The Canal Genius
Lord Fedre, the infamous nobleman mentioned here for his research in canals, is none other than my editor, Moshe. He got several cameos in relation to canals, as he was the one who suggested the use of them way back in book one as a way to enhance the feel of the series and give it the right technological level.
The Sliding Scale of Allomantic Potential
Noblemen, despite what Spook says in this chapter, are not immune to the mistsickness. The rumor Spook is referencing does have merit, however. You see, since the mists are Snapping people and awakening the Allomantic potential within them, it will affect far fewer noblemen than skaa. Why? Because a lot of the noblemen have already Snapped. They were beaten as children to bring out the powers.
However, that won’t stop all of them from being affected by the mistsickness, because the mistsickness is also awakening Allomantic potential that would otherwise be too subtle to be brought out. Pretend there’s a sliding scale of Allomantic potential. 100% means you’re an Allomancer—in this series, only two people have hit 100%—Vin and Elend. Buried within a lot of people, however, is enough of a touch of Preservation’s power to hit, say, 50% on the relative scale of Allomantic power. These people, when beaten and made to pass through something traumatic, awaken to their Allomantic abilities.
There are a lot of people out there, however, with something more like 20% to 30%. These are the people the mists are Snapping—since the mists are, themselves, partially the power of Preservation, they can touch people and increase their Allomantic potential slightly and then bring it to the forefront.
Quellion’s Hidden Attack
Spook brings up that he feels they should have been attacked by now. This is an echo of what I said earlier, where I had planned to throw in an attack here in the middle and have them defeat some assassins. Like I said, I cut that out. Instead, I had the Citizen send his assassin to kill them all.
So, in a way, Spook is prophetic. He speaks of assassins, then Beldre shows up with orders to kill them. She didn’t sneak past the soldiers; she was allowed in on the Citizen’s orders. (That part should have seemed fishy to you, by the way. How did Beldre sneak past a soldier encampment?) However, her inexperience and general good nature meant that she couldn’t do what her brother had ordered.
Not every Allomancer is an innate killer like Vin. Some are pampered girls who were trained to use their powers, but who never got very good at them—or even wanted to be good at them.