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Once Upon a Fullborn


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I have a kind of obsession with Hoid. (As I'm sure many of us cosmere fans do) And I have a lot of crazy theories about him. 

And some of them morphed into this short story. 

(Spoilered for Mistborn and Stormlight) (And I apologize for the bolded text. I can't figure out how to unbold it)





Disclaimer: This story contains spoilers for Mistborn Era One and Two, Mistborn Secret History, The Traveler, and Stormlight Archive. The story also assumes the reader has a moderate knowledge about the cosmere. This story is a thin thread of cannon swallowed up by a huge ball of crazy theories. Enjoy!


A man stepped out of the shadowy recesses of the corridor. He wasn’t supposed to be here, but that hadn’t stopped him ever before. He flipped down his cowl as he moved out into the hall, revealing a face with strange features. His hair was a stark white, almost glowing in the light of the halway. His face was youthful, all except for the eyes. His eyes had an ancient quality about them, a spark of mirth erasing any assumption of wisdom you might make. Wisdom had never gotten along with him. That or he didn’t get along with her. Nobody was quite sure which it was.

The man pulled a bead of metal out of a pocket, rolling it around in his hand. The metal glistened in the shine of the electric lights, smooth sheen bouncing off the walls. The man clicked his tongue. It seemed a shame to waste the last of this metal on a small girl. It was too powerful for that. He shook off the voice of Fortune, reminding him of her plans. He knew that the girl might help him again in the future. It just seemed a waste of a perfectly good use of Lerasium. It would be helpful if Fortune would give him some more to go off of. The person the girl was right now only amplified his fears. Hiding, cowering, running away. All that power, all that potential, kept hidden. Something started to speak in the back of his mind, and he felt the pull of Fortune back towards the world he had come from. The man hurried his step, now on a deadline. The child would be inside the closet ahead of him, huddled into a ball. He opened the door slowly, crouching down to meet her eyes. Tears streaked down her cheeks, a black bruise forming around her swollen eye, already one of the ugliest he had ever seen. As she lifted her face, she revealed more bruises, all turning black and blue. In her hands she clutched an innocuous piece of clothing. A pair of pants. They had probably been what got her beaten. Poor thing. No child deserved his. 

She spoke softly, pointing the man back towards his purpose for being here. “Who… Who are you?”

“A friend.” He held out the bead of Lerasium, “I came to give you this.” A shaking hand emerged from the ball and snatched it, retreating back away from him.

“What… What is it?”

“A way out, if you wish it. Or… Perhaps, something… more.” He gave her a wink, then pulled his hood up as he stood and strode back down the halway. He had somewhere to be. After he was out of sight, the girl studied the bead of metal for a long time. Finally, she came to a decision, bringing her hand to her mouth and swallowing it.


Lissil balanced on her windowsill, crouched down as she reached for a metal vial on her waist. Her father would be scandalized to see her like this, dark pants and shirt obscuring her feminine figure, and a mistcloak stripping her of her remaining noble appearance. Not to mention the fact that her face was covered with streaks of soot, eyes obscured by a strip of fabric. She swallowed the metals, then waited a moment. She could feel the power welling up inside her, joining the glow from her metalminds. She straightened on the sill, balancing for a moment on the outside of her window, feet clutching at the small ledge. 

Then she lost her balance, dropping headfirst into the city below. She reduced her weight, slowing down in time to push her palm against the building and twist into slight spin. With her feet faced towards the ground, she stopped taping her ironmind, growing heavier and accelerating. She flared steel as she approached the ground, slamming a Steelpush on the lamppost beneath her. After her Push, she immediately stored more weight inside her metalmind, and the residual shove from her extra strong Push threw her up into the air, her continuous pushing growing weaker as she grew lighter. She flew above the buildings of Elendel, mists curling around the tops of buildings, and twisting around her as she flew higher. Electric light spilled from windows, and small pockets of the yellow light were visible from above. Even so late at night, you could hear the clatter of horses from below, and even the occasional automobile. The stars above were still perfectly clear, when you got to that space above the mists, looking down at the beautiful city below. Lissil balanced on her single support, keeping her push directly beneath her. Years of practice let her do it with ease, while others would lose their balance and fall. A faint blue line connected her to the lampost she was using as an anchor. As she regarded it for a second, she stopped burning steel, and started storing weight in her metalmind. The line flickered out, and Lissil plummeted back down into the mist. She gathered speed quickly, air whizzing by faster than she could comprehend. 

She burned pewter as she fell, then swallowed a gold ring as her ears popped. The new source of power flared up inside her, and she smiled, burning it. The pinpricks of pain from the air disappeared, and the bruises on her face from earlier suddenly stopped throbbing. Lissil started to funnel the healing from the burning metal and threw it back into another gold mind. Compounding was the only way she got enough health for a stunt like this. Especially while living with her father. 

She was getting close to the ground now, less than three stories left before she hit. Two. One. Sucking in a huge deep breath, Lissil flared iron, pulling up on the lampost behind her. The pull stopped her just an inch short of the pavement, and she let both her iron and her metalmind lapse back into their normal mode. A smile crept across her face as she fingered the steel bracer on her arm. She hadn’t played with speed much, mainly because it was a pain to store. Over the past year or so, she had managed to get a pretty significant amount stored. She hesitated for a minute, brushing the bracer. Using it now would mean that she wouldn’t get the chance to compound it. She shook her head. There was always time to store more. Besides. Waiting was boring. 

She started running down the street, then dipped into her metalmind. The burst of speed made her stumble, and she burned pewter to steady herself. She had pewterdragged a little bit before, but even the fastest she had gone while doing that seemed slow right now. The city blurred around her, everything becoming a whiz of movement. She flipped around the corner next to her, going even faster as she ran across the square in front of her. Several drunks were sitting nearby, but they didn’t seem to notice her. She exited the courtyard just as fast as she had entered it, then sped up even more. Then her speed ran out, and her momentum pitched her forward. She rolled a fair distance, stopping when she hit a wall. Hard. Lissil groaned softly as she tapped gold, wincing as the several breaks in her bones knit back together. Just a few minutes later, she was back on her feet, pewter minimizing the damage she had to heal, and her compounding giving her a huge source on which to draw healing from. She smiled, burning iron and Pulling herself back up into the sky. After almost smacking her head on the windowsill she had been using as an anchor, she grabbed it with one hand, pulling herself up and on top of it. Before the residents of the house it belonged too could gather themselves out of bed to check what the strange thump at the window had been, she burned steel, launching herself off of the windowsill and back into the sky. The city lit up with tiny blue lines, each leading back to a metal object. Lissil started to pick a few lines out of the web, feeling down them, trying and figure out what they attached too. She kept Pushing on the support below her, easily keeping her balance at this low of a height. She didn’t bother testing the lines that were moving. They would either be too small, or things like carriages and cars, which were not ideal anchor points, especially when in motion. Selecting a handful of the lines, most fairly thick and bright, Lissil took a deep breath, then leaned to the side. Her single anchor started to push her sideways at the same time as she began to fall. She closed her eyes, moving by instinct only. As she Pushed on several objects below, she drew her legs into her chest, the change in position causing a change in the direction she was falling.

Her eyes closed, she felt the air rushing past as she Pulled herself around corners and through complex loops and spins. Push. Push. Pull. Twist. Pull. Push. The scent of fresh air mixed with the smell of the city. Horses, gunpowder, flowers. So many scents combined in her nostrils to form the one that couldn’t be described, only experienced. The scent of a city. Lissil opened her eyes, staring directly at the side of the building she was hurtling towards. At the last second, she dropped several of her anchors and grabbed new ones, twisting ninety degrees. Her feet hit the wall, then within a few steps, she had turned a sharp corner. She stabilized herself, smiling at the sky. That move was pure bliss. And she had just gotten it right for the first time. She Pushed downwards, hurling herself back into the sky, then storing the vast majority of her weight, letting herself almost glide down.


Another two people were out in the mists that night. Wax held his arms firmly around Steris’s waist, her arms gentle around his neck. He gently set them down on a nearby rooftop, pulling out his Sterrion and scanning the night around them. Steris moved behind him, pulling a small pistol out of her purse. “What is it?”

“Not sure.” Wax turned in the direction that he thought he had heard the sound coming from just in time to see a figure fly up from below. A coinshot, then. He hit the peak of his ark, then started to fall. His fall slowed, till he started drifting down as if a feather in the wind. Wayne had been wrong. There were three Crashers in all of history. A coin plinked across the building from them, and the figure slowly settled back down onto it. The hood on his mistcloak fell back, revealing a distinctly feminine face. In the shadows, he could barely make out the hair falling across her back. The figure was a girl. 


Lissil heard shuffling, her tin helping her to see the outlines of two people across the building from her. She eyed the shadows in which they stood, hoping that they hadn’t noticed her. Her hopes were dashed when a deep voice emanated from the larger of the two people. It was worse than she thought. She knew this man. “Your name, please.” She heard the sound of a gun being cocked. Lovely. She shifted her hand backwards into her mistcloak, grabbing her gun. She really didn’t want to have to use it. 

“You first.” She thought as she waited for his response. Waxwillium Ladrian was infamous here in Elendel. And she knew him personally. Superb shot, and a Crasher. The one behind him might make this fight harder. It was one of his group. Wayne, perhaps. Marasi? She tapped into her zincmind, letting her mind run faster as she waited for his response. She could run. He would chase, of course, but she could evade him. If she got out of sight, then pewterdragged through the city, maybe she could-

“I’m a lawman. Now answer my question. Who are you, and what do you know about the gunshot I heard earlier?” Lissil stopped tapping her zincmind, mindful of the small amount of storage she still had left inside. She might need it later.

She crossed her arms. “I didn’t hear any gunshots. And you are not a lawman in this city, Ladrian.” She made her voice sound deeper, hoping he wouldn’t recognize her, then turned and jumped off of the roof. Behind her, tin enhanced ears caught snippets of a conversation. 

“Stay here.”

“Wax, what’s the safest spot in a gun fight?.”

“Fine. Hold on.” 

Then she burned steel and iron and started to pull herself through the city, attentive to the sound of breathing behind her. When the breathing stopped, she flared her tin higher, and still couldn’t hear any pursuers. Smiling slightly, she let herself drop into the city below. She swallowed another vial of metals, starting to run. She burned pewter, then sped up. It kept her from tripping, and let her run at speeds no human could match. Tonight, it felt slow. She twisted through the streets, her path always leading her back northward, towards her own house. She would have to stay inside for a bit. The sky was too risky. She twisted another corner, about to stop the evasive movement, when two figures dropped towards her. She quickly burned iron and Pulled herself up towards them. 

“Leave me alone.”

The man shifted his friend to one arm, then pulled out his gun again. Lissil inspected his companion closely, then closed her eyes as she realized who it was. Lady Ladrian. Why in the world was she out here? “Tell me who you are and I might.”

“I’m not anyone to be concerned about.”

“Then start acting like it.”

Lissil sighed, “If I was the person you seem to think that I am, I wouldn't be running. I would do this.” She pulled on a lamppost behind the pair, tapping pewter as she flung herself forward. Her muscles swelled larger as she fell, and she tore their guns out of their hands with a sharp ironpull. As she neared the pair, she grabbed Lady Ladrian, flinging herself back to her original perch as she pulled out her gun. “Sorry about this,” she muttered to Lady Ladrian as she put it to her head. Lord Ladrian tensed as he pulled another gun out of his coat. This one was alluminum, same as hers. He pointed it at her, trying to seem as confident as ever. She saw his arm tremble as a muscle jumped in his jaw. She flipped her gun back into its holster, then Pulled herself towards Lord Ladrian. “Luckily for your wife, I’m not the person you think I am.” She handed Lady Ladrian back, then started to Pull herself away again. 

Lady Ladrian was squinting at her, “Lady Yomen?”. Lissil’s heart dropped, and she started to Pull herself away faster.

 “Harmony!” Her voice hardened as she continued. “You never saw me. Rust and ruin, you never saw me!” 

Burning bronze, she tried to feel for any steelpushes behind her. She had never been good with bronze, but tonight she could hear a steady thrum of some metal moving away from her. Lissil almost collapsed in relief when they seemed to be getting further away. She changed direction slightly, heading back to her house. 

She almost fell through the window, slamming it shut and rushing to change. Every sign of her nightly excursion hidden, she dropped into a shivering mess on the bed. Harmony. If Lord and Lady Ladrian told anybody where she had been… She cut off that line of thought before she could move on to the consequences. They wouldn’t do that. They wouldn’t.


Two weeks later, Lissil was homesick for the mists, having stayed inside the last few nights. Luckily, Lord and Lady Ladrian seemed to have kept quiet about her abilities. She didn’t want to know how much they had guessed, let alone who they had thought about telling. She shouldn’t have let them recognize her. If her father ever figured out what she could do, she was in big trouble. He was abusive enough already. If he found out that she was a Fullborn, she would never be able to get away from him. Her mother had escaped years ago, escaped to the peace of the beyond. She would leave soon enough. She thought of her stash of money upstairs, hidden under her mattress with some of her metalminds and her collection of vials. Her long blue skirt swept the floor as she wandered through the house, trying to amuse herself. The library wasn’t interesting anymore, after all the time she had spent hiding there. All the books she could find had been read over and over. She glanced longingly out the window, back into the sky. Just a few more days, and she would be out of this place. One of the servants walked by, bobbing a curtsey and sweeping further down the halway. “Melise!” Lissil started to walk beside her, lowering her voice. “Any update on Father’s plans?”

“He’s dead drunk, as usual. His departure is going as planned, don’t you worry love.” She gave Lisssil a wink, then went back to her brisk walk. Lissil was left alone with her thoughts. Again. She slipped her hands through the hole in her skirt, the one that usually led to a pocket, and felt the cold stone hidden there. She traced the outline of the blade, then let her hand rest back on the hilt, dragging her fingers over the engravings. Just a few more days. A few days of playing it safe, and she would be free. She spun around as her father entered the halway, dropping her eyes to the floor. She shrank back into the window, heart speeding up. Just a few more days. Just a few more days. He spotted her, bleary eyes a testament to the fact that he was already drunk. He stepped toward her, grabbing her forearm and pulling her towards him. Lissil squeezed her eyes shut, storing hearing inside one of her tinminds. She had heard this before. She didn’t want to hear it again. His fingers clenched around her arm harder, causing her to let out a gasp of pain. His mouth moved, but her reduced hearing couldn’t make out the words. And she was fine with that. She didn’t need to know. Lissil clenched her eyes shut, his voice echoing in her mind even though she couldn’t hear him. Telling her she was useless. Over and over again, she replayed all the insults he had ever given her, stiffly standing as he yelled more at her. Her eyes flashed open, a fire of anger growing inside. She saw his hand fly forwards, and shoved her own arm up to block his slap as she stopped filling her tinmind.

“I’m done taking this abuse, Father” she almost spat. “Enough.” His eyes narrowed at her, then he balled up his fist and tried to take a swing at her. She stepped to the side.

“How dare you speak to me like that!” Lissil glared at him, the spark of anger catching and burning. She plunged her hand into her pocket, tearing out her obsidian dagger. She heard the layers of her dress tear with it, then the dagger came free. Dresses got in the way of everything. Alomancy, Feruchemy, and daggers. She thrust the dagger forward, burying it in her father’s chest. His eyes widened, arms pinwheeling as he fell over backwards. Lissil moved forward, pulling her dagger out of his body, breathing heavily and furiously.

“Enough, Father. You will never, ever, ever hurt another girl again.” Years of pent up anger burned inside her, and she stood over the prone figure that had once been her father, hands clenched into fists. Footsteps in the corridor brought Lissil back to herself, and she whirled around to see one of the new maids, who’s eyes glanced between the blade in Lissil’s hand and the dead body on the floor. Lissil’s own eyes widened, and she dashed from the corridor, bloody blade still grasped in her hands.

Ten minutes later, Lissil threw herself out her window one last time, dressed for the night and carrying a large satchel. She wasn’t used to doing this in broad daylight, but she was desperate. She had to get out of here before the police found her. Jumping between buildings, she was surprised at how few people freaked out. Alomancy was common enough that she didn’t bother most of them, but she had been sure that she would draw more attention. Her anger was long gone, and fear warred with horror. She didn’t know which she should feel. She had killed him. She stopped her steelpushing, sinking down into a ball on top of a building, then scooting her way over to the edge. Horror had won out. What had she done? She’d killed him. So easily.  She hadn’t even flinched. Just… Just done it. The cloak seemed to be suffocating her, trying to get revenge for what she had done. Her fingers fumbled at the clasp, pulling it off and hurling the garment backwards. What was she? Mistborn. Feruchemist. Fullborn. Monster. Murderer. “Why? Why should I even bother?” she whispered to herself, staring off the edge of the building. She felt an urge to jump. Jump without metals, without metalminds. 

“You bother because the rest of the cosmere needs to be proven wrong now and again.” a soft voice said from behind her, and she closed her eyes. Hoid was back. His hands gently fastened her cloak back around her neck, then he sat down beside her, his face unnaturally serious. “Don’t deprive the cosmere of something beautiful just because a part of it doesn’t want you.”

“Beautiful?” Lissil choked on the word. “I’m a monster.”

“All men are monsters, child. But each monster can be beautiful too.” Tears started to roll down Lissil’s face, and she buried it in her hands. 

“I killed him. I killed him.”

Hoid raised one eyebrow, looking sardonically down at the distressed girl. “And that makes you a monster? Child, you rid the world of a monster.” Lissil didn’t respond to that, and during the long silence that followed, she wiped the tears off of her cheeks, getting herself under control. “What will you do now?” Hoid asked.

“I was planning to leave… But… I don’t know where to go.” 

“I once gave you a way out. You didn’t take it. Now I get to show you the something more.” Lissil nodded slightly, standing up and hugging her arms around her chest. Hoid’s face lost his serious expression, which gave way to his usual smirk. “Although, I’m not sure I can show a deformed octopus anything.”

She smiled a little. “As if an old geezer like you has even seen an octopus before.” Hoid turned to the center of the roof, where a small box sat. He walked over too it, and she followed, watching curiously as he snapped the seal, then flung open the lid. Inside the box seemed to be pure light, and it streamed up, brighter than the midday sun. Hoid stepped into it, and she followed suit, twisting her hands around each other as she bit her lip. The landscape around her shimmered, then changed. She stepped out of the pillar of light and started sinking into the ground around her, which seemed to be made of mist. Hoid grabbed her arm and jerked her up, back onto a small solid area around where he stood. 

“Amazing how many mistborn can’t stop their favorite thing from eating them, isn’t it?” 

“Oh grow up.”

“I did! Isn’t it wonderful?”

“And you wonder why nobody likes you,” Lissil said, still glancing around bewildered at her surroundings. The box behind her stopped glowing, the light disappearing. Hoid shut it and slipped it back into his cloak, then threw his arms out theatrically.

“I am the skunk that snuck into the party. And you,” he said, pointing to Lissil, “are the octopus that crashed it.”

Lissil sighed, dipping her hand into the misty ground. “You are so annoying.”

“I do try. Now. Were you coming?” He started walking, and she hurried to follow, stepping behind him carefully. The mists seemed to solidify beneath his feet, then unsolidify a few meters after he passed. 

“Where are we?”
“The cognitive realm. It is a place of minds, where you are normally absent, as your head is empty.”

Lissil raised her eyebrows. “I’m surprised that you can actually come here at all, seeing as all you have is a lump of moldy cockroaches for a brain. I would think that the realm of the minds would spit you out without a second thought.”

“Ah, but you make one error there.”

“Which is?”

“Assuming that you can think.” Lissil giggled, somehow not insulted by his barbs. The scenery around them didn’t change much, the thick gray nothingness above her replacing the usual swirling mists. There were lights around her, silvery metallic glows coming from them, five or six thick in places, sometimes more. The scenery around her was lit up by these, making the gray landscape seem lighter. “What are the lights?” she asked, watching one light as it flickered out. Several other lights were near it, and all of them stayed on. 

“A human soul. The only thing in the cosmere uglier than your face” Lissil decided not to treat that one as an insult, seeing as the metallic light had a strange, ethereal beauty. 

“Thanks.” She walked a bit further, then asked another question. “What was that box that we stepped through? 

“A perpendicularity.” Lissil kept waiting for the insult, but Hoid didn’t add one. So she did.

“The only thing in the cosmere bigger than your ego.”

Hoid let out a bark of laughter, then kept making occasional sarcastic comments as they kept going. Lissil just wondered when he would start actually answering any of her questions. She didn’t say anything until the scenery began to change again, mists forming into little beads. “Wha-” she started, but Hoid interrupted.

“Welcome to Roshar. Just a little bit further now.” He took a step forwards, and the shifting sea of beads solidified underneath his feet, creating a raft-like structure. She followed, watching as the metallic soul-lights turned into fires. They continued on further, till they came to an ocean of beads where thousands of fires were sitting. The fires started to flicker out, disappearing faster and faster. She watched, not sure what was happening. “Did you want to be a hero? Did you want to save a world?”

Lissil hesitated, unsure. She wanted to save the world, but she wasn’t sure if she could. “I guess…” Hoid smiled, beconing her forwards. He took her arm and fastened something to it. A medallion of some sort.

“You’ll need that. The good guys are losing. They need help. You’re it.” He pulled out another box from his pocket, but before he could open it, a giant pillar of light exploded nearby. He looked up, smiling. “Perfect. Go. I need to be somewhere else.” Lissil hesitated, glancing at him as he walked off, then plunged into the light. She was somewhere new now. Somewhere where she could leave her past behind. Leave behind the name she hated, the life she detested.


Teft withdrew several paces from the battle, letting Drehy step in while he took a breather. He gulped some of his water, then breathed in more stormlight, relaxing as it knit the cut in his arm back together. He glanced over at Dalinar, helping them however he could without a shardblade. That storm cursed fool needed to get everybody back to Urithiru and lock the oathgate before they lost more than just this one. Glory spren were streaming too him, the same as they had been when they had fought at Thaylen City. The pillar of light shot out from him, and Teft shook his head. There would be no reinforcements coming out of Shadesmar today. Everybody they could muster was already fighting. Then, to his surprise, a small figure burst out of the stream of light, then started falling towards the ground below. “Stormfather!” he yelled, breathing in more stormlight and lashing himself towards the figure. 


Lissil felt her mistcloak flare behind her as she dropped out of the pillar of light, gulping down a vial of metal. Power flared up inside her, and she burned steel, following each of the blue lines to figure out which she could use as an anchor point. She picked a few good ones and used them to slow her fall, trying to observe the fight below her before she had to join it. The battleground below her was a city, one army defending a large circular platform, the other spreading out through the city till they had the defending army trapped. There appeared to be several types of soldiers on either side. Each side had several specialty soldiers, all shining, the defending army’s gleaming soldiers wielding huge swords, and a few of whom had bulky, shimmering armor. The other side’s glowing soldiers didn’t have any armor, or any glowing weapons, but still seemed to be doing immeasurable damage to the enemy lines. The normal soldiers below were armed with spears and sword, and losing dramatically. She paused, losing her concentration and wobbling a bit on her web of supports. Wait. Swords? She was distracted by a man hurtling towards her, glowing wisps of light escaping his body as he shot towards her. He snatched her out of the air, her steelpushes making them both start falling sideways. 

. Lissil screamed, hand flashing to her belt. She pulled a handful of coins out, Pushing them towards the man than had grabbed her. They tore through him, and she watched as the holes closed behind the coins. He dropped his hold on her, and she pulled herself away, shuddering. Who did he think he was? She could take care of herself. She burned iron and started to Pull herself towards the battle. Hoid had said that the good guys were losing, and she didn’t like the look of those things leaking purple light. 

She stopped herself abruptly, just a few feet above the battle below, pulling her gun out of her cloak, then carefully aiming it at the glowing enemy soldiers. Five shots later, she was out of ammo, and five glowing purple soldiers were dead. She took a deep breath and pulled out her daggers, eyeing the strange monsters with marbled red and white skin pressing in on the human army. She had all of her metalminds, and a large supply of metal. She could do this. She Pulled herself into the middle of the fight beneath her, Pushing away swords and spears flashing towards her. She lashed out with her daggers, trying to ignore the people falling around her. The soldiers around her pushed forward into the gap she created, and she started to have difficulty Pushing the weapons around her out of the way fast enough. She sheathed one of her daggers to work the cork out of another vial of metals, and saw the sword coming just as her steel ran out. She watched it swing for her, trying to block the stroke with her dagger, but knowing it was going to hit. She felt for her goldmind desperately, watching the sword trace its glittering arc down at her head. A split second before it connected, another sword swung to block it. This sword was made of silvery metal, and sheared through her attacker’s sword easily. She turned to see the man who had tried to grab her earlier, who nodded to her once and moved to take her place in the fight. 

“Life before death, Radiant.” he said, ramming his sword through the body of the creature who had almost split her skull. The creature’s eyes dulled to grey as he slumped to the ground, dead. Lissil drew a shuddering breath, downed several metal vials, then moved back into the fray. 

Lissil lost track of time, lost track of enemies. It blurred together into one huge bloodbath. Then, she found herself standing among friendly soldiers, covered in the purple blood of the enemies she had killed, fumbling for more pewter. The creatures with red and black marbled carapace broke and ran as she watched, and she slumped to the ground, breathing heavily. The soldiers around her did the same, some moving towards the huge circular platform she had noticed from above. One soldier colapsed next to her, his sword evaporating as he let go of it. She stared at the place where the sword had been, mouth open. “What? How…”

“Never seen a shardblade before?” the man asked, and she recognized him as the one she had seen before. “You’ll be getting yours soon enough.”

Lissil rolled towards him, proffering a hand. “I… can’t say I’ve ever seen one before. And if I had one, I couldn’t fight with it.”

The man took her hand, giving her a short, firm handshake. “You did well with your dagger. Name’s Teft. I’m a Windrunner. You?” Lissil blinked at him for a moment, not sure she had heard him right. What on Scadrial was a Windrunner?

“I’m…” She paused. She had been hiding her powers for so long. Did she dare come out into the open? The thought of her father made up her mind for her. She wasn’t going to live in fear anymore. “I’m a Fullborn.”

“A what?”

“Fullborn? I have all sixteen powers of Alomancy and the sixteen of Feruchemy.” Teft didn’t look any less confused. 

“Sixteen? Allomancy? Feruchemy?” He sighed. “I know the other countries have different cultures, but I have no idea what you are talking about. There are ten surges, not sixteen.”

“I’ve used all sixteen metals. Before the Ascension, we only knew about ten. Maybe you haven’t found all of them?”

“Metals?” Teft shook his head. “Kaladin would know. Storming genius. Look, you’re going to want to go talk to Dalinar Kholin. He’s up there.” Teft gestured towards the top of the circular platform she had seen earlier. “Might as well explain what’s going on to someone who might storming understand it.” Lissil craned her head to see two figures standing together at the middle of the platform, one decidedly femine, the other looking like a general. She pulled another vial from her belt, frowning at the diminishing supply left. Downing it, she burned more pewter, washing away the exhaustion she felt. She moved to her feet, goldmind washing away any soreness she might have felt, assisting pewter as it supported her. Teft blinked up at her, and opened his mouth to start asking something as Lissil dropped a coin at her feet, Pushing away from it to propel herself up into the air. 


“I’m not crazy. You saw him too?” Dalinar asked, hands clasped behind his back as he surveyed the city beneath him.

“No. Look.” Jasnah pointed to a small figure hurtling through the sky towards them. “He took out the Fused easily enough. He might not seem to be using stormlight, but I don’t think he works for Odium.” They watched the figure for a minute, then Dalinar looked down, noticing a small disk in front of him. As he bent down to pick it up, the figure he had been watching landed in front of him, and the metal disc flew into its hand. Dalinar did a double take as he straightened up. The fighter was a girl. 


Lissil turned towards the woman standing in front of her and bowed, dropping her coin back into her coin pouch. The woman grasped her hand and pulled her out of the bow, smiling at her. 

“I am Jasnah Kholin, Queen of Alethkar. This is my uncle, Dalinar Kholin, Bondsmith of Urithiru. You have our thanks.”

Lissil bit her lip, trying to hide her nerves. Her lessons hadn’t really covered this. “Pleasure to meet you. My name is…” She hesitated. She didn’t want to go by her given name anymore. “My name is Lissil Smara-daughter.”

Dalinar stepped forward. “We welcome all Radients to Urithiru for training, if you wish to come. We can use every person who joins our ranks, fighter or not.”

“I’m sorry, but what’s a Radiant?” 

“The lost Radients were heroes of old. They used the surges to fight the voidbringers. We are the remnants of that order, trying to keep the world from disintegrating around us. Each order of Radiant has different powers. I saw you talking to Teft down there. He’s a Windrunner. I’m a Bondsmith, as my niece said. You seem to be able to fly, so you probably belong to either the Windrunners or the Skybreakers.”

Lissil paused for a moment, thinking. Two groups who could fly. Coinshots and Lurchers, maybe. “My people call me Fullborn. I have all sixteen powers from Alomancy and all sixteen from Feruchemy.”

Jasnah cocked her head, looking Lissil over again, as if she had missed something the first time. Dalinar’s brow furrowed as Jasnah opened her mouth. “Where are you from?” Her face bore the expression of a scholar who had just come across a one of a kind specimen.

“Elendel Basin.” Jasnah smiled, a small measure of satisfaction in her eyes. 

“I thought you were from Scadrial. Welcome to Roshar.”

Dalinar stared at Jasnah for a moment, then looked back at Lissil. “I don’t know what any of that means, but I won’t turn down the chance to add you to my forces, if you wish.”

“Right now, I’m here to help you win this war.”

They shook hands, and as the army slowly retreated back to Urithiru, their base of operations, Dalinar explained the war to her and then introduced her to Shallan. The two girls hit it off instantly, though Shallan seemed a little uncomfortable. Over the next few weeks, Lissil spent almost every waking moment that she was not fighting with Shallan, and Adolin of course. Gradually, her happiness about being accepted faded as she killed more and more Parshendi.


Lissil strode through the back alley of Urithiru. Exploring was a habit now, leaving the crowded corridors and disappearing into the maze of rooms. She exited the mass of people just out to get another drink and stalked down another few corridors. As she turned a corner, she found a new room and stepped down into it. She ran her hands over the walls, feeling every crack in the stone. What had this room been, once upon a time? It was a half circle, a window taking up most of the wall opposite her. The window was strong, glass easily as thick as her entire arm. Nobody was getting out of that. The floor of the room sunk in two steps, coming back up before the window. Lissil’s hair stood on end.

Lissil pulled a vial out of her belt, downing it and burning tin. The prickly feeling at the base of her neck didn’t stop, though she didn’t see or hear anything suspicious. Then she heard somebody behind her and spun around, hands going to her daggers. A deep chuckle emanated from the shadows, and she pulled her daggers the rest of the way out, flaring tin to see the outline of a person. 

“Oh ho ho. Feisty, are we?” He stepped out of the shadows, and Lissil backed a few steps away, gripping her daggers tighter. His black hair drew your attention away from the scars twisting his features, but no color of hair could distract from those for long. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, little knife.”

Her heart thumped desperately in her chest, but Lissil didn’t drop her daggers. She breathed in deeply, voice seemingly calm as she replied. “Who are you?”

“Call me Mraise, little knife.” He twirled something around his fingers, and Lissil watched it, eyes narrowing. The short tube didn’t seem to be dangerous. 

“What do you want?”

“Well,” He paused, raising the tube to his lips and blowing out of it. The projectile that darted out was heading right for her. She jumped to the side, the dart quivering in the wall it had embedded itself in behind her. “You are extraordinarily skilled, my little knife. Our organization could use a dagger like yours.”

“You just tried to kill me. What makes you think I want to join your organization?”

Mraise paced across the room, standing in front of the window, putting his back to her. “You know what you want. We’re prepared to offer it.” She raised an eyebrow. She didn’t even know what she wanted.

“I’ll need time to think about it.” And to ask around to see if anybody knew about this group.

“Take all the time you need.” His voice sent shivers down her spine. He had managed to turn a common phrase into a threat with just a tone of voice. 

She took a deep breath, somehow keeping her voice steady. “And once I decide, how do I contact you?”

“We’ll know.” With that, Mraise left the room, Lissil sinking to the floor and clutching her daggers closer as he left, body racked with a sudden shiver.


Lissil was again roaming through Urithiru, this time surrounded by people. Her face was a thundercloud as she stormed through the streets, trying as hard as she could to not think about the battle she had just won. Her daggers looked clean to everybody but her. She could still see the blood covering them. She thumped down on a stool, sliding a sphere across the counter to the bartender. “Horneater White. Keep it coming.” The barkeep raised an eyebrow at her, pouring her a small cup of the wine. 

“You got a death wish?”

Lissil ignored him, downing the entire cup in one gulp. The wine burned down her throat, and her eyes watered. She burned pewter, ignoring healing. “More.”

The bartender barked out a quick laugh, then passed her the entire jug. “Your funeral.” He moved away to help another customer as a man slipped onto the stool beside her. 

“I’d offer to buy you a drink, but I don’t want you passing out before we finish our conversation.” he said, regarding the jug with a raised eyebrow. The level stare she pinned him with didn’t seem to bother him. “Name’s Galladon. If you want to take your jug with you, we need to talk.”

Lissil took another swig before answering, flaring pewter to mask her reactions to the drink.  “And we can’t talk here.” She swung off her stool, jug dangling from her fingers as she followed Galladon out. They turned down a deserted alley, and she casually leaned against the back wall, occasionally taking another swig of her drink. 

“I’ll be blunt. I work for the Seventeenth Shard, and we want to recruit you. We are a worldhopping organization that takes an oath of non-intervention”

Lissil’s answer came out slurred, the wine starting to take effect. “I don’t need any -hic- organizashunn.”

“Miss Yomen. Just tap your metalmind please. This is a serious conversation.” Lissil sighed, but pulled some of the healing out of her metalmind. Her dizziness disappeared, speech returning to normal.

“It’s Lissil Samara-Daughter now. Why should I join your organization? I’ve gotten other offers.”

“Ah yes. We thought the Ghostbloods approached you. Do you really want to be a part of a group that threatens the people they try and recruit?” Galladon paused for a moment before continuing. “We will let you think about it. I have also been instructed to ask you about someone you might know. White hair, propensity to insult people. Have you seen him?”

Lissil narrowed her eyes at him, “Perhaps. Why do you seek him?”

“He is causing problems. I have orders to apprehend him and bring him in.”

Lissil nodded, taking a moment to get the phrasing on her next question right. “You say you don’t interfere. Who don’t you interfere with? And what exactly is worldhopping?” She forced her teeth away from her lip, clamping them down on each other instead. These were the times she wished she actually had an electrum mind. Determination would be helpful right now.

Galladon only let his surprise show for a second. “We don’t interfere with the Shards. They have too much power. When we interfeared before we broke things. A lot of things. Much better to just leave them alone. Worldhopping is how you got from your home planet to Roshar. The cosmere is big, but there are only a few worlds we can visit. Our group has collected many powerful people over the years, from all of these worlds.”
“Why do you need help finding Hoid then?”

“So you do know him!”

She raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps.”

“He is the most powerful man in the cosmere. Skilled at disguises, used to hiding in plain sight.”

“Thank you.” Lissil said, for once actually meaning it. “If I decide to join you, I’ll leave a note in this alley. I assume that works for you?”

“That will work just fine.” Galladon left the alley, but Lissil stayed there for a bit longer, lips pursed, deep in thought. A plan began to take shape. She would find him again. Find him and corner him.


Dalinar glanced up as his door cracked open. He was pouring over a map as the girl slipped into the room. She might be small and shy, but she was a fierce warrior. She had turned the tide of more battles than he could count, yet she still seemed young. She could have been his daughter. He couldn’t have been more proud of her if she was. He caught a glimpse of her exposed freehand and smiled. The girl insisted on infuriating the ardents. She wore no cloak today, instead sporting a pair of trousers with a baggy shirt. 


“Yes, daughter?” The endearment slipped out, and she stiffened slightly as she heard it. 

“I can’t do this anymore,” she said, voice hiding a waver. “I can’t. I’m slaughtering thinking, feeling people. I wish you all the luck in the cosmere, but I just can’t.” Her strange accent became more pronounced as she spoke, words blending together. “I’ll be leaving shortly. Until then, I’ll keep fighting. After that, I’m gone.” He recognized the pain in her eyes.

“I think I understand,” he responded, placing a hand on her shoulder. 

“Do you? I’ve heard the talk. The Blackthorn. Strongest warrior of your generation. Led them to countless victories. Slaughtered thousands.” Her voice cracked on the last word, and Dalinar winced. 

“I understand more than you think.” He let some of his pain slip into his tone. She dropped her eyes. 

“What happened?” she asked, whisper filling the room.

“There was a battle. We set part of the city on fire. Hundreds burned. My wife was one of them.” 

“Navani is alive.” she replied, confused. 

Dalinar closed his eyes, not wanting to see the revulsion he knew would be on her face. “Evi. She was the mother of my sons. I killed her. Lissil… Do what you need to. I won’t force you to kill. No one will.” He opened his eyes, not really surprised to find her turning away from him. He had hoped she wouldn’t blame him that much. She walked a few steps away before sinking to the floor, voice hoarse.

“I killed my father.” The words were barely loud enough to reach his ears, but froze him in place. “I looked him right in the eye and stabbed him.” She was shaking, rocking back and forth as she let her head drop forward onto her knees. Dalinar moved to closer, crouching beside her. As he tried to figure out what to say, he noticed something on the exposed skin of her back. He gingerly reached out, brushing her hair out of the way so he could see more clearly.  Above the back of her shirt, he could clearly see a mass of scars, overlapping across her back. He let her hair drop, pulling the shuddering girl to his chest. 

“He beat you.” It wasn’t a question. In his arms, the girl that had turned the tide of a war seemed to be vulnerable. So small. She needed to hear something from him right now, and he didn’t know what. “I don’t blame you.” He finally said, well aware that it was inadequate, but at the same time not sure what else to say. She stayed in his arms for a while longer, before finally pulling away from him, standing up and slipping him a tremulous smile before leaving the room. 

Hoid was back in town. Lissil had been waiting for him. He was using a common alias, Wit. It fit, though it seemed to be like a skunk naming itself for its stench. He was currently amusing himself by insulting everything he could think of about the world leaders coming out of a meeting. One of these days he was going to cause a war by insulting the wrong person. Jasnah Kholin appeared to be reprimanding him and apologizing to the people he insulted. The woman was a born diplomat. Lissil stood around a corner, hopefully blending into the shadows. Her mission tonight was one she needed to be undercover for. After two leaders of world hopping organizations had invited her to join, and she had picked the brain of the less close-mouthed one, she had spent some time thinking. She had finally decided what to do.

The Radiant girl, Shallan walked down the hall behind her. “How are you doing today, Lissil?” Shallan was too religious to be truly comfortable around her. She had finally given in and started wearing a pair of gloves. It stopped the cruder soldiers from trying anything. It didn’t stop the comments. It wasn’t the trousers that bothered Shallan, Lissil had seen her in pants out in a bar. She had been wearing a disguise, but her mannerisms and attitude gave her away. Most people wouldn’t have recognized it. She glanced around the corner again, making sure Hoid hadn’t moved before responding.

“Fine.” She burned tin, trying to focus on Hoid’s voice in the background. “You’re looking just Radiant today.” Exchanging quips with Shallan was fun. Shallan was better. She had more practice.

“That was terrible.” Shallan crossed her arms, channeling her alter-ego, Veil. “You never have that bad of openings.”

Lissil smiled. Hoid was still talking. “I’m a little busy right now…” She glanced back over her shoulder again. Jasnah was chewing out Hoid for insulting world leaders. Good for her. “Can we finish this another time?”

Shallan had not missed her glances at the group of people nearby. “What are you doing?” Her tone was insistent and demanding.

Lissil crossed her arms, mirroring Shallan. “Look, Veil,” The words had a slightly threatening undercurrent to them. “I don’t pry into your business, and you don’t pry into mine.”

Shallan shook her head. “That's the way you want to play this? If you try to hurt any of them…”

“I don't want to hurt anyone.” Hoid was walking off. No he didn’t. “Harmony help you if you get in my way.” Lissil strode off in the direction he had gone, throwing stealth to the winds till she had him back in sight. She smiled slightly, muttering “There you go. Just like that.” She fingered the key in her pocket. If she had guessed right… He turned into an alcove off the main hallway. Yes! She followed quickly, shutting the door to the alcove behind her. She locked the door, then swallowed the key. “Hello.” Her voice was soft and ominous.

Hoid had watched her come in, and now greeted her with his customary insult. “What a pity. You’re just as ugly as when I last saw you.” He smirked, giving her a challenge. “Not even chulls can look at you comfortably.”

“That’s just because I’m so dangerous that I burn out their eyes. Careful, or yours will be next.” She winced inwardly. She was not here to get into an insult battle with him. “You’re a worldhopper. When were you going to inform me of this?”

“Never. I don't make a habit of telling octopuses my business.” He didn’t even have the decency to look ashamed. 

“You are going to train me.”

“Why in all storms would I do that? Anyone can see that you are not worldhopper material.”

“Interesting. I’ve already been approached by two groups that want me to become a member of their worldhopping organizations. And you WILL train me as a worldhopper.” Her voice was low and threatening. She made sure none of her uncertainty showed in her outward appearance.

Hoid threw his head back and laughed. “Why should I do that, child?” He wandered over to the table in the middle of the room and grabbed an apple. Tossing it up and down, he continued, “I don’t teach people.” He caught the apple and took a bite.

“Because, if you don’t train me, I’m hauling you in and handing you over to the Seventeenth Shard as a present.” She added, almost as an afterthought, “And then I’ll join them.”

Hoid stopped laughing, staring at her with an open mouth. He dropped the apple. “You’re serious.” 

She ignored that. “You are going to make an oath to train me as a worldhopper. On whatever you hold most sacred. To train me and always tell me the truth. If you break either of those I will haul you in to the Seventeenth Shard anyways.”

Hoid looked at her, back to his usual unruffled calm. “Why me? With your powers you could have the pick of organizations in the cosmere. Why come to me?”

Lissil leaned back against the wall. “You know so much more than anybody else. You’ve lived longer than almost anyone, you have been to more places, done more things. You can teach me how to influence the cosmere.” She paused as he raised his eyebrows, and reluctantly added, “And nobody can hurt you. You brush off everything they say about you. You have everybody thinking you’re a simple fool, then change the path of great events everywhere you go. I… I want to be able to do that.”
Hoid stared at her for a moment longer. “Fine. I’ll take you on.”

“Swear it.”

“I swear on Adonalsium that I will train you. And that I won’t lie to you.” 

“I wouldn’t have joined Seventeenth Shard anyways,” she said thoughtfully, trying to get under Hoid’s skin. “They have too many rules.”

Hoid’s ever present smirk grew broader. “If I had to end up with an apprentice, why did I end up with one who thinks she’s smarter than me?”

“You’re smarter. I’m just lucky. I’m surprised you didn’t see through that.”

“I did. Nobody has gotten one over me since Kelsier.” He sat down, grabbing another apple from the bowl in the middle of the table. 

“You know Kelsier?” Lissil sat down next to him, letting her metals lapse. This was what she wanted. This was what she needed. 


Two figures walked side by side through a landscape of white. Pure white leaves clad the branches of the white trees. Some said white meant death. Some said it meant life. Here it was simply normal. The pair was as odd as their surroundings. Though they were very different races, their hair was an identical stark white, faces bearing none of the wrinkles brought on by age. Their eyes also shared a certain kinship, mirth mingling with years.

“My little octopus. It’s time for you to move on.” It was an old tease, a familiar one, this time holding a note of sadness. He knew it would be a long time before either of them saw each other again, a long time till the next chance he would get to needle her. 

“Don’t let it get you too down, you old skunk.” Her tone too, held the sorrow of parting, along with an undertone of respect, of love, that she didn’t usually let the man hear. The man coughed, discreetly wiping a tear off his cheek as he pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to her. It wasn’t the first time he had given her a valuable piece of metal. The hesitation wasn’t new either. Their ending mirrored their beginning too closely to be a coincidence. Fortune knew what was happening with these two, and each of them willingly danced on her strings. The metal fell into her hand, and she held it as if she was afraid it would bite her. The alloy of Adonalsium’s god metal with Dragonsteel was invaluable. 

“You are ready. Take your oaths.”

The woman took a deep breath, then started speaking as she extended the metal above her head. “I swear to forbear from harming any sentient creature. I take an oath to do what is best for myself and the cosmere as a whole. When Fortune calls, I will answer.” The oaths she took were not the same oaths as the man who watched her, but they would initiate her into the same position that he held. A secret position, bestowed by the God Beyond, to provide some direction, or perhaps some well deserved chaos, on the worlds Adonalsium had designed. When the women finished speaking, a warm, pulsing light began to undulate out from the metal, illuminating the entire clearing. Their white surroundings glowed. The light flashed inward, sucking itself towards the woman’s heart. Then the clearing was silent, everything perfectly still. The woman lowered her hands, eyes searching her companion’s. He took back the metal piece, tucking it away, then pulled her into a hug, emotions no longer masked. 

“My wildcat is returning to the wild.” His voice cracked. “Our paths will cross again, child. My only regret is that I will not be able to see the stir you cause.” The pair pulled apart, going their separate ways without a backward glance. They wouldn’t meet again for many years. Centuries, even. The mayhem they caused when apart was nothing compared to what they could do together. When they met again, the very fabric of the cosmere would tremble.



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