The Intent of a Shard of Adonalsium is the primary purpose or motivation of that Shard. The name of each Shard reflects that Shard's intent, for example the Shard Ruin's primary motivation is cause things to be destroyed.
The Effect of a Shard's Intent on the Vessel
”Ruin's consciousness—separate from his power—isn't a particularly nice being. But you can't much blame him, as there's very little that is left of the mind that once was. The force of Ruin has pretty well molded the mind to fit with the force's intent.—THoA Annotations, Chapter 57
We also see this mentioned again in the Letter:
”Ati was once a kind and generous man, and you saw what became of him.
A Shard's intent can drastically change the personality of its holder.
This effect seems to be because of the interaction between the Shard and its holder:
”Ruin knows how to play off the lusts of mankind. Lust makes sense to Ruin, as he has lusts himself. He needs to destroy. It's part of who he is and what makes him function. It's the driving force of the power upon which his consciousness feeds to remain alive.—THoA Annotations, Chapter 58
Each Shard has the ability to see the future but this ability is tempered by the Shard's intent. Seeing into the future is more difficult for some Shards than others. Preservation's intent lends itself well to seeing the future so that it can preserve things, where Ruin's future sight is clouded because it does not wish there to be anything but ruin. Honor stated that it was hard for him to see into the future.
- Holding a Shard is a contest of willpower against the Shard that, over time, is very hard to resist.
— Theoryland - Mar 16th, 2012
- A matter of differing Intents
— Theoryland - Aug 9th, 2014
- Annotation for The Hero of Ages chapter 57
- The Way of Kings chapter 18 epigraph
- Annotation for The Hero of Ages chapter 58
|Shards||Ambition · Autonomy · Cultivation · Devotion · Dominion · Endowment · Honor · Odium · Preservation · Ruin · Survival Shard|
|Planets||Ashyn · Braize · First of the Sun · Nalthis · Roshar · Scadrial · Sel · Taldain · Threnody · Vax · Yolen|
|Terms||Adonalsium · Sliver · Splinter · Realmatic Theory · Intent · Focus · Investiture · Shardpool · Spiritweb|
|Other||Hoid · Seventeenth Shard · Shattering · Worldhopping · Letters · Silverlight|