The Final Empire is on a world called Scarial. The Lord Ruler gained his power through the Well of Ascension one thousand years before the first book (The Final Empire) begins. With the power that he gained, he changed the location of the planet in addition to rearranging the continents themselves!
The People of the Final Empire
Mistwraiths/Kandra/Koloss and Skaa
The Lord Ruler (with the power granted to him by the Well) changed the peoples of the world to not only better survive the new world (Skaa) but also to serve him in his battles (the Mistrwraiths/Kandra/Koloss) both against Ruin and also the rest of the land.
The descendants of those that did not immediately support the Lord Ruler when he came into power, the Skaa were the servants and slaves of the Nobles in the Final Empire. Skaa do not have Allomatic powers, however as they can breed with the Noble Classes, their children and descendants can gain these powers (both Vin and Kelsier are descendants of such unions). While the Skaa rebelled many times over the years under the Lord Ruler, none were successful or even partially so.
Mistwraiths and Kandra
Kandra are “built” from Mistwraiths through the use of “spikes” that give them intelligence – where Mistwraiths come from in the first place is not properly explained unfortunately. However it is clear that Mistwraiths with their ability to consume the bones of animals and creatures throughout the land and to give these bones “life” serve as a significant reason for the fear of the mists that the Skaa experience.
Kandra act as spies and with their ability to mimic anyone they are both extremely valued and feared by the Nobles of the Final Empire. Adhering to the “contract” the Kandra realize that this is the only way to ensure that there race is not destroyed.
Explained in the final book – the Koloss are actually humans that have been transformed by use of “spikes” and the changes that the Lord Ruler has made in the human race. Starting at approximately 6 feet tall they grow all the way to 12 feet in height. With superhuman strength they are bestial in nature and are extremely difficult to control. Koloss (like Kandra) can be controlled by strong Allomancers.
For a small group of peoples, the Lord Ruler gave a gift – the gift of Allomancy and the power to control the elements. This group was comprised of the early supporters to the Lord Ruler and Allomancy itself is something that can be passed down through the generations. However, with each successive generation the ability and strength of this gift decreases.
The Magic of the Final Empire
There are three different types of “magic” at use in the Final Empire. While some have similarities and depend on the others to work they each have their own rules and ways in which they work and don’t work.
The primary and most well known of the abilities in the Final Empire. Allomancers ingest and use metals to give them their power and ability. Each metal has a different attribute and some can be used in conjunction with others to give the user even more power and ability.
Only available to people of the Terris race, Feruchemy also utilizes metals but in this case instead of “burning” the metals, abilities and knowledge are stored in the metal itself that the users utilize.
As long as a metal is in contact with the skin and the Feruchemist has stored something in it, it can be drawn upon. Only the Feruchemist that originally stored the attribute can use it.
Mistborn – can burn all of the metals
Mistings – can only burn one metal
Similar to Allomancy, each metal used by a Feruchemist has a different ability/attribute granting the wearer a different “gift”.
The third and final power of the Final Empire is that of Hemalurgy. This power (used to create the Koloss/Kandra and Steel Inquisitors) works by driving a metal spike through a living body and stealing their “life force and abilities” which are then infused into the subject.
Only one attribute can be stolen per spike, per person, and the power or attribute gained depends on where the beneficiary is stabbed, and which metal is used.