Everything in this half of the chapter annotation is hidden, so watch out for spoilers!
Slowswift’s Young Men
One may be left wondering about the two unfortunate men whom Vin used in her ploy. Aledin and Troalin were brothers, actually—cousins to Slowswift; men whose mother was executed by the Steel Ministry for her dalliance with a skaa serving man. (Her husband and their father had passed away some years before.)
Yomen—who was in charge in the city by then—allowed her legitimate sons to keep their titles and not suffer disgrace in exchange for their silence about their mother’s dalliance, which would have been an embarrassment to all. They remained in Fadrex, but never got over what had been done to their mother and were known by Slowswift as dissidents against the obligator’s reign.
Both were implicated in Vin’s infiltration of the cache, as Yomen had other spies watching her that she never noticed—spies whose job was to stay out of the way and make sure the door shut behind her when she sneaked in. The brothers were tossed in a dungeon, only to be released after the beginning of the alliance between Elend and Yomen. They made it into the cache before the end, and later became distinguished leaders under Spook’s reign.
Ruin in the Cache
So, you’ll notice that Ruin appears to Vin here in the form of Reen. One might wonder why he even needed her to investigate if he could visit the cache himself.
This reveals the main problem Ruin was dealing with in this instance. The Lord Ruler was very clever in how he placed and organized these caches. He planned them in locations where there was so much metal in the ground that it would prevent Ruin from discovering them. And, more importantly, he trained his obligators—Yomen included—not to speak of what was down below or reveal the locations of the caches.
Ruin didn’t know there was a cache here, not until Vin found the previous plate. Even once he knew where the cache was, he couldn’t see much when he visited it. He couldn’t know if there was Atium there, for the entire area—particularly because of the metal cans Vin mentions—glowed so brightly that Ruin had no idea what he was seeing.
He needed a pawn to visit, one through whose eyes he could see. One who could discover where the atium was. Ruin drew the same conclusion Vin did here—that if there had been atium, Yomen would have moved it. But where? Ruin still needed her to find it for him. Either that or bring in an Inquisitor, something he eventually decided to do.