Fanghur Rahl

What exactly did Preservation do to restrain Ruin?

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So I just finished listening to the first era of Mistborn last week, and I’m a little confused about something, namely what exactly did Preservation do to keep Ruin ‘imprisoned’ for so long? Because the way it’s described in Secret History makes it seem like he ‘physically’ locked Ruin away in the Well (at least that’s how Kelsier perceives it). But when Kelsier says that to Fuzz he basically calls him an ignorant fool for saying something so silly.

So what exactly did Fuzz do? Was it just that he essentially ‘enveloped’ Ruin with his own power such that Ruin wasn’t really able to affect anything because Preservation’s own power would counter it? If so then how did the Well figure into it? Clearly the Well was only a fraction of Preservation’s total power. Even after listening to Secret History a second time I’m still confused about this. Note: I understand the Atium part.
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He set the majority of his power to counteract anything Ruin did. 

Anything that Ruin tried to do or change would be immediately counteracted. But he was free to roam. 

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But he was doing that anyway though; Ruin even said as much. That neither of them were free to act because the other would always oppose them. 

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Preservation just made it autonomous, so he, Leras, wouldn't have to make a conscious decision to act that way every time. He ripped out a part of his mind and molded it into an autonomous mind with a bit of power bound to it such that it was able to act to counter most of Ruin's actions. This left Leras free to do whatever he wanted, which wasn't much since he had lost most of his mind. It was probably just an efficiency thing, since Leras probably didn't want to spend all his time watching Ruin and countering his actions as they happened, and wanted to be able to act in other ways.

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Preservation actually did two things when he sacrificed his mind. The first was automating the power to push back on Ruin, or perhaps it interfered with Ati's ability to interface with Ruin properly. The second was cutting off a chunk of Ruin's power. This chunk of power was then placed in the Pits and fashioned in such a way to produce atium. Recall that a small piece of Preservation was in each human, weakening him compared to Ruin. This attack on Ruin evened out the scale, allowing to their perpetual war to continue and Ruin's promised victory to be prolonged.

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That’s what I thought he had done, but I don’t understand why in Secret History Kelsier literally observes Ruin physically confined to the Well (or some ‘place’ beyond the Well). I mean, was that just supposed to be some kind of a metaphorical observation? Even Hoid implied that Ruin made using the Well perpendicularity very dangerous, which is weird considering that prior to that he was using Ruin’s own perpendicularity.

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6 hours ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

That’s what I thought he had done, but I don’t understand why in Secret History Kelsier literally observes Ruin physically confined to the Well (or some ‘place’ beyond the Well). I mean, was that just supposed to be some kind of a metaphorical observation? Even Hoid implied that Ruin made using the Well perpendicularity very dangerous, which is weird considering that prior to that he was using Ruin’s own perpendicularity.

I've been watching this thread and thinking this with every new affirmation of the "countering Ruin" statement.

I guess I need to re-read, because I never got that impression.
I thought Preservation lost himself confining Ruin in the well. Vin taking and releasing the power is what freed Ruin to act.

AFTER that Preservation was attempting to counter Ruin, but I don't think there was any need prior to that.

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6 hours ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

That’s what I thought he had done, but I don’t understand why in Secret History Kelsier literally observes Ruin physically confined to the Well (or some ‘place’ beyond the Well). I mean, was that just supposed to be some kind of a metaphorical observation? Even Hoid implied that Ruin made using the Well perpendicularity very dangerous, which is weird considering that prior to that he was using Ruin’s own perpendicularity.

He never saw Ruin actually confined to somewhere. It's been awhile, but I think what he felt was the power of the Well, part of the autonomous mind that Leras had created, and its connection to Ruin, and its actions to counter his actions, which Kelsier's mind interpreted as imprisonment.

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7 hours ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

That’s what I thought he had done, but I don’t understand why in Secret History Kelsier literally observes Ruin physically confined to the Well (or some ‘place’ beyond the Well). I mean, was that just supposed to be some kind of a metaphorical observation? Even Hoid implied that Ruin made using the Well perpendicularity very dangerous, which is weird considering that prior to that he was using Ruin’s own perpendicularity.

Ruin wasn't technically trapped there, but his focus was there, waiting for something to happen, and where Shards focus brings about a manifestation of their power. This was the black smoke, which is notably more pronounced as the Well grows more full.

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HoA ch46 epigraph

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Ruin's escape deserves some explanation. This is a thing that even I had a problem understanding.

Ruin could not have used the power at the Well of Ascension. It was of Preservation, Ruin's fundamental opposite. Indeed, a direct confrontation of these two forces would have caused the destruction of both.

Ruin's prison, however, was fabricated of that power. Therefore, it was attuned to the power of Preservation—the very power of the Well. When that power was released and dispersed, rather than utilized, it acted as a key. The subsequent "unlocking" is what finally freed Ruin.

ch47 epigraph

Quote

Ruin's prison was not like those that hold men. He wasn't bound by bars. In fact, he could move about freely.

His prison, rather, was one of impotence. In the terms of forces and gods, this meant balance. If Ruin were to push, the prison would push back, essentially rendering Ruin powerless. And because much of his power was stripped away and hidden, he was unable to affect the world in any but the most subtle of ways.

I should stop here and clarify something. We speak of Ruin being "freed" from his prison. But that is misleading. Releasing the power at the Well tipped the aforementioned balance back toward Ruin, but he was still too weak to destroy the world in the blink of an eye as he yearned to do. This weakness was caused by part of Ruin's power—his very body—having been taken and hidden from him.

Which was why Ruin became so obsessed with finding the hidden part of his self.

 

I feel like we're all talking about the same thing but half of us consider imprisonment to mean unable to move and the others are using it like the book does.

Ruin's power was confined by Preservation's power which manifests as the Well.
So Ruin was trapped by the Well, if not strictly in the Well as we would think of it.

Edited by Wreith
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56 minutes ago, Wreith said:

Ruin's prison was not like those that hold men. He wasn't bound by bars. In fact, he could move about freely.

This bit here is the important part. The movement. If he were bound to the well, Kelsier couldn't have ridden the the pulses outward to see where Ruin's attention was focused. 

That epigraph describes everything about the situation. The pits weakened Ruin enough for the prison to work long term, and the prison held Ruin mostly impotent. 

I believe that in the early days of this situation is when Leras set up the Terris prophecies and worked to nudge things in the correct direction for Harmony/Discord to occur. He knew that eventually he was going to die from the state he was in. Whether his plan succeeded or not, eventually ruin would be free and he would die, so he used the time before he faded to set up the events we know. 

It was a long game, and it paid off. 

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On 9/6/2018 at 3:04 AM, Fanghur Rahl said:

That’s what I thought he had done, but I don’t understand why in Secret History Kelsier literally observes Ruin physically confined to the Well (or some ‘place’ beyond the Well). I mean, was that just supposed to be some kind of a metaphorical observation? Even Hoid implied that Ruin made using the Well perpendicularity very dangerous, which is weird considering that prior to that he was using Ruin’s own perpendicularity.

Also keep in mind the Well being Preservation's Perpendicularity means that it was a junction between all three Reams and Preservation's Investiture. Because of that it was a physical (cognitive?) place that someone would be more closely in touch with Ruin than anywhere else. My reasoning for why the Pits were safer was because Preservation blocked Ruin from it thus making it little more than a pool of power that could function as a doorway between Realms and fuel the formation of Atium.

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According to one of the Hero Of Ages annotations:

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The mist spirit is, as the next epigraph explains, the remnants of Preservation’s mind. I don’t delve into it too much in this book, even the epigraphs, but Preservation’s consciousness is indeed separate from his power. However, his consciousness itself has a limited power. And that is what he used to bind Ruin.

That did not weaken his power, which still protects the world. Instead, it cost him his mind, leaving behind only a faint shadow—like the mists’ memory of Preservation, far removed from what he had once been.

That consciousness attached to Preservation—like the one attached to Ruin—is a part of Adonalsium, which will eventually be explained. Suffice it to say that in a pinch, Preservation could draw upon the power of his own mind and use it to imprison Ruin. This was why he was able to pull of the trick, as Ruin wasn’t expecting it. He might have anticipated an attack using Preservation’s power, but not his mind—not knowing what burning his own mind would do.

That is why Preservation’s cage captured Ruin’s own mind, but not his power.

 

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