Kelsier faces the Lord Ruler and burns the eleventh metal. He sees another version of the Lord Ruler and realizes the metal isn’t the secret to bringing him down. Kelsier knows he has to resort to the secret backup plan. He tells the Lord Ruler he can’t kill him because he is hope. The Lord Ruler kills him and Kelsier sees him at the Well of Ascension. When the pain is through, Kelsier finds himself in the mist. He can make out the world around him, but it is shrouded by the mist. God comes up to him and Kelsier punches him in the face. Kelsier sees other people dying around him and how they go to the Beyond. God explains he is there to comfort people between death and the Beyond. It will take Kelsier longer than the other people appearing because he is an Allomancer. Kelsier can already feel the pull towards it. He starts calling the god Fuzz and recruits him to be on his team. He is trying to find a way to not be pulled into oblivion. Kelsier asks why Fuzz isn’t being pulled in and he says it is because he is a god. This tells Kelsier that Fuzz isn’t the only god. He asks about the Lord Ruler and Fuzz explains he would last longer because he ascended for a little while and it expanded his soul. Kelsier asks if he’d like to see another do the same, but Fuzz says the well won’t be ready for another year. He also mentions there is power seeping out because the other is stronger than him. Kelsier decides to switch tactics and pretends to give up. He sees the mist coming from Fuzz’s body. He tells him about seeing the Lord Ruler at the well. Fuzz tells him he shouldn’t trust Ati’s essence. Kelsier is about to give up when he realizes the Lord Ruler moved the well. Kelsier races to Kredik Shaw to get to it before he can be completely pulled into oblivion. He is almost to it when he can’t move anymore. He begs Fuzz to help him and Fuzz allows him to remain by being trapped with Ruin.
For the next few hours, Kelsier struggles with finding a way to get out of his new prison. He wonders if he made a mistake and is now trapped there for eternity. He watches the Inquisitors bring down the body of the one he killed. They toss the body into a pool and preserve the spikes in blood. Fuzz returns and seems to be loosing his mind. Not long after, the Lord Ruler appears. Kelsier is glad to see that he is dead, but shocked when he lets himself move on so quickly. Fuzz points out that most people want to move on after they die. Kelsier is left to sit and think about whether or not his friends will succeed in leading the ska rebellion and building a new government.
After a few months of being in the Well, Kelsier keeps trying to plan though he is frustrated with not being able to write anything out. A pulsing starts and he finds he can ride the waves of it it temporarily go out and see things. He decides to try going the opposite way and uses the pulse to go towards its source. He sees destruction. He does this for weeks, catching glimpses of it. When the presence inside finally turns and looks at him, he is shocked. He realizes that he is so small compared to the dark things vastness. Fuzz comes to check in on him from time to time, but he doesn’t have any answers and seems to be fading. One day, a man comes in using a corpse-like spirit as a boat. Kelsier asks if there is a way for him to get out of the Well, but the man, whom he calls Drifter, refuses to give him any answers. Kelsier realizes Drifter is going to come inside the well. When Drifter does jumps off the corpse and into the well, Kelsier takes the opportunity to start hurting him. It isn’t long before the tables are turned and Drifter is beating Kelsier. He says Kelsier isn’t supposed to be there and is messing up his plan. Drifter tells him the pain is only in his mind because he thinks it should be there. He then goes to the center of the pool and transfers to the living world. He takes something small from the cavern and leaves. Kelsier tries to do the same, but cannot. Fuzz appears and explains it is because Kelsier’s ties to the living have been cut. He tells him Cephandrius is an old friend who can travel the perpendicularity across. They are not necessarily in the world of the dead, but in the Cognitive Realm. He explains that what Cephandrius took is a piece of his essence that can grant Allomancy. Fuzz fades away. Kelsier is not determined that he has to find a way out so that he can learn what is going on between all of the gods. He is determined to stay sane.
Kelsier becomes determined to learn. He goes back to study Ruin and forces himself not to flinch when he notices him. He also rides the pulses out to find out what is going on in the world. He is very disappointed to see they have put Elend, a nobel, in charge. He spends days fuming over it. He knows Ruin is getting stronger. When he goes back out, he finds it disturbing how interested Ruin is in Vin and Elend. He sees Ruin wait to attack Elend until Vin is present. Kelsier continues to visit his friends and study Ruin.
When Fuzz (Preservation) returns, Kelsier tries to figure out more about the power surrounding him. He tells Preservation about going to study Ruin, and is warned not to taunt Ruin. Suddenly, there are people outside the well. Preservation is hoping that his teachings have gotten through to Vin and she will know to take up the power. He quickly realizes that Ruin won and she will release the power, and therefore Ruin. Kelsier tells Preservation to stab Elend so that Vin will use the power to save him. Preservation can’t do it, so Kelsier grabs his arm with the knife in it and makes him slash Elend. Vin goes to him, but Ruin calls to her from the Well. She enters the well and can’t see or hear Kelsier screaming at her to take the power. She releases it and dooms them all.
With Ruin’s release, Kelsier is also free. Preservation sees Vin crying over Eland and leads her to the last piece of metal in the room. She feeds it to Elend and washes it down with a vial of metals. Preservation feels that it was wrong to hurt Elend, but is glad they tried and can now preserve him through Allomancy. Preservations continues to fade, but Kelsier thinks his soul has expanded because he doesn’t feel like he is being sucked away to Beyond.
Kelsier is grateful to be out of the room with the Well that he wanders the city for an entire day. He eventually starts looking around for his friends and finds Vin first. He starts looking around for the others and Preservation shows up to tell him Dox and Clubs both died in the koloss attack on the city. He says Dox cursed his name before moving on. Kelsier mourns his friends and feels ashamed for failing them. Preservation has already given up as he continues to fade. Kelsier convinces him they have to keep trying and at least go out kicking and screaming. Preservation tells him where to go for help.
Preservation is just a small piece of mist leading Kelsier to an island on Lake Luthadel. There is a woman, Khriss of Taldain and her assistant, Nazh, who appear to be in the same realm as him. Kelsier steals Nazh’s knife before he sits at their fire with them. Khriss is reluctant to tell him anything because it would open up a new dangerous world to him. Kelsier insists. She tells him their are sixteen shards of God (Ruin, Preservation, Autonomy, Cultivation, Devotion, etc.). Adonalsium (the god) was killed by sixteen people with diverse motives. Each got a shard and ascended. Two of those shards created his planet; there are several others. Kelsier asks what happens when a Shard dies, but Khriss doesn’t know. He asks about Drifter and and she asks if he went to the Well. Kelsier tells her he stole something there. She curses and gets ready to leave. Kelsier steals a bolt from Nazh’s folding stool. She apologizes, but tells him there is no way to save the planet from Ruin. Kelsier asks her to stay, but she explains that she cannot help him and is exile herself. They take their packs and leave. Nazh comes back to give Kelsier his knife and sheath. He tells Kelsier to go to the Eyree where the land is solid again and to take care of his knife. Kelsier swallows the bolt.
The metal from the bolt turns out to be useless. Preservation reappears and tells Kelsier the Ire are people that “died, but did not” and built a city in a place between the worlds. Kelsier knows that is where he has to go. Preservation begs him not to leave him; he cannot leave his own world. Kelsier pities him, so Preservation shows him his connection to everything in the world, including possible futures. Kelsier asks to see it again. This time he looks away from Preservation and also sees Ruin’s connection to everything. He looks at the ribbons of possible futures and then falls to his knees. He realizes that he cannot stop Ruin. However, he has learned that Vin can. He decides to travel west as the start of the ribbon indicated. He tells Preservation to try to help Vin and get through to Sazed. Preservation warns him the people he seeks won’t help him. Kelsier says he is going to rob them.
Kelsier runs and isn’t used to not being an Allomancer any more. He thinks about the weapon that is being made at the Ire, but also knows it is a long shot. He is certain that Vin will be the one to save their world.
Kelsier is shocked when he reaches Longsfellow village so quickly. He remembers staying there with Mare. He ended up killing eight nobles because they had drowned a girl for spilling the tea. He goes into the house where a man is sitting. He remembers Mare and calls out to Preservation to ask if he would’ve went Beyond if he would be with her. Preservation doesn’t answer, but the man in the room starts talking about how it is all in his head. He remembers the man he trained with, Gremmel, would do the same thing. He starts running west again.
After months of running, Kelsier is further west than he has ever been. He stops in a skaa hovel and sees the spirit of a fire that wants to burn again. He can’t get it to burn in the real world, but he can in the Cognitive Realm. He puts the spirit in his pocket thinking it won’t burn unless he commands it to. As he continues on, he sees the skaa lived a little better further out from the central dominances. He watches and tries to touch them as they travel further west to the coast after their masters, who have already fled. He looks for crazy people in the hopes that he will be able to have some sort of communication with someone. He is lonely.
When he reaches the top of a hill, Kelsier stops. Kelsier has picked up several items in his travel including a pack he used to carry his misty objects. He pulls out the fire that is starting to deteriorate from being to far from its origin and drinks water from a flask. He has been traveling through the mist so long that he starts hearing phantoms. A puppet of Ruin shows up to tell Kelsier that the world is an old man and must end. He tries to convince Kelsier to return to his friends and great them as they die and take off for the Beyond. This lets Kelsier know that he is doing something Ruin doesn’t want him to do. He continues walking down the hill. Ruin appears at the bottom and says he is going to kill Vin and the others. Kelsier keeps going even though Ruin’s words hurt him.
Traveling over the massive ocean, Kelsier ends up traveling through a dark jungle of plants. He sees the souls of fish and other creatures there. He marvels at how he can pick up the soul of a fish the size of a building and just put it back down. He takes his campfire and puts it on top of his staff to light his way in the sunless space. He feels a pull trying to drag him back to his own world, so he uses it to navigate away from it. After traveling for days, the souls and plant life cease. He continues on agains the pull tugging him back. Eventually he sees a light on the horizon.
Kelsier sneaks up to the fortress that seems to be made of mist. When guards pass, he hides himself in the ground. The walls are made of the spirits of stones with spiderwebs of power throughout them rather than actual stones. There are blue skies and green plants and Kelsier is amazed by the world Mare had described. He finds he cannot go through the walls, but can sink his fingers in a few inches. He uses this ability to scale the wall up to a large window. Once inside, he decides the lines of power throughout the stones must be what is keeping them there. When he hears guards coming, Kelsier goes out a window and holds onto the wall. They say one guard though he saw something, but it is unrealistic a Threnodite would have made it all the way there. Kelsier is surprised that he can understand their language and starts to follow them. They lead him to a room with more guards and a large yellow gem and Kelsier looks in through the slightly open door. An old woman enters from another door across from Kelsier. A few of the guards say they saw a figure and she orders the use of a device. Kelsier realizes they saw him and thinks the device will affect him, so he runs. When nothing happens, he returns. The general says there is no one from Threnody within a days march. The woman leaves to talk with the rest of the Ire. Kelsier gets the image of a symbol in his head (four dots and wavy lines) that means age in their language. He decides to follow the woman, Alonoe, and ends up watching her through a small window from the outside of the building. She meets with others like her and they discuss Preservation and Ruin. They intend to strike while Preservation is weak so one of them can ascend and become Preservation. He doubts these people have the connection it would require to ascend, so he sneaks in and starts looking around the room. He finds a book with notes showing a device that would connect them long enough to ascend.
Kelsier plans to steal the device, but it is secured in a guarded vault. He decides he will wait until they intend to use it to make his move. About a week later, there are five identically dressed ancients surrounded by fifteen guards all on horses. Kelsier keeps up with them easily as he thinks about how to trick them out of the Connection device. He watches them as they sleep out in the open and Alonoe keeps her satchel with the device in her hands. One night, he swims through the ground to get near Alonoe and then acts as if he is Ruin speaking to her. He moves away and then listens to their reactions. The group starts to bicker amongst themselves about turning back or continuing on. He continues to whisper to them until they reach the jungle. Kelsier causes chaos by hitting the horse with his knife and then racing ahead to where he has made a figure of his cloak and campfire. As planned, they are terrified that Ruin has found them and scatter. Kelsier stays by Alonoe and uses a cloak like hers to draw her away from the others. He returns to the group and uses the cloak and satchel to make it look like Alonoe melts into the ground. He then returns to Alonoe and knocks out her only remaining guard. He follows her and sees her fear. He tells her to leave the device and she does. She offers to help him, but he sends her away. She takes her saddle bags and leaves. Kelsier is impressed with himself.
Kelsier runs as fast as he can. When he reaches his own land again, he is shocked at how much it has deteriorated since he left. Preservation calls out to him and tells him to come to Fadrex. Kelsier is exhausted, but runs there as fast as he can. He finds a threadlike piece of Preservation and realizes he is lying over the city. Kelsier takes a piece of the thread and puts it to the orb shaped device. Preservation says it can’t help him. Kelsier goes around a corner to see a line of beggars and notices one of them is Drifter. He sees Vin on a nearby rooftop about to approach him. Kelsier climbs up to Vin and does everything he can to get her not to go to Drifter. She turns and takes off away from Drifter. Kelsier follows Vin with Preservation’s help, and he eventually realizes that she can sense him. He continues to follow her and realizes how much he has missed training with her. Ruin arrives and is surprised to see Kelsier there. Kelsier sets down his bag with the orb in it and tells Ruin to leave Vin alone. Ruin explains he has been preparing Vin for longer than she has been alive. Kelsier tires to punch Ruin in the face, but ends up having several spikes put through him painfully instead. Ruin takes off, and Preservation tells Kelsier he deserved it. Kelsier knew he had to at least try.
Ruin prevents Kelsier from getting too close to Vin. Kelsier goes after her one day when she chases Ruin’s decoy thinking it is a spy. While she is away, siege equipment is dropped onto the koloss army. Kelsier is shocked when people start appearing in the cognitive realm with him. He sees an obligator and asks how the koloss are made. The man tells him spikes before he disappears. Kelsier checks one of the bodies and sees the spikes. Vin returns with a shadow following she can’t see. Kelsier realizes Ruin has his hand in everything and talks to Preservation, who shows him images of his friends. Kelsier realizes he needs to follow Preservations plan and asks how to help. Preservation tells him he has to free his successor. He says to tell Vin not to trust anything pieced by metal. Kelsier thinks of how to get past Ruin so he can save Vin.
Once he finds someone with an open mind, Kelsier talks to Midge for days telling him to warn Vin not to trust anyone pierced by metal. The man instead wakes up and starts a brawl. Ruin arrives and thanks Kelsier for helping him. Kelsier decides he can’t do anything there with Ruin constantly watching him. He takes the orb and hopes it will hide him as he tries to contact Marsh or Spook. He takes off.
As he is heading for Luthadel, Kelsier can feel Preservation dying. He calls out to him and tells him he is there for him. He pulls out the orb, but Preservation says his power isn’t for him. Kelsier promises to get it to Vin and then stabs the orb with his knife. The power is like white lines from iron or steel. He pulls on them until the power is his. The first thing he does is try to destroy Ruin, but Preservation’s power won’t let him. He realizes his power is limited and Ruin has much more experience at controlling his. Kelsier makes a break for Vin and Ruin collides with him to create earthquakes. Kelsier sees the connection between him and Vin and tries to tell her there is another god. He sees the spike in her ear and yells at her about not trusting spikes. Ruin throws him away and sends for Marsh. As Marsh approaches, Kelsier can hear his thoughts concentrating on keeping his self. Kelsier leaves Fadrex to find somewhere Ruin isn’t watching so carefully.
Kelsier goes to Urteau and finds Spook on a platform about to murder a boy in front of the city. Kelsier notices his connection to Spook is stronger that the ones he had with Vin or Marsh. He goes to Spook and talks to him. Spook rips the metal out of his chest and collapses. Kelsier talks to him and tells him to survive. Spook gets up and starts shouting out orders to save the city from the fire devouring it. Kelsier gives himself form and walks next to Spook, giving him encouragement. Ruin makes the situation seem helpless, especially since his attention is now on the burning city, but Kelsier can see the lines of hope. Spook walks into the fire to save the city.
Spook nearly dies and it gives Kelsier a chance to talk to him. He tells his young friend that he has been different since he died and is now a sort of god. He is glad that Spook isn’t hard like him and says he has done a great job. He warns Spook to get the people underground when the end comes. Lastly, he tells him about the spikes and that he must get the message to Vin because she also has a spike in her. He warns him to carve the message into metal or else it cannot be trusted. Before Spook wakes up, Kelsier tells him he is proud of him.
Kelsier follows Goradel as he rides to deliver his message to Vin. Ruin sends Marsh after him and the man is dead within minutes. Marsh revels in the violence and Ruin seems to have some issues controlling him. Kelsier greets Goradel in the Cognitive realm and lets him sail off into the Beyond. Kelsier spreads himself out and stops trying to stop Ruin, which slows down some of the chaos. He waits until Vin has already defeated the Inquisitors and is now fighting Marsh. He uses all of his power to keep Ruin from interfering as Marsh pulls the earring out of Vin’s ear. Kelsier explains to Ruin that the message Goradel carried only had to get to Marsh, who always tries to be good. Kelsier realizes the mists were always part of Preservation trying to protect them. He gives the power up to Vin and then Ruin rips into his soul and tears Kelsier apart.
Kelsier is tempted to end the pain and go to the Beyond that pulls at him. He looks up and collects himself and the pain fades. He watches Vin grapple with Ruin and Elend fight off monsters and then Marsh. He watches Elend die and then Vin’s reaction. She becomes so much that she takes over Ruin. When her body falls to the ground, Sazed runs out to it. Elend appears next to Kelsier and stumbles to the ground. He watches Sazed take in both powers and is amazed to learn he is the hero. Vin lands gracefully next to Kelsier and Elend. She embraces Elend first and then goes to Kelsier. When she hugs him, he cries and wishes he had found her sooner when Mare was still around. Ati (Ruin’s vessel) appears next asking for Vex. Kelsier goes up to him and punches him in the face. Ati falls down before stretching out into eternity. A part of Sazed appears next to them. He tells Vin and Elend he has healed their bodies if they wish to return to them. Elend is already starting to fade away and Vin intends to go with him. Kelsier begs her to stay with him, but she points out he still has a lot to learn about love. She points out that he has done a lot of good, but asks how much was for love of others and how much was for himself, to prove something. Kelsier can’t answer. She thanks him before she leaves to follow Elend.
As Sazed reforms the world, Kelsier walks alone. When it is all formed and Kelsier is standing among Mare’s flowers, Sazed comes to see him. The Terrisman tells him Elend and Vin will not come back from the Beyond. Kelsier asks him to heal Spook and make him a Mistborn. Sazed says he will think about it. Kelsier asks if there is a way for him to live again, but Sazed says he doesn’t think so. Kelsier knows he is lying.
Spook is trying to get used to the new world and his position as king. He doesn’t know why, but he has the idea of making one of the spikes from the Inquisitors into an earring. When it is completed, it is brought to him and he puts it in his ear. Kelsier appears to him and Spook isn’t quite convinced it is really him at first. Kelsier tells him the world is much bigger than they ever imagined. He want Spook to help him discover more about the spikes and the other worlds. Spook asks what is in it for him, and Kelsier says he needs to find a new thread to tie him to the physical world.