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So Harmony is made up of two opposing Shards. As of MB era 2 Harmony is still mostly Sazed, as far as I understand, but over the years his shard's Intent is going to remake him into... something. I see four options as to what that something might be:

1. Ruin and Preservation Intents together pretty much cover all potential actions Harmony might take, so they cancel each other out. Future!Harmony stays Sazed inside and can do whatever he likes. (Pros: Adonalsium was all those conflicting proto-Intents at once. Cons: seems like too much of a narrative free lunch).

2. Pretty much all potential actions fall under either "conflicts with Ruin's Intent" or "conflicts with Preservation's Intent". Harmony ends up not really being able to do anything. He spends future eras basically sitting around on his thumbs. (Unlikely; sounds like a waste of the character).

3. Harmony can only take individual actions that are equal-parts Ruinous and... what's the word? Preservative? Preservation-y? Not technically as limiting as #2 (but still feels like a waste).

4. Harmony's actions have to average out being Ruinous and Preservation-y. So if he wants to, say, save a major city from a tornado, he can do so, but he'll have to cause an equal amount of destruction (either at once or cumulatively) somehow somewhere on Scadrial. (I find this one the most likely, if only because it seems like the scenario Sanderson can do the most with).

What do you think?

 

(sorry if I've used the wrong words or spelling; I don't have time to edit this properly)

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12 minutes ago, Necessary Eagle said:

2. Pretty much all potential actions fall under either "conflicts with Ruin's Intent" or "conflicts with Preservation's Intent". Harmony ends up not really being able to do anything. He spends future eras basically sitting around on his thumbs. (Unlikely; sounds like a waste of the character).

This is pretty much already starting to happen. Both intents are still there pushing against each other, making it harder and harder for him to act. 

I think one of the benefits of this is the intents countering each other may allow him to better maintain his own personality, which in turn may allow him a bit more freedom, as he sees both intents as natural and necessary, hence the choice of the name Harmony. His acceptance of both intents lends itself to the mental gymnastics needed to act in a way that is balanced between the intents. 

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Well...or secret option 5: he acts in a harmonious manner...which is the main tenet of his religions.

IE: he does what he can to preserve humanity and provide them with stability and happiness, while simultaneously trying to avoid doing things that would limit their ability to change and grow.

He views the creation of the basin as a mistake because it's slowed down the evolution of society, while acknowledging that he did it because he wanted humanity to have a chance to catch their breath and recover from the Lord rulers oppression. Evidence that he is already being strongly influenced to obey his intent. Plus, he was compatible with both ruin and preservation to begin with; I feel like it would be weird to be warped by an intent you were well matched with.

The original ruin supposedly wasn't matched to the shard very well, which was why he became so corrupted. Sazed may be able to avoid this problem completely. :D

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The original ruin supposedly wasn't matched to the shard very well, which was why he became so corrupted. Sazed may be able to avoid this problem completely. :D

Really? I hadn't come across this WoB. That opens up so many possibilities for theorizing...

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3 minutes ago, Necessary Eagle said:

Really? I hadn't come across this WoB. That opens up so many possibilities for theorizing...

It's not a WoB, as far as I'm aware. There was a comment by Leras(Preservation's Vessel) in Secret History, but I don't have that with me at the moment for the exact words.

I technically disagree with hwiles statement because of it. Leras mentioned that Ati(Ruin's Vessel) always believed things eventually end(wind down, end, something similar?), which means, to me at least, that he did fit with Ruin in the sense that Ruin was a Shard of decay/entropy. Ati was a nice guy, while Ruin ended up being a Villain, but that's mostly because decay isn't something people like.

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I think there is another possibility.

Preservation Invested more in Humans that Ruin, hence Ruin being stronger, so Preservation was using Pits of Hasthin and Atium Allomancers to weaken Ruin to the "same(ish)" level of power that he could contain him in the well.

After Harmony - Humans still have more preservation in them. So possibly Harmony could to use the Pits again to "spend" away Ruin to stay in balance. (As a concept)  In that case, I imagine he could consciously adjust the amount of Ruin he "spends" away to allow him to act however he wants.  I.e. A more "preservation based" action, he just spends more of the ruin side first somewhere else.  So instead of each action having to be balanced, he basically balances a Ruin action here, by a Preservation action over there.

However, I'm pretty sure the geographical Pits still exist, but they don't function as a "Ruin" sink anymore, meaning if Harmony it's not action balancing, maybe he is dumping into his own God Metal (EttMetal) and that's why it's so crazy reactive... because it's not actually a balanced metal, it has more "Ruin" in it than Preservation so that he himself Harmony can stay balanced.

 

TL:DR

Humans still have more Preservation in them, so maybe Harmony put more "Ruin" into Ettmetal since Pits and Atum don't exist like they did for Preservation.  That would then allow Harmony to be more balanced.  

Edited by Chinsukolo
Trying to clarify that I dont think Pits are actually still active as a "Ruin" sink
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2 minutes ago, Chinsukolo said:

After Harmony - Humans still have more preservation in them. So possibly Harmony has to use the Pits again to "spend" away Ruin to stay in balance. [...] because it's not actually a balanced metal, it has more "Ruin" in it than Preservation so that he himself Harmony can stay balanced.

Pits and the Well are both gone in terms of Shardpools, meaning that Harmony should have a singular one somewhere.
But you are correct that he has to "spend" that excess in the form of Metal:

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5 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

Pits and the Well are both gone in terms of Shardpools, meaning that Harmony should have a singular one somewhere.
But you are correct that he has to "spend" that excess in the form of Metal:

Yes, when I reread my post I realized I did a poor job of trying to explain the concept behind my thought.  I edited it to try and clean it up so that maybe it's not as confusing and doesn't suggest that the possibility that they are working as a shardpool still.

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The idea that Sazed could act towards one intent and then the other in some balancing act is inherently flawed. 

For this to be true acting in accordance with the Shards intent would relieve the pressure of that intent on the vessel. If this were true, Ruin wouldn't have been able to completely subsume Ati's personality as we saw. The moment Ruin took full control, every action would have reduced the pressure of Ruin's Intent and Ati would have resurfaced. Therefore the Shard places an intense and constant pressure on the Vessel.

In Sazed's situation, with directly opposing intents, he must act in the narrow margin allowed by both intents, or perform the mental gymnastics necessary to accept that action within the bounds of those intents.

As I said in my first post in this thread, Sazed's acceptance of Ruin and Preservation as natural and necessary forces in balance, and thus the name he chose, lends itself to those mental acrobatics. It's still a ridiculously difficult situation. 

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19 hours ago, Calderis said:

The idea that Sazed could act towards one intent and then the other in some balancing act is inherently flawed. 

For this to be true acting in accordance with the Shards intent would relieve the pressure of that intent on the vessel. If this were true, Ruin wouldn't have been able to completely subsume Ati's personality as we saw. The moment Ruin took full control, every action would have reduced the pressure of Ruin's Intent and Ati would have resurfaced. Therefore the Shard places an intense and constant pressure on the Vessel.

In Sazed's situation, with directly opposing intents, he must act in the narrow margin allowed by both intents, or perform the mental gymnastics necessary to accept that action within the bounds of those intents.

As I said in my first post in this thread, Sazed's acceptance of Ruin and Preservation as natural and necessary forces in balance, and thus the name he chose, lends itself to those mental acrobatics. It's still a ridiculously difficult situation. 

I can see it being flawed, good explanation for why too.

Though I still haven't seen anything address the fact that Preservation invested more into humans than Ruin did; and as far as I know Harmony couldn't "undo" that.  So he has to be doing something to make Ruin and Preservation balance, because when he picked them up Ruin was still stronger because of the missing Preservation that was in all Scanrial humans.  The two forces were only balanced enough for borderline containment because Preservation was locking Ruins power away in Atium to offset the imbalance.

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47 minutes ago, Chinsukolo said:

I can see it being flawed, good explanation for why too.

Though I still haven't seen anything address the fact that Preservation invested more into humans than Ruin did; and as far as I know Harmony couldn't "undo" that.  So he has to be doing something to make Ruin and Preservation balance, because when he picked them up Ruin was still stronger because of the missing Preservation that was in all Scanrial humans.  The two forces were only balanced enough for borderline containment because Preservation was locking Ruins power away in Atium to offset the imbalance.

Harmonium could easily be more Ruin than Preservation to achieve a true balance. 

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Just now, Calderis said:

Harmonium could easily be more Ruin than Preservation to achieve a true balance. 

It is, but only by 1 electron. See the Link I posted to Pagerunner's thread.

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I think of Harmony as Wax's explanation on the train in BoM about his law keeping. 

 

Harmony obeys his intent by trying to give each individual person an equal amount of Liberty in their choices, without those choices interfering in the Liberties of others.

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Harmony does dub Wax his "Ruin" and TenSoon as his "Preservation" so there is some evidence of Sazed feeling a need to take actions on behalf of both intents, if only by proxy.

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On 6/11/2017 at 3:29 PM, Chinsukolo said:

I can see it being flawed, good explanation for why too.

Though I still haven't seen anything address the fact that Preservation invested more into humans than Ruin did; and as far as I know Harmony couldn't "undo" that.  So he has to be doing something to make Ruin and Preservation balance, because when he picked them up Ruin was still stronger because of the missing Preservation that was in all Scanrial humans.  The two forces were only balanced enough for borderline containment because Preservation was locking Ruins power away in Atium to offset the imbalance.

I'm on my mobile atm so I am limited (and, honestly, a bit lazy haha) but there is a WoB where Brandon hints that Sazed is doing something with the extra Ruin but, as far as I know, Brandon has not clarified what that "something" is. 

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On 11.6.2017 at 5:09 AM, Chinsukolo said:

Preservation Invested more in Humans that Ruin, hence Ruin being stronger, so Preservation was using Pits of Hasthin and Atium Allomancers to weaken Ruin to the "same(ish)" level of power that he could contain him in the well.

I thought of something similar in my Trell theory, that he is actually harmony's stronger ruin persona, because the pits are supposed to be back in about the same time Mistborn era 2 is going on. Kelsier said it will take them about 300 years to regenerate,  and that's about the same time...

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On 10/06/2017 at 0:45 PM, hwiles said:

Well...or secret option 5: he acts in a harmonious manner...which is the main tenet of his religions.

IE: he does what he can to preserve humanity and provide them with stability and happiness, while simultaneously trying to avoid doing things that would limit their ability to change and grow.

He views the creation of the basin as a mistake because it's slowed down the evolution of society, while acknowledging that he did it because he wanted humanity to have a chance to catch their breath and recover from the Lord rulers oppression. Evidence that he is already being strongly influenced to obey his intent. Plus, he was compatible with both ruin and preservation to begin with; I feel like it would be weird to be warped by an intent you were well matched with.

The original ruin supposedly wasn't matched to the shard very well, which was why he became so corrupted. Sazed may be able to avoid this problem completely. :D

Are you thinking of Hoid's in-world comments in The Letter about Ati being kind and generous before he became Ruin? I think those are more to do with him being too placid and not having a forceful enough personality to resist Ruin's intent, not that people with significant differences to a Shard are more vulnerable to its influence.

On 11/06/2017 at 2:50 PM, Calderis said:

The idea that Sazed could act towards one intent and then the other in some balancing act is inherently flawed. 

For this to be true acting in accordance with the Shards intent would relieve the pressure of that intent on the vessel. If this were true, Ruin wouldn't have been able to completely subsume Ati's personality as we saw. The moment Ruin took full control, every action would have reduced the pressure of Ruin's Intent and Ati would have resurfaced. Therefore the Shard places an intense and constant pressure on the Vessel.

In Sazed's situation, with directly opposing intents, he must act in the narrow margin allowed by both intents, or perform the mental gymnastics necessary to accept that action within the bounds of those intents.

As I said in my first post in this thread, Sazed's acceptance of Ruin and Preservation as natural and necessary forces in balance, and thus the name he chose, lends itself to those mental acrobatics. It's still a ridiculously difficult situation. 

You are right that of course that on picking up the two Shards that Sazed would have an acceptable margin for tolerable actions within both his individual intents, however that doesn't necessarily mean that he can't go to the very limits of that margin from time to time when he believes the situation demands it, but I think his overall Intent would also require that when he does that he balances things out by acting on the opposite Intent a little more than usual for a while, or by taking a similarly unbalanced-but-allowable approach in the opposite direction. And of course, it's possibly that going to those limits but still maintaining an overall balance might allow Sazed to stretch his limits a bit further. We really don't know how the mechanics work all that well, especially with two Shards poured into the same Vessel.

There's also the question of whether Ruin and Preservation are to any degree actually coalescing into Harmony in their intents. If they are, that is something of a minor counterargument to your point, as remember, we know there has been a being that used all sixteen shards at once and didn't suffer from the decision paralysis you would expect from destructive interference from all those Intents coming together, so we know it's possible for that to happen, the question is whether Sazed has met the conditions for it yet. If so, that may allow him to start unleashing a bit more of each power individually, as the intent of Harmony would be to allow for the two forces to be used together constructively as well as in opposition to each other. (You would still expect him to have to do a lot of the mental gymnastics and careful picking and choosing of actions even so, of course)

On 15/06/2017 at 8:52 AM, CaptainRyan said:

I'm on my mobile atm so I am limited (and, honestly, a bit lazy haha) but there is a WoB where Brandon hints that Sazed is doing something with the extra Ruin but, as far as I know, Brandon has not clarified what that "something" is. 

Pagerunner actually has a newer WoB in the linked thread that Harmonium is very slightly more ruinous (ie. it has an extra pseudo-electron made from Ruin's investiture) instead of being completely balanced, so that certainly goes at least some way to explaining where the extra Ruin has gone, assuming Sazed is stockpiling Harmonium somewhere but keeping it secret. (which I would expect he may not entirely be able to avoid doing even if he wanted to)

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45 minutes ago, Ari said:

You are right that of course that on picking up the two Shards that Sazed would have an acceptable margin for tolerable actions within both his individual intents, however that doesn't necessarily mean that he can't go to the very limits of that margin from time to time when he believes the situation demands it, but I think his overall Intent would also require that when he does that he balances things out by acting on the opposite Intent a little more than usual for a while, or by taking a similarly unbalanced-but-allowable approach in the opposite direction. And of course, it's possibly that going to those limits but still maintaining an overall balance might allow Sazed to stretch his limits a bit further. We really don't know how the mechanics work all that well, especially with two Shards poured into the same Vessel.

There's also the question of whether Ruin and Preservation are to any degree actually coalescing into Harmony in their intents. If they are, that is something of a minor counterargument to your point, as remember, we know there has been a being that used all sixteen shards at once and didn't suffer from the decision paralysis you would expect from destructive interference from all those Intents coming together, so we know it's possible for that to happen, the question is whether Sazed has met the conditions for it yet. If so, that may allow him to start unleashing a bit more of each power individually, as the intent of Harmony would be to allow for the two forces to be used together constructively as well as in opposition to each other. (You would still expect him to have to do a lot of the mental gymnastics and careful picking and choosing of actions even so, of course)

I both agree and disagree. The first point, I disagree with. Acting towards the limits allowed would be very difficult. I do not believe that an opposing action would be required though, as this would imply a created imbalance in the pressure of the opposing intents. As stated previously, I believe those pressures are constant, so any imbalance must be either mitigated through other means (such as the Harmonium tilt towards ruin, however small) or be permanent. 

On the second point, about the intents merging

http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=979#174

Quote

THANATOS17901 ()

Thanks so much for all your writing, Way of Kings is the best book I've read in the last decade.

If Sazed were to die, would he drop the shards Ruin and Preservation, or would he drop the shard Harmony?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)

TAGS

sazed, shard , ruin , preservation ,  harmony ,  odium

The Shards are already mixing. A new intent will emerge and pressure of the separate intents will lessen over time. But the particulars of the new intent... I don't think we can just assume that Ruin and Preservation will cancel each other out. Whatever the new intent actually emerges as, I don't think it will be opposed to itself. 

So while they merge I think he's actually experiencing the pressure of three intents. One has elements of both, so it's not extremely noticeable, but over time I think the other two will weaken and the new intent will eventually be all that remains. It may merely be a middle ground between R&P, but I think it will eventually show something distinctive. 

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On 20/06/2017 at 2:33 PM, Calderis said:

I both agree and disagree. The first point, I disagree with. Acting towards the limits allowed would be very difficult. I do not believe that an opposing action would be required though, as this would imply a created imbalance in the pressure of the opposing intents. As stated previously, I believe those pressures are constant, so any imbalance must be either mitigated through other means (such as the Harmonium tilt towards ruin, however small) or be permanent. 

On the second point, about the intents merging

http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=979#174

The Shards are already mixing. A new intent will emerge and pressure of the separate intents will lessen over time. But the particulars of the new intent... I don't think we can just assume that Ruin and Preservation will cancel each other out. Whatever the new intent actually emerges as, I don't think it will be opposed to itself. 

So while they merge I think he's actually experiencing the pressure of three intents. One has elements of both, so it's not extremely noticeable, but over time I think the other two will weaken and the new intent will eventually be all that remains. It may merely be a middle ground between R&P, but I think it will eventually show something distinctive. 

I'm familiar with that WoB. The question is whether Harmony is yet developing its own Intent or not, we know Ruin and Preservation are linked enough now that they'd drop as a single shard, but we don't know all of what that means, and whether it will actually affect the constraints placed on Sazed in the long-term.

I actually disagree that in the long-term that the development of a combined Intent for Harmony could only constrain Harmony further than dealing with two contradictory individual Intents, although it may do so in the short-term, as I expect development of the combined intent would likely weaken the other two intents as it grew stronger. If your theory on how this works were the case, how could Adonalsium have taken any action in the first place with all sixteen intents combined together? Now, it's possible that Something Has Changed with the shattering and that recombining intents will pose similar (if not so extreme) difficulties for any other shards, but we kinda have to wait and see whether Sazed has changed in one of the next two Mistborn series to test the hypothesis, so it's really a question of speculation at this point unless someone cares enough to ask Brandon.

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46 minutes ago, Ari said:

I actually disagree that in the long-term that the development of a combined Intent for Harmony could only constrain Harmony further than dealing with two contradictory individual Intents, although it may do so in the short-term, as I expect development of the combined intent would likely weaken the other two intents as it grew stronger.

Maybe I worded it poorly, but this was my point. In the short term, as a new intent emerges, he'll possibly be more constrained, but long term the others will subside and he will only be governed by the new, single, intent. 

As far as Adonalsium is concerned, I don't think think the rules we know regarding the Shards intents really applies. The intents are a byproduct of the shattering as the Shards are only parts of a cohesive whole. The "intents" as we know them were working together without opposition, and so there should have been no constraints.

This is the primary reason I think that Harmony has to develop a new intent. Once the Shards have fully merged, there should be no opposition between Ruin and Preservation. They will still only be a fraction of the whole that was Adonalsium though, so while the new intent may be less constraining than an original singular intent, it still has to push in a direction that the lack of the other Shards does not counter balance. 

I have no idea what the actual result will be, I'm mainly curious to see if Harmony remains a fitting name once the new intent emerges. 

Edited by Calderis
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What if Trell is Sazed. 

And having two opposing shards has made him schitzo.

Both personalities are not aware of the other and Trillium is really Harmonium.

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47 minutes ago, Thanatos said:

What if Trell is Sazed. 

And having two opposing shards has made him schitzo.

Both personalities are not aware of the other and Trillium is really Harmonium.

Harmonium is ettmetal. If a Kandra's body contains anywhere near the level of water in a human body, the spike would have exploded. 

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Calderis, cheers did not realize Harmonium was known.

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9 hours ago, Thanatos said:

Calderis, cheers did not realize Harmonium was known.

Yeah, we found out a few months after BoM's release IIRC. Pagerunner had a conversation with Brandon and discovered it's like a Caesium atom that's been composed of pseudo-particles made of investiture, which interestingly means it may not be (safely) ingestible, because it would probably blow up your throat or stomach if you tried.

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I'm gonna need to step in and pump the brakes on some of this harmonium talk. What we actually have confirmed about harmonium's properties is actually surprisingly little. We have my initial conversation with Brandon, summarized as:

Quote

I’m still waiting to get the recording of the signing line, but I’ll paraphrase what I got out of it. Brandon said that it makes sense for ettmetal to be so volatile, because it has the power of both Shards in it, and the conflict associated with them. He also clarified that it’s not a nuclear reaction; it’s chemically reactive, it’s the properties of the electrons in Harmonium that make it so reactive. It’s like ‘super-cesium,’ reacting very quickly with water.

I developed a theory around that, which states that having individual electrons be of either Ruin or Preservation will increase the chemical reactivity. I got someone to follow-up at a con a few months later, although I'm not sure Brandon entirely understood the line of questioning:

Quote

Ironeyes: So harmonium, we have a working theory that the reason it's so volatile is because some of the subatomic particles are associated with Ruin and some of them are [of?] Preservation. Is that true?
A: Yeah, that's basically what's going on is that it's creating a very unstable metal. Now, it is in the nature of the Cosmere not a compound but an element. But, you could call it a subatomic particle sure. It's very volatile because it is in nature spiritually in contrast with itself. And so though it is a single element rather than a compound, the spiritual nature is not happy as it is, and you can set up in the physical realm, through reactivity things that would just rip it apart and really your energy is not, your energy in that is actually pulling from the Spiritual realm, and so that's why it can be so much more explosive than even the chemistry would account for.

A strict reading of Brandon's answer actually disproves my theory; he identifies the whole harmonium 'atom' as a 'subatomic particle' that has internal repulsion in the Spiritual Realm, not the Physical Realm. I look at it a little more loosely (mainly to keep my theory alive!), but I think he was still only discussing it at a high level and didn't quite get his terms right in a conversational setting.

But the whole idea that harmonium is unbalanced towards Ruin is derived from my theory, it is not a confirmed fact. If harmonium shares the orbital structure of a real alkali metal, it will have an odd number of electrons, so that means you couldn't evenly divide electrons between Ruin and Preservation. Unbalancing it towards Ruin tied in nicely with balancing out the extra piece of Preservation that is in humanity. All we have confirmed about the 'extra piece of Ruin' is this:

Quote

rags

How is Harmony balanced when a part of Preservation's power is expended on human sentience? Isn't that what caused all the trouble to begin with?

Brandon Sanderson

Indeed. Hm... What could Sazed be doing with that extra power...

Which doesn't actually tell us anything. We can infer that Sazed is aware of it, so it's not like he's accidentally going to be overpowered by Ruinous tendencies. But as to the exact mechanism, we have no clues. (I used to like the theory of Rust as a Splinter he created and gave to Kelsier, but I seem to recall enough that being debunked past the point of tenability.)

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