The Ones Above is the colloquial name for a spacefaring group that regularly visits the Eelakin people on First of the Sun. Their name references the fact that they arrived in the sky above First of the Sun in spaceships.
Vathi, who has met some of the Ones Above in person, notes that "they look like us; at times they talk like us". This indicates that they are humanoid in appearance and that some individuals may be able to speak the Eelakin language. However, Vathi also says that they have their own language when describing a translator device and an equipment manual. Vathi also suspects that they are immortal, until she sees one individual choke to death. Neither the origin nor the composition of the Ones Above are known.
Vathi notes that the Ones Above are "fascinated" with Aviar; she believes that they want to figure out a way to acquire them. However, the Ones Above seem to be bound by "laws" or a code preventing them from simply invading the islands or even trading with "less advanced" cultures. They will not explain these laws to the Eelakin, but they insinuate that they know of other space travelers who would not face similar restrictions.
The people of First of the Sun were traditionally sailors and wayfinders who used outrigger canoes to navigate the Eelakin Islands and the Pantheon; Dusk notes that in his time only trappers learn the "old arts". Vathi says that they have "barely worked out" marine propulsion on their own.
The Ones Above have technology that is far superior to anything found on the planet before their arrival. They give some of this technology to the Eelakin, typically without an explanation of how it works.
- Brandon has confirmed that they visit First of the Sun through interplanetary space travel. This is independent of worldhopping.
- Dusk (and presumably other trappers) use sea charts created by the Ones Above that are more accurate than any that they can create themselves.
- Vathi uses a handheld device that is both a language translator and a short-range Aviar-locating device.
- The Northern Interests Trading Company also possesses a larger, long-range Aviar locator that can scan an entire island and print a map of any Aviar detected there. Aviar react negatively to this machine.
The Company also has iron-hulled ships, cannons that can fend off deepwalkers, and gunpowder-based spear guns capable of killing a Nightmaw; however, it is not explicitly stated that any of those technologies originated with the Ones Above.
Vathi tells Dusk that he has not "seen the things they can do", implying that the Ones Above have demonstrated even more advanced technologies to some of the Eelakin.
During the events of Sixth of the Dusk, Dusk notes that companies such as Northern Interests Trading have been looking to establish outposts on the Pantheon "for years" and that the visits of the Ones Above are not to blame for their ambition. This indicates that the visits likely began during Dusk's lifetime. The specifics of the meetings have not been revealed, but they do meet with the native population in person; Vathi notes that an emissary worked directly with her company. The visits occur regularly and seem to have become an accepted part of the culture. Eelakin society on the homeisles is undergoing various changes that stem from the advances in technology. This includes a new focus on education and industry, reduced interest in traditional names and professions, and increased demand for Aviar.
Although both Dusk and Vathi are distrustful of the Ones Above, they both use their technology, like all other Eelakin. The Ones Above seem benevolent, but Dusk and Vathi ultimately realize that there has been subterfuge on various occasions that has resulted in the Eelakin rapidly gaining technology or making "discoveries" through planted devices or information. They theorize that the Ones Above are intentionally doling out the technology, quickly advancing Eelakin society in order to subvert the "laws" that currently prevent them from taking the Aviar.
Some version of the Ones Above was seen in the Cosmere prior to the publication of Sixth of the Dusk. Since no other works take place on First of the Sun, this means that they have been part of the storyline on another planet.
Chronologically, Sixth of the Dusk occurs near the end of Brandon's overall plans for the Cosmere. Brandon has mentioned that his long-term plan for the Mistborn series includes books in a sci-fi setting that include FTL (faster-than-light) space travel. Based on these facts, it has been theorized by many readers that the Ones Above are travelers from a future version of Scadrial, but Brandon has declined to confirm this.
- Sixth of the Dusk #
- Sofia signing
— Arcanum - 2017-03-28#
- Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
— Arcanum - 2016-12-01#
- General Signed Books 2014
— Arcanum - 2014-07-22#
- Orem signing 2014
— Arcanum - 2014-12-06#
- Sixth of the Dusk postscript #
- Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
- /r/fantasy AMA 2011
— Arcanum - 2011-08-31#
- Alloy of Law release party
— Arcanum - 2011-11-07#
- Emerald City Comic Con 2018
— Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
- Calamity Philadelphia signing
— Arcanum - 2016-02-20#
- Oathbringer Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2017-11-21#
It has yet to be reviewed.
|Sixth of the Dusk (First of the Sun)|
|Characters||Sixth of the Dusk · Vathi · First of the Sky|
|Places||Pantheon (Patji · Sori) · Eelakin Islands · Mainland|
|Magic||Patji · Aviar (Sak · Kokerlii)|
|Groups||Northern Interests Trading Company · Ones Above|