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How Would Ruin Actually Recover It’s Power?


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So Ruin spent most of it’s energy trying to recover it’s power in the form of Atium.

My question is how exactly that recovery would look like. In other words what exact steps would Ruin have to take to have his power back?

I believe it has nothing to do with the Atium being burned, as when the army of Atium Mistings burned it away that would have reunited Ruin with his power.

I also don’t think it would have to do with Ruin physically touching the Atium, as the moment he found where it was he could have just appeared as the Dark Mist Spirit and taken it.

My best guess is that it needed to be taken somewhere (perhaps like unto the Well of Ascension), and then Ruin could take back his power.

Anyone have any thoughts or evidence for how exactly Ruin had to go about regaining his power?

Edited by Creoix
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Ruin would have to consume it the same way a human does. The thing is, for most of the time the atium was hidden in a cavern surrounded by metal, meaning that it was effectively invisible to Ruin. Once it left the Trustwarren, it was inside of people (harder to spot) and Ruin was kind of busy dealing with the newly Ascended Vin. So he didn't have the opportunity to make a grab for it and by the time he realized his mistake, it was too late.


Chaos (paraphrased)

What would have happened if Ruin did get the atium? Yeah, the world is destroyed, but how does Ruin "absorb" the atium so he can utilize the power?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He would metabolize it, just like the normal people have to do. However, if he did get it he would then be able to destroy the world.



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14 hours ago, Creoix said:

as when the army of Atium Mistings burned it away that would have reunited Ruin with his power.

Normally this would be what happens, but as per usual: Preservation cheated. When he attacked Ruin, he "splintered" off a portion of his power.

The Pits contained that portion of Ruin's Power, in the form of Atium. (How Leras forced that mini-Ruin to make Atium is beyond me, might be b/c Ati wasn't guiding the power once it was splintered..) Anyway, once burned, the power of Ruin in the Atium would return to where it came from(which is exactly what you assumed would happen). Thanks to Preservation, "where it came from" was not Ruin, but that splintered portion of him.

The power of a Shard is tied to that Shard, and will only return to that Shard when used. Preservation meddled enough to make it count as a distinct entity from Ruin, so the power always returned to it instead.

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@Vissy No, you'd just waste a lot of atium that way; it isn't like lerasium where anyone can burn it so the only people who would gain any potential benefit from that would be mistborn and atium mistings. This is in fact how the Steel Ministry located Seers among the nobility.



How did Inquisitors find Atium mistings?

Brandon Sanderson

They spike the drinks at one of the nobility's balls with trace amounts of Atium, then cause a bit disturbance. (Often, the Inquisitors themselves arriving will do it) and burn bronze and watch for brief pulses. The body will burn metals instinctively if it can, which has been shown quite often in the series. This is also how they get a lot of their secret information about who is a Misting and who isn't. It's not a perfect method, since you have to watch for Copperclouds messing things up, but it is effective once in a while.

Any time an obligator who is not a Misting joins the Ministry, he is unknowingly given a larger chunk of atium and then forced into a series of rituals that will drain him physically and get the body to react and burn the metal. This was how Yomen was discovered.



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Also curious is what the Ministry did with these surreptitiously discovered atium-burning Seers.

They worked very hard to keep knowledge of such Mistings from the public; yet as we see in Yomen's case, he is aware of what he is, even knowing the term "Seer" for an "atium Misting", which must have been coined by the Ministry.

If the only goal of the Ministry was to keep knowledge of the possibility of Seer Mistings from non-Ministry people, why go flushing out Seers who otherwise wouldn't even know they COULD be a Seer?

The obvious answer is: to harvest them hemalurgically for non-Mistborn Inquisitors to gain A-atium.

In which case, why is Yomen alive and well and even in possession of the knowledge of what he is?

The obvious answer is: because he was an obligator, possibly a high-ranking one (or from a high-ranking family), who could be trusted to keep that knowledge within the Ministry.

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Brandon implies as much with the description of Obligators being tested using more atium than the 'party trick' method. Presumably by the time you get that far within the Steel Ministry hierarchy, you've been vetted and are considered trusted enough to know that Seers exist. Then, you've got an Obligator with a slight but crucial edge as Yomen demonstrates.

As for the regular testing, yeah, unknowing Seers make a pool of potential spikees if the Inquisitors ever need more A-Atium spikes. And the trace amount of atium that they use to detect Seers is probably so little that the person doesn't even realize what they just did when they burned it, or they're so nervous about an Inquisitor that they pass off any atium shadows they did see briefly as a product of that nervousness.

Edited by Weltall
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