we know that there are still Kandra and Koloss. I feel like we heard somewhere that the Koloss are still practicing hemalurgy.

 

And interesting idea, and certainly possible. I'm not personally sold yet, however.

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I don't know that it's been confirmed that they actually suspected that the women kidnapped actually were allomancers. If they did assume this about Steris, we have reason to suspect they were wrong. Also you don't address the fact that every hostage was a woman.

 

One interpretation of the quote is that hemalurgy, of course, still exists, whether or not anyone knows about it or practices it. Also, we know that there are still Kandra and Koloss. I feel like we heard somewhere that the Koloss are still practicing hemalurgy.

 

And interesting idea, and certainly possible. I'm not personally sold yet, however.

It is in book that Wax, Wayne, and Marise conclude that the hostages are being selected for being Allomancers or being statistically likely to be allomancers, Marise outright says the suspicion and Wax agrees with her. They discover that all of the victims have strong blood ties to the Lord Mistborn and have a lot of Allomancy in their families.

I'll add the relevant passages when I get home from work and have the book in front of me.

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I'd suspect allomancy might not be exactly the thing they were looking for (too simple, plus they were "wrong" at least once), but Spook's bloodline is a key factor in choosing victims.

If Marsh thinks that diary is important then it's definitely more about Spook than about allomancy, or else they can just kidnap other allomancer bloodlines.

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I feel like we heard somewhere that the Koloss are still practicing hemalurgy.

Yep. Here's one evidence:

 

QUESTION

So what does the term koloss-blooded mean?BRANDON SANDERSON (PARAPHRASED)

Well, Sazed changed how the koloss reproduced, so now they reproduce naturally, and when the kids come to a coming-of-age, they decide if they’re going to accept the spikes and become a koloss, or if they’re going to stay normal.

The idea that The Set plans to involve the kidnapped women in Hemalurgic experiments has been proposed several times before. Here's one example from 2011. It's an easy conclusion to make, so it's not much interest to me as a Crazy Theorist. But it's certainly a valid theory.

Edited by skaa
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It is in book that Wax, Wayne, and Marise conclude that the hostages are being selected for being Allomancers or being statistically likely to be allomancers, Marise outright says the suspicion and Wax agrees with her. They discover that all of the victims have strong blood ties to the Lord Mistborn and have a lot of Allomancy in their families.

I'll add the relevant passages when I get home from work and have the book in front of me.

 

I mean, they speculate, yes. But in months and months of heists, they've kidnapped a dozen women. If I had a plan that would only allow me to take an incredibly limited number of women, I would not do it unless I had rock-solid evidence of allomancy. And it still doesn't explain why they take exclusively women. We know they were wrong with Steris, and with Marasi they would only have gotten cadmium. Even for compounding, all cadmium would have given you was infinite breath. Useful, sure, in certain niche circumstances, but c'mon. Without a way to select actual allomancers, let alone actual allomancers with powers anyone would want, and on top of that the idea of duplicates, if this is actually the Set's plan they are far less intelligent that they appear.

 

So, yes, briefly, early in the book, it's speculated that they're trying to find hidden allomancers, but that never really makes sense, and it's not working. Later on they correct themselves, and realize it's far more likely they are trying to get the bloodlines, to breed allomantic children. That said, it's possible, perhaps even likely, that they aren't planning to raise an army so much as use the kids to make Inquisitors.

 

I do wonder how much, if anything, is known of hemalurgy. Koloss could presumably teach people how to steal physical might. It's stated in Hero of Ages that the Lord Ruler provided kandra with charged spikes, so while they seem to know their own bindpoints, there's no reason to assume they know the theftpoints for the Blessings. Marsh was the last Inquisitor, but I can see Spook convincing him to give up some secrets of hemalurgy. Spook himself certainly didn't know how to steal allomantic pewter, since we know from WoB that just stabbing through the heart isn't enough; you must stab the exact right spot, and Spook wasn't in a position to memorize that at the time. How many Thugs was he willing to kill to figure out if he could steal their powers? Quellion might possibly have a better knowledge of the theftpoint for allomantic bronze. Did any other known hemalurgists survive the Rebirth? Otherwise, Marsh is the best bet. Considering how he felt about hemalurgy, it feels like a stretch.

 

From the book, it seems obvious that Spook had reason to believe hemalurgy was a thing he had the option of doing, it was a question of should he or not. I'm not arguing that he didn't learn how, I'm wondering from where he learned.

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don't we know for a fact that the third (previously second) mistborn trilogy will involve a rogue mistborn and a swat team of allomancers going after him? it is fairly certain therefore that someone will breed a mistborn. which works pretty well with the set's plan.

As for the fact that not all the kidnapped women were allomancers, that's irrelevant towards the breeding. they share the bloodlines, they have the right genes, they will be likely to pass the right genes even if they aren't allomancers themselves. I mean, if your family is full of tall people, and you are of average height, you are still more likely to have tall children. in fact, kidnapping women of allomantic bloodlines but uncertain allomancy makes sense only for breeding purposes. Also, as far as we know, what power you have does not influence what power your children will have. so the fact that marasi burns cadmium does not giive her a greater chance of breeding cadmium allomancers, but of breeding any kind of allomancers. even if she was an aluminium gnat, she'd still be as good for breeding as a coinshot.

chull for why they don't kidnap men, well, men are only needed for the sexual act, and it''s likely the members of the firm are the "donors". or they can pay others for it. Women have to undergo pregnancy, so there is no way to make those women pregnant without everybody knowing of it. it's just a matter of logistics.

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I forget the exact phrasing, but the way I read the blurb, it made it sound like the protagonist believes the target is a Mistborn. I wish I had the words right in front of me but I remember thinking it could describe a situation where a hemalurgist with many powers was mistaken for a Mistborn.

 

The Lord Mistborn himself had over a dozen children. If not one of them bred a Mistborn child, I find it difficult to imagine that 300 years later, a breeding program will have a very good shot at managing. Distasteful as it sounds, given what we know of the Set, I think it seems like their goal.

 

Or, they have some additional secret we do not have, something that would make the birth of a full Mistborn likely. What specifically is it that people think they'll do with a Mistborn, though? Assuming you can raise it and train it like a horse and control it utterly seems... unlikely? It's the kind of trope in fantasy that Mr. Sanderson usually subverts.

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Is it for sure that Spook wrote the book? I assumed it was Marsh.

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Is it for sure that Spook wrote the book? I assumed it was Marsh.

 

Brandon has explicitly confirmed that it was not Marsh.

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Hemalurgy is an interesting theory (one that I thought up), but it doesn't explain them exclusively targeting women, and them focusing abductions based on bloodlines over specific abilities. There are plenty of much less conspicuous mistings who they could have targeted over these specific noble women.

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Hemalurgy is an interesting theory (one that I thought up), but it doesn't explain them exclusively targeting women, and them focusing abductions based on bloodlines over specific abilities. There are plenty of much less conspicuous mistings who they could have targeted over these specific noble women.

 

Sorry, I obliquely referenced this early as it's somewhat distasteful and I didn't want to offend, but let me clarify.

 

I'm saying they will use these women, with strong allomantic lines, impregnate them by men with strong allomantic lines, to produce a large number of offspring, statistically likely to have allomantic powers. Then, as soon as the powers are confirmed, use hemalurgy to steal the powers of these children, and give themselves additional powers.

 

Just an idea. A very repulsive one, but a plan that is intelligent with a high chance of actually succeeding. At the moment, I have not heard of nor thought of myself another likely scenario, so right now my personal theory is either this, or there are factors at play we don't yet understand.

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IIRC, didn't Saze/Harmony reduce the allomantic strength of mistings as one of the changes he made to Allomancy during/post ascension so we wouldn't see Allomancers of Vin/Elend's strength (Lerasium aside) again? If so, it does give some merit to Oudeis' idea.

 

I do agree with the idea they're trying to acquire power/create a powerful 'tool' but as to how they're doing so, I don't quite have an ongoing train of thought yet.

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Anybody born with Vin-levels of power probably can't be a misting to begin with. They'd be mistborn. There's a limit to how much power there can be born in a guy before they just plain start to accept all allomantic power manifestations at once.

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Anybody born with Vin-levels of power probably can't be a misting to begin with. They'd be mistborn. There's a limit to how much power there can be born in a guy before they just plain start to accept all allomantic power manifestations at once.

 

What I got from the books was that allomantic strength was/is different for all individuals, regardless if they were mistborn or a misting. It is commented frequently that Vin's strength is quite surprising, given her size etc and when she's being trained by the rest of the crew. and when Elend display's his strength at the beginning of HoA, even Vin mentions his strength is odd. Do you have a citation for that bit? You've got me intrigued 

Edited by ParadoxSpren
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It's remarked that old-time Soothers/Rioters could take control of kandra by themselves. Even Vin can't accomplish this without duralumin. Because of this, I disagree with the idea that anyone of Vin-level strength will naturally be a Mistborn.

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It's remarked that old-time Soothers/Rioters could take control of kandra by themselves. Even Vin can't accomplish this without duralumin. Because of this, I disagree with the idea that anyone of Vin-level strength will naturally be a Mistborn.

It is said that groups of sufficiently strong rioters/soothers can do it, and nowhere was it said it wasn't still possible, it is just that they couldn't field big enough groups of mistings at the battlefield at the time to test it.

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It is said that groups of sufficiently strong rioters/soothers can do it, and nowhere was it said it wasn't still possible, it is just that they couldn't field big enough groups of mistings at the battlefield at the time to test it.

 

From the HoA epigraphs:

It should be no surprise that Elend became such a powerful Allomancer. It is a well-documented fact—though that documentation wasn’t available to most—that Allomancers were much stronger during the early days of the Final Empire. In those days, an Allomancer didn’t need duralumin to take control of a kandra or koloss. A simple Push or Pull on the emotions was enough. In fact, this ability was one of the main reasons that the kandra devised their Contracts with the humans—for, at that time, not only Mistborn, but Soothers and Rioters could take control of them at the merest of whims.

 

It is clear that there were Soothers and Rioters (as in, Mistings) more powerful than Vin in the past. In the same way, it seems like Vin is among the most powerful Allomancers in the days of the Final Empire, and she is incapable of taking control of a koloss or kandra on her own without duralumin. That's all I was saying in response to natc.

 

Groups of Allomancers can definitely take control of them still (TLR put that on his plates).

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Actually not true; in the first battle of Hero of Ages, Vin takes control of Koloss without duralumin. It does require getting them afraid first, loosening the control from the Inquisitor, and taking over. She takes over koloss one-by-one in rapid succession, with absolutely no chance of drinking extra vials, even if she didn't have an odd and constant tendency to only carry two or three spare vials on her at a time.

 

So, Vin is strong enough to take a koloss without duralumin. However, we never see her take a kandra without duralumin. Since Soothers could do that in the past, there have been Soothers more poweful allomantically than Vin.

 

Unless... that's not how power is decided. Unless you add up all of someone's metals to get total "power" levels.

 

However, I believe that the children, or maybe grandchildren, of the original Lerasium Mistborn would be powerful beyond even Vin, a thousand years of watered blood later. So my personal head!canon is that ancient Mistings were more powerful than current Mistborn. However, technically I do not think we can say 100% either way. There is powerful evidence to at least suggest it, however.

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If the lerasium infusion is what causes natural mistborn then I guess the sum of the metals dividing the total power might make sense? Though TenSoon goes on about how the ancient mistborn threatened their people before the Contract, but never mentions soothers and rioters. Mistborn have a more dangerous reputation, but there's nothing a mistborn can do to harm them that emotional mistings can't . . .

We should ask this in the ama or something.

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If the Set is looking to kidnap women of the correct allomantic line to possibly breed a Mistborn, why were they not trying to kidnap men as well? I find it hard to believe that allomancy is primarily maternal, unless the sDNA of allomancy is stored in the spiritual equivalent of mitochondria.

 

Unless...they already have men with strong allomantic lineage who are members of the Set. We all know Mr. Suit's lineage, but is that enough or are there other members who know that they are direct descendants of the Lord Mistborn? 

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So I am newcomer to Brandon Sanderson and in the past month have read the Mistborn trilogy and the Reckoners series. I plan to read Warbreaker next and have just finished Alloy of Law (I can't wait for Shadows of Self). I absolutely loved following Wax and Wayne's story in Alloy of Law but I just have one (probably very stupid) question that I feel wasn't given enough attention in the epilogue. Could someone explain more about the insurance fraud thing with Edward Ladrian and the Set. What exactly was it for? Did The Set take up the shares of House Tekiel and claim insurance for stolen things to gain funding for The Set? Apologies if this is in the wrong section but I assume everyone in this forum has read the book a while ago and are experts on the details. 

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I think the breeding aspect of their plan is probably true. I don't see that this implies an attempt to breed a mistborn or create an inquisitoresque being though. We know this world is going to get to the point of space travel technology, and a lot of us assume that it is going to be through the southerner's version of metallic arts, but I wouldn't be surprised if The Set was breeding allomancers and using hemalurgy to explore new uses of the arts for advancing technology. If they are pretty much glorified business partners then their primary concerns most likely revolve around securing future cash flow. Dolla dolla bills ya'll.

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How did they learn about Marasi? Her geneaology was good enough to survive under even Wax's first scutiny. Not that there aren't ways, but why bother? There don't seem to be a dearth of eligible women to take. And Wax got his invitation only the day before the wedding, so it does not seem like they had time to look at a complete list of attendees and check them all exhaustively. Lord Harms even makes a comment implying he might not have let Marasi come.

Of course, they had the resources to learn, but without hindsight, why bother? In a target rich environment, why put the effort into going past the obvious genealogy of the young Lady Colms to learn her past? If it's because of their assosciation with Wax, that was formalized the day before, also they order him killed the next day. It makes no sense to try to provoke a reaction and then try to kill him. If it was to look like they were picking random women but still get the option, this was an awful idea because someone would have learned her story and realized the huge clue.

It makes no sense I can see. As Wax says, even if they were going for a decoy and didn't know she really was part of the line, it made much more sense to pick someone not related at all.

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How did they learn about Marasi? Her geneaology was good enough to survive under even Wax's first scutiny. Not that there aren't ways, but why bother? There don't seem to be a dearth of eligible women to take. And Wax got his invitation only the day before the wedding, so it does not seem like they had time to look at a complete list of attendees and check them all exhaustively. Lord Harms even makes a comment implying he might not have let Marasi come.

Of course, they had the resources to learn, but without hindsight, why bother? In a target rich environment, why put the effort into going past the obvious genealogy of the young Lady Colms to learn her past? If it's because of their assosciation with Wax, that was formalized the day before, also they order him killed the next day. It makes no sense to try to provoke a reaction and then try to kill him. If it was to look like they were picking random women but still get the option, this was an awful idea because someone would have learned her story and realized the huge clue.

It makes no sense I can see. As Wax says, even if they were going for a decoy and didn't know she really was part of the line, it made much more sense to pick someone not related at all.

 

I don't have a good answer about the genealogy, but presumably there must have been a few scattered people who knew the truth.  In fact, it might not have been as big a secret as Harms thought it was; there's an etiquette precedence for maintaining the "polite fiction" that Marasi was his niece.  People might have known, but they certainly weren't going to be so rude as to talk about it when the family in question was in earshot.

 

As to which women they chose, we know that Edwarn had a list.  He says at one point that he probably should have removed Steris from it, given how much of a problem Wax's interest could be to his plans.  I would surmise that each man had a sketch of a particular woman (maybe as many as two or three) from the list, and each was searching the crowd for the woman whose picture he had.  They weren't specifically looking for just Steris and Marasi - they had a larger pool of women that they were searching the crowds for.  They knew that at least some of the women on their list were at least likely to be there, but they didn't know for certain which ones.  The first two found would be the ones they took.  That leaves grabbing the sisters as pure coincidence, but it's not completely outside the realm of possibility.

 

And don't even get me started about the huge etiquette faux pas it is to send out invitations the day before a wedding. 

Edited by Kaymyth
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