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On the Missing Piece

King's Twit

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EDIT: One day I'm going to clean this up and take out the parts that have been debunked. Rust is not a Splinter, as there are none of Ruin or Preservation, and I've since become more convinced that Rust is held by Kelsier's cognitive shadow.


The location of the missing piece of Ruin has been a subject of a lot of speculation, so this may have been brought up before. This is also my first post here, so I apologize for any mistakes I might make and for the disjointed stream of consciousness that is this post.


Basically, I believe that the missing piece of Ruin is either a splinter similar to a powerful spren, or the power was turned into a kind of a minor shard which has been taken up by someone. I believe that this is Rust, and that they are either the force working against Harmony, or aiding another Shard who is also hostile to Harmony, either Autonomy or Odium.


There is a WoB somewhere that I haven't been able to find, but which basically says that the phrase "Rust and Ruin" has more significance than it might seem. This is, I think, a hint at another entity called Rust. This could be another, previously unmet Shard, but I doubt that for a couple of reasons which have been brought up in different places on this forum:


- Rust is a very similar Intent to Ruin, arguably too similar to be another Shard of Adonalsium

- We know that Ruin and Preservation are the only Shards on Scadrial from a WoB

- We know that the metal in Paalm's spike was of a Shard we already have met from another WoB


I believe that, to balance the forces of Ruin and Preservation within himself, Harmony cleaved the excess Ruin off from the whole, which eventually became Rust.


If this is correct, there are a couple possibilities for what the exact nature of Rust is:


-It could be a piece of Ruin's power which was large enough to develop a consciousness of its own.

We know, from WoB, that a Shard left without a holder for long enough will develop a consciousness of its own. This could extend to large enough pieces of that power as well.


-It could be a powerful spren-like entity created intentionally by Harmony.


-It could be a person or entity which took up the extra piece of Ruin, either by being given it by Harmony or by obtaining it against Harmony's will.


If we now assume that Rust exists and is in some way derived from the excess power of Ruin, there are further questions to explore.


Is Rust behind Miles and Paalm's plans?

Finding Rust behind Miles is not something I can do right now before a reread. He is connected to the “men of gold and red,” the red men could be tied to Rust, who the gold is I couldn’t say. Maybe Miles himself, as a gold compounder, or maybe there is another Shard involved as well and the gold refers to them.


Is Paalm's spike from Rust?

The most obvious bit of evidence for this is the rusty spots on Paalm’s spike. That is by no means conclusive however. We are led to believe that Harmony should recognize anything from Scadrial, but we are only told this by Harmony himself, I believe, in his early godhood when he wrote the words of Founding (unless there is a WoB I missed).


Even if the metal is not of Rust, Paalm’s extensive knowledge of Hemalurgy must have come from Rust. You might say that she could have gotten the knowledge from her close relationship with the Lord Ruler, but her knowledge of Hemalurgy extends beyond his own. It is said that the Lord Ruler had his inquisitors working on discovering a new Hemalurgic creation for nearly the entirety of his reign, and yet they never succeeded. Paalm created a new Hemalurgic species, and used Hemalurgy in other ways that no one else knew was possible, such as endowing powers on Kandra and speaking into minds. Where could she have gotten all of this knowledge of the ridiculously complex magic system, Hemalurgy, except from a piece of its source. We know that Ruin had an instinctive knowledge of all of the hundreds of bind points on a body and how to use them, so Rust could as well.


I’m going to cut this off here, I think, because I don’t want this post to be too long, as I may be suggesting nothing new here


I would like to end with a mention of my personal beliefs on this issue. I believe that Rust is something akin to a minor shard of Ruin’s power, and that it has been taken up by a cognitive shadow of either Kelsier or Ati. I know this sounds very tinfoil, and it may be, but I see some evidence for it.


The book is entitled Shadows of Self, which is the exact term used to describe the mist spirit, Leras’s cognitive shadow, in HoA. Ati would have the motive to bring down Harmony, and would also already have the Hemalurgic knowledge to aid Paalm if the power of Rust did not endow it.


I’m less confident in Kelsier being Rust. He is mentioned as still being around, and I can’t remember if Harmony refers to him in a positive or negative way in era 2. Harmony may have endowed the power on Kelsier, possibly believing him to be beyond the ability to influence the world with the power. He could have been corrupted by its Intent, and now seeks to Rust everything (I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but I also believe that Rust is a name attributed by a metal-driven culture, and a more accurate Intent might be Corruption).


The main thing that makes me want to believe Rust is Kelsier is that Rust is likely to be, in some way, tied to the Set. A set is “a group or collection of things that belong together, resemble one another, or are usually found together” or “a group of people with common interests or occupations or of similar social status.” This sounds an awful lot like a crew, no?


EDIT: I should clarify something. When I suggest that the power was turned into a minor Shard, I do not mean that this was done intentionally by Harmony. It could have been, but he could also have cleaved off the power and hidden it away somewhere, and someone found it and took up the power. I believe that it would function similar to how a Shard would, whether or not it is what Harmony intended.


EDIT 2: I would also like to add that if Rust exists and is working with another Shard, then that Shard could be Autonomy, and Autonomy could have helped Rust to become completely autonomous from, and invisible to, Harmony

Edited by King's Twit
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Wow. I never even thought of that. This is a beautifully presented and well thought of theory. It definitely has merit. One question, though, is how did the name Rust enter the vernacular as a curse? 

More evidence of this is the inability of Sazed to sense where Paalm is. Maybe this is because the "Mystery Spike" is so similar to Ruin that Sazed cannot sense it, like some strange sort of cancelling out of power? Maybe I'm crazy. This looks cool, though. I'd ask Brandon about it if I could, though he'd probably just RAFO.

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I don't know why he/she would have done so, but if Rust is the one who talks into Paalm's mind, then they have a similar ability to influence people that Ruin does, and so could insert the terminology.


It could also have been said by one of the individuals who might be aware of Rust, such as Marsh or a Kandra (though the Kandra we've seen have seemed pretty oblivious to this whole issue).


Or Harmony could have introduced the phrase intentionally. He's not one to curse, but He may have foreseen some reason for the name 'Rust' to remain in the common vernacular.

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I am a little behind, so I must have missed this WoB.

What "Missing" piece of Ruin?


Humans have extra Preservation in them, so the shards were unbalanced when Sazed took them up. He had to balance them to be able to balance their warring Intents, so he did something (we aren't sure what) with the extra Ruin so that there was Harmony between the shards.


There are a couple WoB about this, I think, but I'm not sure where.

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  • 1 month later...


A Ruin Splinter, seems likely - equivalent to the Storm Father for Honour - could well be the solution. Particularly if it were called Rust.

No, The Stormfather is a Cognative Shadow of Honor, or the Almighty, not a splinter. The Stormfather is effectively a spren.

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