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Mistborn Era 2: Everything You Need to Know Before Reading The Lost Metal


Mistborn Era 2: Everything You Need to Know Before Reading The Lost Metal

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Mistborn Era 2: Everything You Need to Know Before Reading The Lost Metal


Published on November 1, 2022


Greetings, Cosmere chickens and Allomancers!

The Lost Metal  is looming large on the horizon (it’s out in two weeks!), but it’s been a hot minute since The Bands of Mourning was released. If you don’t have time for a reread of the series before diving into the new book and need a refresher course so you can go in with your metalminds clear, we’re happy to help remind you of who’s who, what’s what, and all those other wondrous W’s! (Like Wax, and Wayne, and okay, those are the only remaining W’s, but isn’t alliteration fun?)

Most of the information in this article has been culled from The Coppermind, the definitive Sanderson knowledge base on the internet. If you’re looking to learn even more, I highly recommend that you check it out—there are also chapter-by-chapter recaps of the books if you’d like to do a more thorough deep dive into the Mistborn series!

I’ve done my best to include things that I think you’ll need to know going into the next book. Think of this article as one of those “Last time on…” recaps at the beginning of a television show. As such, I won’t be delving into every plot and character nuance…only the ones which are likely to be relevant to The Lost Metal.

But let’s start off with the basics, shall we?

Mistborn Era 2 takes place 341 years after the events in the original trilogy, but there’s another little story that we hope you’ve also read that takes place between them—Mistborn: Secret History. This one will be important. I’m going to proceed with this article under the assumption that you’ve read it, so if you haven’t, there will be some MAJOR spoilers. Honestly though, you really, really need to read Secret History before Lost Metal drops.

Trust me.

Still here? All right, here goes.

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The Lost Metal
The Lost Metal

The Lost Metal

Alloy of Law served mostly to introduce us to the main characters (and we will go into each of them in more depth below). Wax, Wayne, and Marasi work together to take down Miles Hundredlives, a compound bloodmaker who has been kidnapping women and stealing aluminum for a shadowy organization called “The Set.” At the end of the book, the kidnapped women are still missing, Miles is executed, and Wax discovers that his uncle Edwarn, who’d been presumed dead, is actually alive and a member of the Set.

Shadows of Self begins with Wax now working in conjunction with the Elendel constabulary. Marasi is a full constable, and Wayne is Wax’s deputy. They discover that there’s a murderer on the loose—and, even worse, Harmony contacts Wax directly to inform him that this murderer is a rogue kandra named Bleeder/Paalm who’s gone mad. With the help of MeLaan, another kandra, they hunt the killer down, only to discover that it’s Wax’s presumed-dead ex-wife, Lessie; turns out she was Paalm all along. Paalm has been working with the Set to attempt to break free from Harmony’s influence.

The Bands of Mourning follows our group of heroes as they begin a quest to find the titular Bands of Mourning, a legendary and extraordinarily powerful artifact. In their hunt for a kandra’s missing spike, they travel to New Seran, then to Dulsing, then finally to the “Sovereign’s Temple.” Here, they discover that Wax’s sister Telsin is still alive and a member of the Set. They secure the Bands, but hand them off to the kandra for safe-keeping and broker a trade deal with the mysterious Southern Scadrians.

We left off in The Bands of Mourning with Steris and Wax eloping. Mister Suit had been captured and possibly killed, but Lady Sequence (Telsin) had escaped, and there are rumblings of more devious plots afoot… something to do with the kandra who are working for the Set, and Trell.



Now that we’ve got that basic synopsis out of the way, let’s start off with a handy character primer. You can use this to quickly reference who the various “players” are, in case you’ve forgotten…

Waxillium (Wax) Ladrian (fka Asinthew): One of our two primary characters. A lawman through and through, Wax is now semi-retired as High Lord of his House. He and Steris are married. He is a twinborn, utilizing the Allomantic/Feruchemical skills of Coinshot (pushing metal) and Skimmer (storing his own weight to make himself heavier/lighter).

Wayne: Wax’s loyal sidekick, Wayne has a tendency to “borrow” things and has an aversion to using guns despite his duty as a lawman. Wayne is also a twinborn; his skills are Slider (creating “speed bubbles”) and Bloodmaker (he can store health in his metalminds in order to help facilitate healing).

Marasi Colms: An Allomantic Pulser (able to slow down time in a bubble around herself) and a constable in the Elendel constabulary. Marasi previously studied law and had a bit of a crush on Wax, but she’s since moved on. She’s the bastard half-sister of Steris.

Steris Harms Ladrian: Wax’s wife and Marasi’s half-sister. A bit obsessive, a bit anxious, and a whole lot amazing, Steris uses her neurodivergencies to her (and Wax’s) advantage by plotting out every eventuality and creating detailed plans to deal with any situation.

MeLaan: A kandra who has been around from about the time of the Catacendre. As of the end of The Bands of Mourning, she is in a casual relationship with Wayne.

VenDell: A kandra who often delivers messages on behalf of Harmony.

Paalm (deceased): Another kandra, one who posed as Wax’s wife Lessie for a time in order to groom him for Harmony’s purposes. After removing her second spike and adding one of Trellium, she went mad and began working with the Set, and was defeated.

Allik Neverfar: A Southern Scadrian (specifically from Malwish), Allik is an airship crewman who was captured by the Set. Marasi and MeLaan rescue him, and he assists them on their quest to find the Bands of Mourning. Like all Southern Scadrians, he wears a red and black mask at all times. He also has medallions which grant him Allomantic abilities. As of the end of The Bands of Mourning, he has a very obvious crush on Marasi.

Gave Entrone: An amateur archeologist who insulted Steris at a party. Wax thinks that he might have connections to the Set.

Ranette: Wax’s gunsmith and a Lurcher (iron-pulling). Wayne once had a thing for her, but gave up on it after realizing that she has a girlfriend.

Harmony (fka Sazed): Harmony holds the shards of Ruin AND Preservation, and as such is (one of the) god(s) of Scadrial.

Kelsier (aka The Survivor): Kelsier was the leader of the group of thieves who went after the Lord Ruler in the original trilogy, and was the person who recruited Vin. He died at the end of the first book in the original trilogy… but there’s always another secret. See below for the whole section on Kelsier and what he’s been up to behind the scenes.

Ironeyes (fka Marsh): Marsh was Kelsier’s brother. He infiltrated the Steel Inquisitors, and is one of the few remaining characters from the original trilogy who is “alive.” He also appears to be the only remaining Mistborn thanks to Hemalurgy.

Telsin Ladrian (aka Lady Sequence): Wax’s estranged sister, and a high-ranking member of the Set—even higher than Mister Suit. At the end of The Bands of Mourning, she was shot several times but retained a metalmind and escaped. Powers that we know of: Steelpushing (Allomantic) and Bloodmaking (Feruchemical).

Edwarn Ladrian (aka Mister Suit): Wax’s uncle, and a member of the Set. Allegedly dead as of the end of The Bands of Mourning, but hey…it’s a Cosmere novel, who knows?

Speaking of the Set…. let’s delve into that a little more deeply, shall we?



Throughout the course of the series, we’ve been following the underhanded machinations of a group called “the Set.” In Alloy of Law, we learned that the Set (through Mister Suit, Wax’s uncle) was responsible for funding the Vanishers, a group who was kidnapping female descendants of the Lord Mistborn (aka Spook). We know that Wax’s sister, Telsin, is a high-ranking member and that she escaped alive at the end of The Bands of Mourning. The Set was not after the Bands of Mourning as originally believed, but rather the airship and bombs located within the temple. They have been utilizing Hemalurgy to grant their members Allomantic and Feruchemical powers.

While held in an Elendel jail, Suit was visited by a mysterious creature with red eyes. He told Suit that the Set had decided that allowing civilization on Scadrial to continue was too dangerous and that they decided to “remove life on this sphere instead.” The creature then activated an explosive device, apparently killing Suit.

As of the end of The Bands of Mourning, it is believed by the characters that the goal of the Set is to begin a civil war to overthrow Elendel. They also have some sort of ties to…



Who, or what, is Trell? A mystery, to be sure. All we know for certain is that it’s some sort of entity worshiped by many on Scadrial. He/she/it has kandra under their control, is either controlling or working with the Set, and is apparently planning on annihilating life on Scadrial as a whole. The first glimpse we had of Trell’s influence was at the end of Alloy of Law in the form of Miles Hundredlives’ dying proclamation:

You are fools! One day, the men of gold and red, bearers of the final metal, will come to you. And you will be ruled by them. Worship. Worship Trell and wait…

Then, in Shadows of Self, Paalm was using a spike supplied by Trell to gain Allomantic and Feruchemical abilities, as well as to remain invisible to Harmony. Ugh…creepy. Is Trell the true Big Bad of Era 2? Or does Sanderson have yet more secrets to reveal…?



In Bands of Mourning, we were introduced to the Malwish, a culture from Southern Scadrial. The Southern Scadrians had existed with no interaction with the Final Empire, but when Harmony changed the world, they could not adapt and began to die off. Thankfully, a certain someone found them (see Kelsier’s section below) and helped them to survive.

Ettmetal, also known as harmonium, is the condensed elemental form of Harmony’s power. While difficult, it is possible to obtain atium and lerasium from ettmetal, but not through mechanical means. It reacts explosively to water.

In conjunction with Southern Scadrian technology, ettmetal can reproduce Allomantic or Feruchemical powers within its vicinity. The Southern Scadrians have also used the metal in primer cubes which can somehow regulate ettmetal’s effects with the flip of a switch. When used Allomantically, the metal is said to burn “with a pure whiteness” and will slowly be consumed, in the same way it would be by a Misting or Mistborn. It is used to fuel Southern Scadrian Allomantic technology, including their airships, which run via Steelpushing.

They also have the technology to create powerful grenades and bombs, as well as medallions which grant various powers.



Now… let’s talk a bit more in depth about Kelsier, and what he’s been up to. (Remember how I mentioned all those spoilers? Here they are. Please note that there are also some spoilers in here for The Stormlight Archive. Proceed with caution.)

Immediately after his death, Kelsier arrived in the Cognitive Realm. Then he found the power at the Well of Ascension and became trapped there with Ruin, though merging with the power of the Well allowed him to become a Cognitive Shadow and resist the pull of the Beyond. Throughout the course of the original Mistborn trilogy, he was been working behind the scenes to try to help Vin’s cause. After Sazed’s Ascension and Spook’s rise to political power, Kelsier began to speak with Spook about finding a way to bring himself back to the Physical Realm. As a Cognitive Shadow tied to Scadrial, it is difficult for him to travel to other planets via Shadesmar.

In Era 2, followers of Kelsier are known as “Survivorists.” Steris and Marasi are both followers of this religion.

At the end of The Bands of Mourning, we learn that aside from the Survivorists, there is also a whole civilization of people far to the south of Elendel that worships Kelsier, calling him the Sovereign. Kelsier had traveled there several years after the Catacendre, inhabiting a physical body that was spiked in the right eye, and found the Southern Scadrians slowly dying of an unexplained coldness. He helped the people there survive using his knowledge of the Metallic Arts, showing them how to make metalminds to store attributes like heat in a way that could be shared with anyone. As the Sovereign, Kelsier ruled the Southern Scadrians for a time and formed another religion that deified Metalborn, and then he left. Before leaving them, he created the Bands of Mourning, a collection of unsealed metalminds forged together and containing all kinds of attributes in extremely large quantities. He hid the artifact away somewhere in the north and then disappeared.

Kelsier has also been keeping himself busy by interfering with Roshar (the world in which The Stormlight Archive is set). He is presumably the founding member of the Ghostbloods, a secret society investigating the Cosmere and ways to travel between all the different worlds. In his interactions with them, he goes by another name you might recognize if you’re a Stormlight fan… Thaidakar.


As you can see, Kelsier’s been a busy, busy boy. Will we learn more about him in The Lost Metal? What about this mysterious Trell? Will it be revealed to be the Big Bad of the series after all? Will Wax and Wayne wield weapons with wild wantonness? (Almost certainly on that score, let’s be honest.) There’s always another secret, but we’ll have answers to some as of November 15th! In the meantime, keep an eye out for a non-spoiler review of The Lost Metal coming up next week…

Lyndsey is a renaissance faire performer and magic wand-maker. She’s also written one novel and is working on several more. If you enjoy queer protagonists, snarky humor, and don’t mind some salty language, check out book 1.

About the Author

Lyndsey Luther


Lyndsey lives in Connecticut. She’s in the process of closing on a house (yes, in this dreadful market) so please wish her the best of luck, and follow her on Facebook or TikTok!
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