Elend Venture is a character who appears in Brandon Sanderson's first Mistborn trilogy. Born a nobleman to House Venture by Straff Venture, Elend is considered an inept socialite at noble functions, as he contains a habit for reading during balls to upset his father and an unusual fixation on the lower class people of The Final Empire known as skaa. He considers himself to be a knowledgeable scholar.
Before the events of the book, Elend was born to Straff Venture, a greedy and politicking menace who used people to further his own needs. As a child, Elend was beaten in front of his father to see if any latent Allomantic powers would be drawn out. The endeavor proved futile, which makes Elend resent the brutal system of searching for Allomancers.
When Elend was thirteen years of age, Straff decided that it was time for Elend to "become a man". He took his son to a skaa brothel and picked out a woman for Elend to bed for night. As was ordered by his father, Elend slept with the skaa woman, but was not told that she was to be killed the next morning to prevent her from siring any half-breed children. Elend hated his father from then on and began performing defiant acts against him, such as ignoring social functions and reading during balls.
At some point, Straff took his son and family out of their seat, Urteau, and moved to the Central Dominance to become a Great House in Luthadel. In order to rise to power, Straff dealt with the Lord Ruler directly to service the mining of the Pits of Hathsin. He kept his source of wealth a secret from the rest of noble society, making his rise to power quite a mystery. Elend thought his father was being foolish in basing his financial income on directly pleasing the Lord Ruler.
At age twenty-one, Elend formed a group of young heirs to noble houses to form future alliances whenever they inherited. They read books that he picked out to study political theory, though most of them found their meetings to be not worth the time, as Elend was the only heir to an influential house in Luthadel.
Elend's first appearance in the novel is at Vin's first noble ball. She attends Keep Venture under the pseudonym "Valette Renoux", a daughter of distant but favored cousins of Lord Renoux. After her meal and subsequent rejections of four suitors who had asked for a dance, Vin goes to look for a way up to see the whole ballroom. She goes up to a balcony in a secluded section and settles in. Suddenly, Elend approaches her from behind, complaining about the consequences of leaving his spot to refill his wine. Vin feels somewhat comfortable around him and allows him to stay on the balcony with her. He pulls out his book, which irks Vin greatly. He explains that he is reading Trials of Monument because he is studying political theory and trying to understand why skaa are thought of as beneath noblemen. He explains that he primarily reads because he knows that it annoys his father that he publicly defies social activities. Elend jokingly asks her to a dance because she insults him for being too cowardly to ask women for dances, though Vin is terrified because she wonders if his offer was real. She asks him what he thinks of the Venture family because she was secretly looking for noble houses who hated the Venture house. Elend says that they are a stuffy and annoying lot, but they do have good wine. Elend notes that her Terrisman steward is looking for her and Vin hastily excuses herself. When she meets with Sazed and prepares to leave, she tells him of a strange encounter with some nobleman named Elend. Sazed his shocked and concerned that she had attracted the attention of Elend Venture without knowing that he was heir to the most powerful house in Luthadel.
Vin's extended absence from noble society after he first ball due a major injury caused by a Steel Inquisitor sparked many rumors at the cause of her disappearance, something that greatly worried Elend. When she attended her next ball months after her first encounter with Elend, she did not expect to see him there, much less still interested in her. However, despite Sazed's presence and disapproval towards Elend, he sat down with Vin and a large number of his books. He comments on her letting months lapse between her ball attendance, and she uses her practiced lie of falling ill with a life-threatening sickness and needing a long time to recover. When he refuses to put his books down and actually let her eat, she pointedly ignores him until he finally puts his book down. Elend surprises her by asking why she is there in Luthadel instead of with her family. He observes that she is a young scion in a court that is rapidly changing and becoming more unstable (primarily because of several Mistborn attacks instigated by Kelsier to spark a house war). He asks her about skaa from where she is from, and she brushes off his questions, telling him that they are just skaa and should not receive his attention. Elend is disappointed by her courtly response, and picks up his book to read again. He watches her leave to dance with another suitor. The man she dances with is afraid of her as he believes that Elend was courting her, but Vin lies and tells him that Straff Venture is an old friend of Lord Renoux, and that Elend was asked to protect her in the court.
Vin returns to her empty table after hours of dancing, and, in an effort to avoid more people coming up to her and asking for a dance, picks up Elend's book and pretends to read. After finding some questionable books in Elend's possession, she picks up one of his smaller, annotated books and finds quite blasphemous words denouncing the Lord Ruler's government. She realizes that Elend could get his whole house into trouble with the Ministry should the obligatory find these books, and resolves that she must keep it secret from Kelsier. Suddenly, she is approached by a Terrisman steward that is not Sazed. He informs her that Lady Shan Elariel requires her presence, and leaves Elend's forbidden books unattended. Elariel demeans her several times and punctuates it with Allomancy, but tells her that she could be useful. She tells her to spy on Elend and report on anything she could use as leverage against him. Meanwhile, her Terrisman steward is searching through Elend's books for any such material. Vin rushes back to the table and waves him off. She pretends to read again.
Soon after, Elend returns to the table. He quickly notices her reading his books and asks why. She explains that he was trying to avoid dancing offers. She subtly tries to gain pretext on House Elariel, and is quite surprised when he reveals that Shan was his former fiancée. Sazed returns and asks her if she wishes to retire. She excuses herself and leaves, but notices that Elend is joining with a group of young lords. Sazed identifies them as sons of Straff Venture's political enemies, and reports this to Kelsier.
Over the next several months, Elend noticeably avoids being seen with "Valette" out of a belief that she was becoming just another courtly puff. At Mansion Renoux in Fellise, Vin has a conversation with Dockson about his past and why he works with Kelsier. Dockson shares a story about he ran away from his plantation after the plantation lord raped and murdered his love. He knows his story isn't very original, relating how every nobleman does the same to any skaa girl he wishes. Vin does not believe him, but Dockson continues, saying that most noblewomen do not consider it cheating when their lord sleeps with a skaa woman. Vin desperately hopes that Elend was different.
At the next Hasting ball, Shan Elariel belittles Vin for not clinging to Elend as any noblewoman of such low rank would. Vin manages to contain her anger, and leaves Elariel. She notices Elend chatting with his reading friends, and she approaches him. Vin finally confronts Elend about him avoiding her. He admits that he was indeed negligent, but stops short when she begins crying. He pulls her out of the ballroom and to an outside balcony for privacy. He hands Vin his handkerchief to wipe away the tears. He confesses the real reason why he had been avoiding her all the time, and pleads for her to understand that he was trying to act in her best interest. She angrily demands to know if he was a monster for sleeping with skaa whores to kill them the next morning. Elend claims that he had never intended for anyone to die, and that he believed only a third of noble society behaved like that. He admits that although his father is one of those who participate in skaa brothels, Elend hated him for doing so. He relates to Vin the story of where he had been forced to bed a skaa woman without being told that she would die because of it. He expresses his determination to change this brutal system that the careless nobles frequented. Vin forgives him and apologizes for accusing him of barbarianism. She then says that she had lied when he had asked her about her relationship with the skaa. She tells him of Dockson's story, and outbursts when he asks her if the skaa seemed diminished in mental capacity. He draws that skaa perhaps had no reason to be socially dominated as they are if there were few differences between them and nobles. When she tries to give him his handkerchief back, he tells her to keep it; a sign that he intended to openly court her.
When Elend leaves, she notices him head up into one of the towers with his friends and believes that she should spy on their meeting. Sazed clears her for active Allomanctic powers, and allows her to Push herself up to the tower to listen in. She discovers that Elend was having his friends read his theory books in order to be prepared to begin dealing with the Lord Ruler about how to stop societal beliefs. Kelsier shocks her when he reveals himself to be listening above her. She calls this meeting proof that Elend was a good man, but Kelsier just says that his attempts at lowering his own benefits for the skaa does not make him a revolutionary. Kelsier promises her that he wouldn't kill Elend or his friends if he could help it, which was good enough for Vin considering Kelsier's deep hatred of the nobility.
Vin leaves the keep with the handkerchief and speaks to Kelsier regarding Elariel's plot against House Venture. Kelsier asks her to try and find out where Venture had gotten its vast wealth from Elend if she could. Vin decides that even if Elend were to trust her with that information, she would not tell Kelsier.
At the next ball that both Vin and Elend attended, she found him on a balcony where he had said he would meet her. Elend tells her that he wants to kiss her, but Vin tells him that that would be a bad idea. She convinces him to go for a walk outside with her, and the two head outside the ballroom. On their walk, Elend asks Vin to leave the city. He says that though her uncle was brave to move to Luthadel and try to establish himself, he had chosen the wrong time to do it. Foreseeing a house war in the imminent future, he begs her to leave and go back to where she had come from for her own safety. Vin points out that his life was in danger from Shan Elariel, relaying how Shan had held a grudge against him. Neither one is convinced of their doom, which Elend laughs about. He assures her that House Venture would be safe, as they directly mined the Pits of Hathsin, making them extremely wealthy. He warns her not to let herself fall into the politics of the city, or she would not get free until it was too late. Elend leaves to go with his reading friends again. When Vin finds Shan to try and get information from her, Shan says that she no longer requires her services and tells her to leave. Vin realizes that Shan had found out that she actually wanted Elend, and would not risk her telling him of her plans.
Elend, after two of his friends leave, begins drinking with Telden and Jastes Lekal. His friends repeatedly warn him that Valette had to have been a spy for another house considering the circumstances that had caused the two of them to meet. Telden abruptly leaves to return to his own keep, which makes Elend anxious to leave in order to avoid getting too drunk. He excuses himself and arranges for a carriage to take him home. When he arrives, he tries to sneak past his father so he could go to bed, but Straff catches him and berates him for seeing "the Renoux girl" despite him being told not to. Elend says that he had intended to defy him, but that he would spend time with her if he wanted to. Straff rebukes these claims as just another foolish attempt to spite his father, as marrying Elend off to House Renoux would not be ambitious enough. Straff, in preparation for a Great House war, speaks of plans to immediately crush Lekal, as they were the second-strongest in the city. Elend does not point out that by unifying Venture and Lekal, they could prevent a house war. Straff then orders his son to accompany him to a luncheon with another candidate for Elend to marry, though Elend says that he does not want to go. When Elend is dismissed to bed, a messenger arrives and informs him that Jastes was in the waiting room. Uncertain of his friend's motives, he goes down to see him. Jastes reveals that he had had Valette's carriage followed, and that she was not in the carriage when it returned to Mansion Renoux. Jastes leaves, and Elend realizes that he had told her about the atium deal. Suspicious of Valette, he makes a deal with his father: he would go to the luncheon if he could borrow some of Straff's spies.
After the skaa army led by Yeden was crushed outside of Holstep, several hundred skaa were executed in front of a fountain square in Luthadel. Elend was in attendance for the executions, as was required of him. He did not enjoy the needless deaths.
Kelsier stepped up pressure on the nobility with more attacks and more fraudulent documents regarding Great Houses to get them to snap. Such actions caused several houses to cancel their balls, with Venture being the final host for a ball. At this ball, Elend sat to dine with his father, something he never did. Vin notes that several more soldiers were on display at this ball, and that there would be no fraternizing amongst nobles; only final alliances made before the snap. Sazed leaves her alone to go warn Kelsier that this was the last ball, and without his direction, Vin approaches the Venture table. Elend sees her and goes to her. He says that it was past time that he stop being a liability to his house and that he needed to remove all such liabilities from himself. He calls her a liability, believing her to be a spy from another house. She begins to cry again; this time, he does not comfort her. He simply leaves to go back to his room.
As Vin is struck by sobs, a woman named Kliss, whom Vin had shared rumors with in the past, revealed that she was an informant and that she would require payment to keep her secret as a thief. Vin demands to know what she knew of the plot on Elend, and blatantly uses her Allomancy on her when she does not say anything useful. Kliss says that Elend would be the first casualty of the house war, as he was set to be assassinated by Shan's Allomancers. when Straff (who was in on the plot) pulled a few guards on the roof inside to let them in. Kliss tells her that she would require extra payment to keep her Allomancy a secret as well, and when Vin leaves to save Elend, Kliss asks why she should bother after Elend had spurned her. Her answer was simple: she loved him.
Elend was oblivious of assassins spying on him from above until Vin sent one of them crashing through his skylight. He immediately thought that they were spies who had gotten caught, and grabbed his books first. He ran from the premises with Jastes to keep the books hidden. Elend met with Felt, one of his father's spies, and pressed him for information regarding the place that Valette had been seen in Luthadel. Felt says that the building was a well-known skaa craftsman shop, but was also a thieving crew lair with several watch nests. He suggested that they storm the place with their soldiers, but Elend said that they weren't worth the trouble. Jastes asks Elend if he was satisfied now that he knew that Valette was a spy. Elend surprised him when he said he was relieved that Valette was simply a skaa thief who had been scamming him instead of a noble spy. He used her imitation of a noblewoman as evidence that skaa were no different from noblemen. Elend told Felt to pull his men back to House Venture and not speak of what he had discovered. The carriage dropped Elend off back at his keep, and he asked Jastes to take the books for a few days, as Elend himself would fall under too much scrutiny to keep them hidden.
Straff calls him an idiot for leaving the premises with an enemy, and tells him that the men on Elend's roof were Allomancers who had been sent to kill him. One of the Mistborn assassins was identified as Shan Elariel, dead to Venture archers. Elend was skeptical that the archers had been able to kill her, but realized that it didn't matter to Straff, as a powerful rival was dead on his grounds after allegedly beginning the house war. Elend silently wishes that Valette would not be hurt for long by his rejection of her, as he had only wanted her out of the city for her own protection. He admitted to himself that he had actually cared for her, and hoped that they would both still be alive after the house war so that they could start again.
When Vin tells Kelsier that Venture relied on the Pits of Hathsin for his wealth, she made him swear that he would not hurt Elend, even if House Venture had to fall.
After Kelsier's brother, Marsh, was believed to have been found dead at the hands of the Inquisitors, Kelsier sent Spook to tell Renoux to pull out in case Marsh had broken and told the Inquisitors about their plans. Kelsier himself went on a pewter-flare rampage at the Pits of Hathsin and destroyed their ability to produce atium. Vin was concerned for Elend's well-being after such total destruction of Venture's income.
Elend arrived at the next executions when he heard that Renoux had been arrested by the Ministry and sentenced to execution when it was discovered he was a traitor to the nobility. He grabbed Lord Renoux during Kelsier's battle with an Inquisitor and demanded to know where Valette was. Renoux was "killed" by the Inquisitor before he could answer, and the Inquisitor prepared to kill Elend. Kelsier saved him and told Elend that Valette was safe, as she was not with the caravan that had held the prisoners. Elend fled from the battle.
The night of Kelsier's death, the skaa in Luthadel revolted against the Ministry and nobility for the first time. Elend did not believe that it was possible that they could rise up during his lifetime. He was shocked to realize that the time of revolution many scholars had spoken about was happening, and he resolved to stay in Luthadel so that he could prevent the bloodshed that he had read would come. He finally disobeyed his father for a purpose when Straff was leaving the city for Urteau. Straff, however, saw that he could finally be rid of Elend if he left him behind. He allowed Elend to keep most of the soldiers in the keep, who were all disheartened and horrified that they had been abandoned. He ordered his soldiers to march for Keep Lekal and help defend it against the skaa revolution while he and a few of his soldiers turned themselves into the skaa.
Elend was unveiled before Dockson, who thought about taking Elend hostage. He told Dockson that he should only attack the Ministry, as the nobility would just hide in their keeps. Dockson said that he could keep his men away from Keep Venture, but Elend demanded that he remove his troops from all noble homes. Elend recognized Hammond from the battle between Kelsier and the Inquisitor, and demanded to know where Valette was. Dockson told him that Vin had gone into Kredik Shaw a short while before and had not come out. He allowed Elend to leave.
Elend entered Kredik Shaw with his small honor guard in an attempt to free Vin from the Lord Ruler. Although he did not know how to fight and he was outnumbered, Elend stood his ground with a weapon drawn when he asked Vin to run. When Vin retrieved her metals, she killed the men that were guarding her to save Elend and Sazed. She hugged him without putting her clothes on, something that made Elend very uncomfortable. She thanks him for coming back for her, as she notes that this was the first time anyone who had left her had come back for her. She announced that she had to go deal with the Lord Ruler, something Elend was frightful about. He begged her not to go, but she kissed him and said that she had to.
Hundreds of thousands attended Elend's speech to the skaa that had revolted, asking them to not seek further bloodshed or they would destroy themselves. Marsh, who was revealed to be alive and made an Inquisitor, took control of the Ministry during the crisis and had them support Elend or leave the city. While Elend was setting up a new government with his knowledge of political theory, Vin came to the initial belief that she did not belong with him, but soon figured out that she could allow herself to love and be loved. She went back to him and held him in an embrace.
Following the Collapse of the Final Empire, Elend had set himself up as king of Luthadel and sponsored a parliamentary council that had grown more and more powerful as time had gone on. One year after the death of the Lord Ruler, Elend was anticipating his father, Straff Venture, to return to Luthadel with an invading force of fifty-thousand soldiers from the Northern Dominance.
His first appearance in the novel is when Vin went to check on him during her nightly patrol. He was busy writing at his desk and did not notice her.
The letter he was writing was a speech intended to persuade the Assembly to not just surrender the city to Straff and simply give Elend more time to deal with the matter diplomatically. He had rewritten it several times and was forcing himself to stay awake until he finished the proposal. When Vin entered the room via the skylight instead of the balcony, he comments on how he leaves the door open for her every night so she doesn't have to drop in. Vin, distrustful as always, looks under Elend's bed and in his closet to search for any intruders (mainly because she had seen a ghost earlier in the night). Vin does not understand why Elend has to write a proposal to the Assembly with a request instead of just asserting his authority and forcing the Assembly to give him more time. Ham walks in and reports that they had identified the bodies of the Allomancers who had attacked Vin before, where she had been forced to burn her last bit of atium. Elend was surprised to learn that Straff had not sent them, as they were westerners. Elend postulates that someone had sent them to kill him so they could seize the city before Straff.
When Straff and his army arrived outside the gates of Luthadel, Elend called an emergency meeting of the Assembly and delivered his proposal, but none of the Assemblymen were open to the idea. Elend pointed out that as king, the Assembly could not make any official decisions with foreign powers until he had met with them in official parlay. When Elend finished his speech, he sat down and let the discussion turn to more mundane matters.
Elend attended a sparring match between Ham and Vin to relax over the matters of the city. Clubs walks over and bets that Vin would win the match. Afraid to oppose the gnarled man in his payment, Elend reluctantly bets against her. Spook joins the bet alongside his uncle and forces Elend to pay up when Vin won the sparring match. Suddenly, a messenger comes in and reports that a second army had arrived.
Atop the walls of the city, Elend initially hoped that the second army had come to their aid, but the other shot down the notion immediately. Vin spots Breeze riding out in front of the second army and rushes out to help him escape. When Breeze is safely back within the gates, he reports that he had started up rumors in the west to get Lord Ashweather Cett to march his armies to Luthadel and arrive at around the same time as Straff. Elend asks why, and Breeze states that as the weakest party in a three-way stalemate, they held the most power, as whatever side they threw their support behind would win.
Elend and Vin were called back to the palace (Keep Venture) when Captain Demoux discovered a skeleton in one of Vin's rooms. Vin looked at her kandra for an explanation, and said that he had vacated the body when he had taken the wolfhound's body at her order. Demoux then asked if Vin knew about the other body, and her kandra said that he had not left skeleton there. Vin and Elend deduce that someone in the palace had been killed and was now a spy. Vin removes Elend and Breeze from her list of suspects, even though there was a three hour period where she had not been able to account for him. She believed that she would rather trust him and be wrong than go back to being the girl who was afraid to let anyone touch her.
With two armies camped outside the city, a period known as the Siege of Luthadel began, where food came at a premium due to few supplies made available. Elend himself never experienced any food shortages, but he had repeatedly spoken to the merchants of the Assembly about lowering the price of food. Having no luck, Elend began giving some of his food to the skaa that he could, though his efforts fell far short.
Knowing that the other leaders of the army would never care about the skaa so much as he had and would probably undo everything he had create in the past year, Elend reads more about war strategy and devises a plan to turn the armies outside against each other. Dockson notes that it would be a dangerous job for him, since Elend would have to do most of the work. Kelsier's crew discussed how they could make it seem to each side that they were with them while not truly giving them any support. At that moment, Captain Demoux walked in and reported that a Terriswoman had been spying on their conversation. He apologizes for the breach of security and, at Elend's request, brings her into the room. She demands to have a private audience with Elend, and the others reluctantly leave her with him, believing that she could not do any harm if she were tied up. The Terriswoman, however, snaps her bonds and tells lend to be still as she walks around him. She corrects his posture and tells him to stop hedging. She also says that it is a bad sign that his friends who had helped him become king did not refer to him as king. She says her name is Tindwyl and that she has come to Luthadel to help him. Elend asks if Sazed had sent her, and she ambiguously replies that Sazed was the reason she had come, but not the person who had sent her. She remarks that Elend wasn't the worst case of a leader she had come across, and that she believed he could be saved. Vin comes in through the window and forces her to leave.
Elend undergoes several drastic changes in his lifestyle forced by Tindwyl, such as the cutting of his hair and the selection of a new wardrobe. He begins wearing a crown to remind people of who he is, something he complains that the Lord Ruler never had to do. Tindwyl says that the Lord Ruler hadn't needed to wear a crown. She tells him to stop making suggestions and start giving orders. His first order is to tell her that she too must call him "Your Majesty", something that makes her smile. Vin appreciates how his shorter hair would help in a fight, but does not like the other changes in him.
Elend also begins training with weapons to defend himself, as Tindwyl found it embarrassing that a king would have to rely on his Mistborn to save him every time he came under attack. Elend did not see th point of this training, as anyone who were to try and kill him would be an Allomancer, and he would never stand a chance against one. His body became more fit after some time, something that made him seem more regal.
When Sazed returned to Luthadel, he was afforded a place to sleep and a hot meal in Keep Venture. Sazed spoke of an army of twenty-thousand koloss under the direction of Jastes Lekal was marching to take Luthadel. Elend is very disturbed by this news.
Straff sends a messenger into Elend's palace, asking him to dine with his father. Vin recognizes him and identifies him as a Mistborn. He reveals his name, Zane, and speaks of how he believed Vin to be beautiful. Zane leaves, and the crew begins to plan what Elend should do at this meeting. Elend points out that this would not be an official parlay, so the Assembly could not make a decision after this meeting about handing over the city. Dockson and Ham believe that Elend would have an excuse to bring Vin with him, in that he would be taking his girlfriend to meet his parent. Vin sees that Breeze is Soothing away some of Elend's anxiety during the conference.
Tindwyl displays some satisfaction at seeing Elend changed for the better, but persistently asked why he had not made Vin his wife. Elend speaks of how Vin had rejected his proposal over a year before, and that ever since, he was lucky she had felt him worthy enough of her. When she implies that it might be better for him to find himself a new wife, he snaps at her, something that amuses her.
Straff's army attacks the morning before he meets with his son, where the army retreated after a few minutes. Elend found it embarrassing how poorly his own soldiers responded to the attack, and interpreted the message of the attack as a sign that Straff believed the city already belonged to him, and he could take it if he felt like it.
Elend went with Vin into Straff's camp for a dinner, where the plan was for Elend to seem desperate to make an alliance with his father, in that he would turn over the city after dealing with Cett. Vin Soothed him to make him more suggestible, but Straff noticed her touch. When Vin whispered loudly to Elend that Straff had somehow noticed her touch, Elend deduces that she had let Straff feel her nudging him. Elend asked if he could ride with his father against Cett to make it seem as if Elend had called Straff to help deal with Cett in the first place. He used the Vin excuse that it would make him a somewhat memorable ruler of Luthadel, so he could not go down as the fool who lost the city to a tyrant with more soldiers. Straff told Vin to leave, and when she left, Straff told his son that he would not do that. Elend was startled, since he had played to Straff's emotions as he had always done in working toward vanity. He came up with a new plan when Straff prepared to execute Elend: threaten Straff. Vin was excused during the meeting as a weak and dismissible threat, something Elend points out to his father as foolish. He asks what kind of man would ever think a Mistborn to not be a threat. Elend declares that if he dies, Vin will slaughter him and the rest of his generals in her havoc. Fearing for his own life, Straff lets the two return to Luthadel.
Elend shares news of what had happened with the rest of the crew. Breeze remarks that it was brilliant to threaten the most powerful warlord in the world. Vin, however, was despondent throughout the celebration, seeing that Elend had used her as a weapon during the meeting. Dockson delivered a message from the Assembly to Elend. It was a vote of no confidence signed during a meeting that had taken place while he had been in Straff's camp. Elend realized that the Assembly had planned around him not being able to defend himself in the court and had deposed him, thinking he would be killed in Straff's camp.
The crew ridicules Elend the following day for writing the very laws that had deposed him. Tindwyl and Dockson move to immediately seize the city with the army to remind the Assembly who was king, but Elend Venture rejected this idea, stating that if he lost the throne through legality, he would regain it through legality. Elend says that he knows the laws well, and that there is a clause that would allow him to become king for a trial period of one year if the Assembly fails to elect a new monarch within one month. Elend asks Dockson to dictate a note in his name to the Assembly that he was disappointed in them and wished that they had not made their choice. Meanwhile, Elend and one of his chief scribes, Noorden, would sift through the laws to look for rules on selecting a new king.
At the next Assembly meeting, Elend surprises the rest of the members by not only dressing well with a crown on his head, but by also not beginning the meeting with a discussion about the throne. In the interest of the city's security, Elend does not share the details of his meeting with Straff, but assures the Assembly that Straff had been thoroughly cowed and would not attack. On the matter of who would rule the city, Elend explains that the Assembly must elect a chancellor who would act as a consul until a new king could be selected. Elend nominates Ferson Penrod to be chancellor, and another Assemblyman seconds the nomination.
Penrod asks Elend how nominations for the throne would be held. Elend says that it is the same as nominations for chancellorship. Penrod is nominated for the throne, being the eldest statesman of the Assembly, and he himself nominates Elend. A merchant, Philen, Assemblyman announces that he would like to nominate someone outside of the Assembly for the throne. Elend says that he can, as long as he could get another in the Assembly to second it. Without delay, the merchant surprises everyone when he stands and points to Cett in the crowd, nominating him for the throne.
Cett makes his intentions in the city quite verbal and crudely based, according to Elend. Cett announces that he has come to take the throne through legality, though Vin guesses that he had bribed most of the merchants, as they looked completely unsurprised by his appearance. Cett demands to know if Elend's Soothers were nudging the crowd and Assemblymen, and he honestly answers in the affirmative. Cett threatens them, saying that he has a "bloody army on [their] doorstep", and that he wants the throne now. When he asks why they can't just give him the throne now, and Elend says they could, but it would have to be a unanimous decision. Cett decides to wait until the proper coronation event to stake his claim, as he firmly believes that the merchants would vote for him due to bribes and the skaa would be too afraid to vote against him.
Shortly after the Assembly meeting is dismissed by Penrod, Elend goes back to confer with Vin, Sazed, Tindwyl and Breeze. They all point out how foolish it was to state that his Soothers were helping his case with their Allomancy, but it was too late to fix that. Gneorndin approaches (openly hostile to Breeze) and invites Elend to a stately dinner in Keep Hasting, where Cett had chosen to make his based. Elend agrees to a dinner, even though he is no longer king that would be able to make decision regarding the city following the dinner.
With a thousand of Cett's soldiers camping inside Keep Hasting, Elend has reason to bring a few-hundred of his own soldiers, including Vin and Ham. Elend finds Cett in one of the tall towers of the keep, eating a greasy chicken leg and a lot of other messy foods, purely with the intention of making Elend uncomfortable. Elend does not eat himself, not quite seeing the point of their meeting. Cett asks what he has to do to get Elend to vote for him. Elend says that if he promises to keep the Assembly after taking the throne, he would vote for him. Cett explains that the whole reason Elend lost the throne was because he failed to eliminate any other threats to his rule, the Assembly being one of them. He says that he would dissolve the institution in favor of the way the Lord Ruler had reigned; by keeping the skaa down and the nobility in higher regard. Neither willing to change their standards or goals, Elend leaves with nothing accomplished and only the fear that Cett's ideas would appeal to the nobility.
Elend, still without real authority in the city, sends his own soldiers out to merely suggest that skaa move out of the cold, stone noble houses in favor of warmer warehouses in the downtown area. He and Ham visit the warehouse Breeze was Soothing to check on those inside. Breeze Soothes Elend's feeling of disgust away so that he could genuinely talk to the skaa. After talking over some ideas with Ham on how to sway the Assembly members to his side, Elend leaves the warehouse to speak with Demoux.
On the day of the Assembly meeting to determine the king, Cett is smug and sure that he would become the king. Before he approaches the lectern to make final cases to the Assembly, Elend asks Vin to not take what he would do personally and that he hopes that it doesn't change anything between them. Vin notices that several of the skaa were looking nervous and that Elend was wearing a small pendant of a spear around his neck. Vin realizes that Elend had joined the Church of the Survivor to gain political sway, and if the skaa voted against him, they might be afraid that they were voting against the Survivor's wishes. Vin also realized that if the Church of the Survivor became the official state religion, she would be reverenced as queen and leader should the populace follow it.
Suddenly, a group of Allomancers attacked the Assembly. In order to protect both the crowd and Assemblymen, Vin and Elend were forced to engage with small weapons and no support from Ham. Vin dispatches a few Thugs while Elend fights against a pair of Coinshots. Vin notes that Elend handles himself well during the fight when everyone else had evacuated. When Vin is strangled by the final Thug, Elend desperately strikes at him, but the Thug is unfazed by the attacks of a non-Allomancer. Seeing no other choice, Vin burns duralumin with her pewter and pulverizes the man's head with her own forehead. She notices Elend's horror with bloodstained clothes before she passes out.
When the cleanup crew and soldiers arrive to help them, Ham tries to console Elend that there wasn't much Elend could have done to help Vin. To his dissatisfaction, a messenger arrives to inform Elend that Penrod is hosting another meeting at his mansion. Elend, who had hoped that the attack would have made the Assembly forget about crowning a king until after he had been reinstated by time constraint, immediately leaves for the meeting, unable to get the image of the headless Thug out of mind.
Penrod, as expected, votes for himself, as does Elend. Cett is not in attendance, allegedly nursing a wound he had sustained during the Allomancers' attack. Elend gets most of the skaa to support him, though only gets one vote from the nobility. In an unexpected move, the merchants all throw their support behind Penrod, including Philen, who had been the one to smuggle Cett into the city. The Assembly gives Penrod fifteen votes, Elend seven, and Cett two, which meant a deadlock that would give Elend the throne again. However, the two who had voted for Cett ask if they could change their vote. Only Elend and Noorden knew if they could change their vote. Noorden silently signals that he would not tell, but Elend tells them that they are allowed to change their votes. Both vote for Penrod, and when nobody else changes their votes, the chancellor-turned-king closes the voting and accepts the crown Elend gives him. Elend leaves the mansion, defeated.
When Vin finally wakes up from her coma, she awakens to see Elend sitting beside her. He informs her that Cett had been injured in the attack and that Penrod had become king. Elend says that they weren't able to identify any of the Allomancers, especially the one that she had brutally slaughtered, which made both of them cringe merely thinking about it. Vin tries to comfort him, but he momentarily flinches when she lays a hand on his arm. Elend quickly recovers and tries to hug her, but she believed that the damage had already been done. Vin began to believe herself no longer a good match for a scholar, and began to grow distant from him. Elend shared with her that he had never truly believed that the Assembly would make someone else king. He had always thought himself the king that the Assembly wanted, and that them deposing him in the first place had merely been a warning that he hadn't been paying enough attention nor devotion to them. Vin worried that Elend would merely force himself to keep loving her, despite knowing who she really was.
The next time she awoke, she mistook Zane in the corner for Elend, but when he revealed himself, he told her that Cett had been the one who had sent the Allomancers to attack. He tricks her into believing that after Elend, herself, and Penrod had been slain by those who had also attacked Cett and nearly killed him, the Assembly would have thrown their support behind Cett, who would have quickly attacked Straff for showing no respect for their laws. She believed him, but did not go with him when he asked her to leave her bed and attack Cett for what he did, fearing that Elend would not be proud of that. Zane told her that he himself had seen Elend's horror, and that Elend would never be able to accept her life while she was with him. Zane left her a lump of atium as a sign of trust.
Elend, a week later, has Ham get him out of the city quietly so he could speak with Jastes. Ham took him to one of the secret exits of the river gate, though warned him that it wasn't a good idea to enter a koloss camp by himself. Elend rides out of the city anyway and meets with a koloss scout that came to retrieve him. When he challenged the lead koloss to allow him to stay on his horse, the koloss relented and took Elend to Jastes for a conference. Elend curiously looked at the pouches that all of the koloss seemed to carry, the larger koloss sporting more pouches. When the scout leader attacked another koloss and was killed in the fight, the smaller koloss harvested the pouches after giving a meager explanation for the fight that satisfied the rest of the group.
When Elend arrived at the human section of the koloss camp, he noticed that there were far less human soldiers than Sazed had relayed. He finally dismounted and the koloss took his horse. He met with Jastes in a large tent and saw him looking like he was insane with his sickly patches of hair and his constant pacing. They talk about politics and their ideals before the collapse, and when Elend says that he is unable to turn over the city to Jastes, Jastes announces that he would take Elend hostage. However, when he finds out that Elend is no longer king of Luthadel, Jastes asks why he bothered coming in the first place. Elend says that he only wanted to talk to his friend, and Jastes calls for his guards to remove Elend and give him to the koloss. Elend attacks and subdues Jastes with his weapons and leaves Jastes with a warning; they had once been best friends and Elend had nearly killed him, so why was he pacing in a tent surrounded by twenty-thousand brutes. Jastes is only angered by this, and Elend realizes that his friend was long gone. As Elend is about to leave the camp, he decides he cannot leave without knowing how Jastes controls the koloss. Without warning, he attacks a small koloss in an attempt to kill it. The koloss, however brushes off the attack and fights back, injuring Elend. Without Vin to save him, Elend realizes that he has to end the fight quickly or be killed by the stronger and superior fighter. He dives in a desperate lunge and manages to incapacitate the beast. The other koloss around him accept his meager explanation (that the dead koloss had eaten his horse) and he takes the pouch out of the camp with him and back to Luthadel. He opens the pouch and sees a wooden coin that only a koloss could possibly believe was real, and tells the crew that Jastes had been paying his koloss army to control them.
When Vin sees Elend sleeping soundly that night, she cries quietly to herself, deciding that Elend no longer needed her and that he had gone in alone because he didn't truly want her anymore. When Zane arrives on her roof, she finally agrees to attack Cett with him. They attack Keep Venture and massacre three hundred of Cett's thousand men, but they leave Cett alive when Vin begs Zane not to kill him.
The crew begins to worry for Vin's mental state when Cett's remaining men flee the city and the army retreats from the area. Elend tells them that he trusts that Vin had had a good reason for what she had done, though he inwardly hoped that he hadn't caused this. He came to the conclusion that Vin had obviously grown more distant because he had lost the throne. He believes that although Vin was not shallow like other noblewomen of the court of Luthadel, he understands that any woman would see his loss of the crown as a monumental failure. When his men locates Vin in the city, Elend goes to see her. She was noticeably cold to him, stating that she had only attacked Cett so it would make her feel better. She knew that normal people didn't go on a homicidal rampage whenever they were upset, and Vin told him that she didn't want to kill anymore. She says that she wants to leave the city, and Elend fears that his lack of attention to her had cost him. He says that if she leaves, he would support her, but he couldn't leave the city behind to Straff or the koloss. Vin goes with him back to Keep Venture when he assures her that he trusts that she will make the right choice.
Elend had just finished his report to the Assembly on their current state of affairs when Vin burst into his room six days later and ran to him. He was shocked to see her covered in her own blood and barely able to support herself, and was confused when she apologized for killing his brother. When he tried to leave to fetch Sazed, Vin clung to him, desperately asking that he not leave her. He carried her to Sazed's study room and found the Terrisman in a state of heavy exhaustion after forcing himself to finish his studies with Tindwyl that night. When he tried to make a joke about what Kelsier would say if he saw Vin the way she was, Elend said that this was not the time for levity. Elend was uncomfortable being there while Sazed stitched up Vin's wounds but she told him to stay. When Vin asked Sazed to marry them together, Elend was unsure of what had brought this sudden change in Vin's thoughts, but he agreed to marry her anyway. Sazed informed them that he had located the Well of Ascension in the mountains of Terris and offers to draw them a map to get there and release the power and restore the land. Elend agreed to go to enlist the aid of the armies of the Northern Dominance, ready to leave in the morning with his new wife, Spook and Tindwyl.
As it turned out, Tindwyl did not agree to go with them, calling Elend a fool for abandoning his people at a time like this. Elend counters her, saying that his people had chosen Penrod over him and that they had all but accepted Straff as their ruler. She demeans him, asking if he could possibly believe that Vin was a prophesized hero meant to touch divinity. Elend surprised even himself when he said that he believed Vin, and that he trusted her enough to go with her. Tindwyl warns him that he would be remembered as a coward in history who left his people for dead., and leaves to head back into the mansion. Vin thanks Elend for his words and the two leave with Spook. Before they reach the gates, however, they are stopped by Allriane, who calls for a packhorse to carry her bags. Elend allows her to ride with them, but says that she would have to keep up with them.
While riding his horse through the streets, Elend is saddened to see that the skaa were watching him leave with haunted expressions. Worse, he realized that they had expected him to leave in the first place, as he was one of the few powerful enough to escape while he could. He did not have much faith in himself when one of the guards was reassured by Vin that they would return.
Elend managed to keep riding away from the archers Straff had sent after them. Allriane left them once Vin killed the riders that were chasing them, much to Vin's relief.
When Straff awoke from his coma, he was informed that Vin had left the city with someone whom they believed to have been Elend. Straff thought that this must have been Zane who had left with Vin, and decided to go along with Zane's plan to take the city. His armies pulled back and he told his men not to pursue Vin.
Three days after Straff's forces had left Luthadel, Elend and Vin were still moving toward Terris. Vin lets him sleep while she and Spook cook breakfast, though she never actually tries to make breakfast. She had become so distracted by the thumping in her head getting quieter and quieter that she failed to notice the mist spirit enter Elend's tent until she actually focused on its pulse. Startled, she jump into the tent and attacked it, making it puff away with the rest of the mist. Elend, oblivious to the mist spirit that had nearly attacked him, tells her to close the tent and let him sleep.
After they had finally eaten breakfast, Vin jumps into a camp of several men and catches them by surprise by tossing metal all around them. Elend revealed himself to the men once Vin made them drop their weapons, and demanded to speak to the captain of the guard sent after them by Straff. Suddenly, Jastes Lekal comes out of a collapsed tent. Elend demands to know why he was there and not directing his koloss, but Jastes become hysterical, claiming that a fire had burned away all of his wooden coins and he had been forced to flee the camp to avoid being brutalized by the koloss. Elend accuses him of raising an army of monsters, then abandoning them outside of the most populated city without a leader to attack and raze Luthadel. Elend says that he forgives Jastes right before he beheads him, saying to the corpse that Luthadel could not forgive. Elend challenges Jastes's men, asking if they believed him to be wrong in executing. They said he was not wrong, and he orders them to bury his former friend.
Vin finds Elend a moment later sulking over killing a man for the first time. He worried that the koloss would attack Luthadel now that they were growing angrier and didn't have the semi-stabilization of coinage to keep from attacking. Vin tries to console him by offering hope that perhaps the koloss would attack Straff's army, but Spook appears and somberly informs them that that would not be the case. Elend grows upset with Spook's choices in not telling them what Clubs had figured out in Straff's probable strategy. When Vin announces the revelation that the Well of Ascension was in Luthadel, she decides that she must leave him and get back to Luthadel. He agrees with her decision, stating that any surviving refugees would need guidance to Terris. Before leaving on her pewter dash, she warns him to only travel at night to avoid being surprised while sleeping by the mist spirit. He accepts her counsel to continue to Terris with Spook while she goes back to save whoever she could.
At night, Spook tells Elend that he had seen fires in the mist, and asks him to remain behind while he investigates it. Elend lets him go, silently wondering how exactly Allomancy allowed one to pierce the mists. Interrupting his thoughts, the mist spirit appears before him. He asks it what it wanted, but it merely points to the south. Spook returns before he could ask it anything further, causing it to disperse on his arrival. He tells Elend that the fires were not watch fires, but heating fires for Terris refugees.
Elend meets with the elders of the Terris refugees without telling them of his true identity as the king in exile. He learns that the Terris people had fled from the Northern Dominance because the Steel Inquisitors, missing since the Lord Ruler's death, had attacked and killed the Terris leaders. When one of the elders mentions how they were hoping to find Elend Venture and ask for acceptance into the city, he warns them that the king might not take them in because Luthadel may have already been destroyed by a koloss army. He also tells them that Lady Tindwyl had been in Luthadel last he had known, which gives the elders hope that she may still be alive. They give him supplies for his journey to wherever he chose to go, but Elend is most disturbed by the whole Terris army being destroyed and that he had nothing to show for his departure from Luthadel. He and Spook go back south to Luthadel, which was what Elend guessed the mist spirit had meant for him to do.
Elend returns to the city mingled in with the refugees going into the city in case Straff or Cett or another warlord had retained the city, as the city was not destroyed and people were going in. When he is identified by the crowd, Vin immediately goes to join him and inform him that she had forced Janarle, Penrod and Cett to surrender to him, effectively making him emperor. He says that he wished there was another way, but humbly accepts the title as emperor. She then leads him to Kredik Shaw in an attempt to finally locate the Well of Ascension.
Vin finds a secret passageway below the palace and ventures down into it with Ham and Spook. When they reached a chamber within the cavern, Elend was stupefied when they found a large cache of supplies that would be enough to have kept Luthadel from starvation. They also find a map of the Final Empire with a marking of another city in the Eastern Dominance, but Vin ushers Elend deeper down the cave while Ham and Spook head back up to get soldiers for the food.
When Vin finally lays eyes on the Well, Elend hugs her and promises her that she would make the right choice. As she moves to enter the glowing pool, the mist spirit appears without warning or any surrounding mist. As Vin prepares to fight, Elend waves her off, claiming that the thing meant no harm, as he had met it before without her. When he asks of it what it wants, the spirit slashes him in the gut, cutting deeply in a mortal wound. It disappears while Vin tends to him and does her best to comfort him. She realizes that if she takes the power from the Well, she could save him. She enters the Well alone and becomes a god for a few brief moments, but soon comes to the conclusion that Elend would rather himself die than have the Deepness kill the land. Noting to herself that gods could apparently cry as she whispered that she loved him, she releases the power and falls over. In her head, she hears a loud, booming voice that she had just inadvertently freed from captivity in the Well.
Vin feels horrified that she had been scammed by prophecy, and now that Elend would die while she could do nothing about it. The mist spirit returns and directs an angry Vin over to a shelf in the cavern. She is reluctant to do the thing's will, but she comes to the conclusion that it had only stabbed Elend to make her take the power for herself. She finds a bead of a strange metal between the broken pottery. The spirit points to Elend and she feeds him the bead, washing it down with one of her metal vials. Suddenly, the color returns to Elend's cheeks and he becomes more alert. Testily, she burns bronze and notices that Elend was burning pewter.
Elend, after acclimating himself to the effects of pewter and tin, recovers within two weeks of his injury. Vin finds him atop his mansion and asks what they should do now. He simply states that they would do what Kelsier had taught them: survive.
In the year following the Siege of Luthadel, Elend's ascension to emperor and Mistborn, and the discovery of other storage caches around the Final Empire, Elend had sent out several forces to both accept and bully other warlords into Elend's rule. Since the initial discovery of the caches, Elend had acquired the Statlin (Satren) City cache and found out what was in the Urteau cache. With these discoveries, a new Allomantic metal was discovered; electrum, the opposite of atium and used to show an Allomancer their own future in a defense against atium burning Allomancers. Elend had allowed the Assembly to remain as the advisory rulers of Luthadel alongside Penrod and had dispatched Janarle to rule in his name in the Northern Dominance, though Janarle failed to stop a rebellion in Urteau and was forced to flee the city before being able to capture the storage cache. Venture, in the wake of Clubs's unfortunate death, appointed Cett as his chief general to control the army under Hammond's supervision. He had also promoted Demoux to as one of the strongest believers in the Survivor Church. Elend and his team of scholars worked to combat the encroaching mists and lack of light in order to build a new system to survive the coming winter with few plausible solutions, all the while trying to defend what land he had from koloss and other warlords. Since his father's demise, he had become the most prominent warlord in the Inner Dominances.
His first appearance in this book is when the leaders of Vetitlan spot a lone rider in front of their city in expectation of a koloss army invading. The rider Allomantically jumps up on top of their rudimentary walls and immediately begins tossing out orders. He ignores all of their threats and simply claims to be their emperor. Elend quickly becomes powerful enough in the city that the soldiers would go to him for orders first, something that annoys the former leader. Elend quickly teaches them tactics to use when fighting against the koloss army and asks that the men do not break chain of command, similar to Sazed in his defense of Luthadel one year prior. When asked about reinforcements by the town leader, Elend promises two armies would arrive to help, though they could not afford to wait for them.
Ten-thousand koloss arrive outside the rudimentary gates of the city and make camp for the night in preparation for a later attack. Elend, seeing the opportunity to strike at the exhausted koloss force, orders the soldiers to get into a formation for a charge at the weary beasts before they are able to launch into a blood-frenzy. In the attack, Elend quietly remarks to himself at being a king who could lead a charge against the enemy, something Tindwyl never believed he could do.
Elend and the skaa soldiers break into the camp and slaughter the initial forces of koloss, though they quickly get into a blood-frenzy and pin the soldiers into a single line. The leader of the town quickly advances on Elend mid-combat and demands to know he brought all of them out there to march to their deaths. Elend simply points at a growing dot in the sky, saying that the first of the two armies had arrived.
Vin crashes into the midst of dozens of koloss a long distance away from the beleaguered humans to occupy them. Elend, after a particularly large koloss is felled by his wife, begins to Riot and Soothe the koloss a few at a time, as the force controlling them could not directly move all of them at once. Eventually, after enough koloss are under Elend's control, an Inquisitor appears in the fight and attacks Vin. When Elend sees that Vin had been injured, he joins the fight against the Inquisitor, leaving the koloss behind and trusting the town soldiers to survive on their own. He adequately distracts the Inquisitor and surprises it with his raw Allomantic strength when the two got into a Steelpushing confrontation. The Inquisitor then moves at blurring speed and moves behind Elend with a raised spike that it planned to drive through Elend's front. Desperate, Vin takes control of the nearest koloss and has it strike the Inquisitor's head. The strike crushes its head entirely, sparing Elend to aid Vin in taking control of all the monsters in the area.
The leader of the town meets with Elend and asks why the koloss had stopped fighting. Venture explains that the koloss had grown afraid of the smaller and lesser force that was killing them and that his emotional Allomancy had forced them to switch sides, thus delivering Elend's promise of a second army. He has the koloss collect the wounded and dead for triage and medical assistance and takes the town leader into the city to find the Ministry building within. There, Elend reveals to him a large stash of food and supplies hidden beneath it all along. When Elend announces his plans to move it to the Central Dominance along with the Vetitlan population, the man is indignant and claims that this food belonged to his people. Elend chooses to not use emotional Allomancy when reasoning with him that he would not be able to defend his city if and when word broke out of a large food supply in a small town like his. He finally relents and moves to make the necessary preparations to have his people evacuate and head north. Vin compliments him and remarks on how he had changed psychologically in his political ideals and realism.
They locate the map of the Final Empire and discover the next and final location of the storage cache; Fadrex City of the Western Dominance. At Vin's suggestion, he calls the koloss over to help move all of the supplies, and discusses their long-term survival. While Vin is reluctant to believe he actually has a plan, Elend tries to convince her that they could do what Kelsier had taught them and simply find a way. Vin snaps at him for believing in the idiotic religion, but Elend is unfazed. The two of them agree that whatever their method would be, they would have to go to Fadrex City to find out.
Elend spent most of the trek northward with the town leader, trying to establish good faith and terms with him. He released a single koloss from his control only for Vin to assume direct control of it once freed. Once they arrived and met with the bulk of Elend's army, he greeted Demoux, now a general, and informed him where the army would be going next. Demoux joked about Cett finally getting what he wanted and actually going to claim the city, but Elend says he is only interested in attaining the resources. He arranges a meeting with the remaining members of the crew, Cett's family and Demoux after explaining to the town leader that he could take his people to Luthadel with a few seasoned soldiers if he wished. When asked on the purpose of the meeting, he replied that they needed to save what was left of the world.
At this fateful meeting, Elend shared news of the final storage cache's location.