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Related to Shards, Investiture
Universe Cosmere

I have delved and searched, and have only been able to come up with a single name: Adonalsium. Who, or what, it was, I do not yet know.

Adonalsium, sometimes called just Ado,[2][3] is a mysterious being or force in the cosmere[4] from which all Investiture is derived.[5] It is unknown whether the term Adonalsium is a name or title.[6] Adonalsium is generally regarded as a God, responsible for the creation of the cosmere,[4][7] and it is sometimes referred to as the "power of creation."[8] In a pivotal moment in the history of the cosmere, an event known as the Shattering, a group of individuals conspired against and killed Adonalsium.[4][9] Upon its death the power was broken into sixteen Shards which were all seized by some of the individuals present.[4][10][11] These Shards each bear an aspect of Adonalsium's nature.[12]


The exact nature of Adonalsium, whether it is more a force of nature or an intelligent being, is unknown, though either interpretation carries a measure of validity.[4] Notions that it could be "killed"[4] or that it could "design" things[13] suggests the latter, though these understandings could be faulty. It is unclear whether Adonalsium's power reaches beyond the cosmere,[14] or whether Adonalsium could, unlike Shards, wield its power to the fullest extent.[15][16]

Adonalsium is widely believed to be the creator of the entire cosmere and all life within it.[17][7][13] That is, excepting any subsequent creation performed by the Shards, which is typically regarded as a copy of Adonalsium's own designs performed with the remnants of its power.[18][4] Variations of the phrase "power of creation" typically refer to Adonalsium or the remnants of its power, due to this belief.[8] It is possible that the tendency of Investiture to develop sentience over time is rooted in Adonalsium's own drive to develop life.[19]

Anyway, there was a God. Adonalsium. I don't know if it was a force or a being, though I suspect the latter.

Khriss' interpretation of Adonalsium's nature[4]

All Investiture in the cosmere is associated with Adonalsium.[5] Consequently, all forms of magic are ultimately derived from Adonalsium's power.[20] As far as anyone in the cosmere is aware, there was no predecessor to Adonalsium.[21] While most of the more complex magic systems, such as Allomancy and Surgebinding, were established after the Shattering, some simpler forms of magic, such as highstorms[22] and spren,[23] existed in some form prior to Adonalsium's demise.[24] Furthermore, Adonalsium exercised direct control over the nature and limitations of this magic.[25][26] Some "fourth law" of thermodynamics seems to govern Adonalsium and the nature of Investiture.[27]

It is unclear precisely why the power was later divided into sixteen Shards, or why these Shards bear the Intents that they do. Indeed, it is possible that a set of Shards with an alternate set of natures may have been produced, and it may be possible for a different number to have been produced.[28][28] In any case, the known Shardic Intents give some insight into Adonalsium's nature, as each can generally be regarded as some primal force ascribed with a facet of Adonalsium's own personality.[29][12] It can be assumed, for example, that Adonalsium had some sense of honor and a desire to cultivate, and that it maintained a balance between its concepts of ruin and preservation. With so many different, often conflicting, aspects to Adonalsium's nature, it may have had difficulty taking certain actions or interfering with the cosmere in particular ways.[30]

Adonalsium presumably possessed the divine abilities that are associated with the Shards, including the ability to look into the future.[31]



Nobody knows whether Adonalsium's Investiture existed from eternity or whether it came into being--naturally, or by means of some other god.[32][16] It is also unclear whether Adonalsium's presumed consciousness existed alongside its power from the beginning, or whether it developed as a natural function of Investiture.[33] It is, however, likely that Adonalsium existed before any other intelligent life in the cosmere. While the extent of Adonalsium's role as a creator is unclear, it was at least directly responsible for the formation of some worlds, including Roshar and the rest of the Rosharan system.[34][35][36] Taldain's specific orbit may also lend itself to Adonalsium's touch.[37]

The worlds you now tread bear the touch and design of Adonalsium.

Frost speaking of Adonalsium[13]

Nothing is known about any interaction Adonalsium may have had with mortals, beyond its work as a creator. Sapient beings were apparently aware of Adonalsium's existence and power, at least, and some worshiped Adonalsium as a deity.[38] Despite this, or perhaps because of it, some individuals grew to oppose Adonalsium.[4] Their number included humans, dragons, and Sho Del,[39] and their motives were diverse; while some sought power for themselves, others simply believed that Adonalsium presented some manner of threat.[4] And so, this opposing force developed a mysterious weapon for use against Adonalsium.[40]

At least one plot to destroy Adonalsium failed, though the details of this remain an enigma.[41] It is possible that the weapon failed to accomplish the task it was designed for, and that the Shattering was forced by some other means. On the other hand, it may be that the weapon was developed as an alternative approach after some prior strategy failed. Though unlikely, given the thirst for power that motivated some conspirators,[4] it is even possible that the Shattering itself is the aforementioned failure--that the results of the Shattering, whether caused by the weapon or otherwise, were not intended.[42]

Shattering of AdonalsiumEdit

Main article: The Shattering of Adonalsium

A diverse group. With equally diverse motives. Some wished for the power; others saw killing Adonalsium as the only good option left to them. Together they murdered a deity, and became divine themselves.

Khriss speaking of the Shattering[4]

Adonalsium's opposition, or some subset of their number, eventually put their final plan into action on Yolen.[5][43] The group included Hoid[44] and, likely, Frost,[13] in addition to those who would become the original vessels of the sixteen Shards. Few details are known concerning what transpired at the Shattering. The Shattering occurred as a single event[45] at which Adonalsium was indeed killed,[9] and consequently its power was divided into sixteen equal portions.[46] This bears some measure of resemblance to the Splintering of Shards.[47] Investiture throughout the cosmere was affected as a result of the Shattering--becoming associated with particular Shards.[48]

Some evidence suggests that the participants influenced the quantity or nature of the Shards which were left behind,[49] but it may be that the result of the Shattering was not entirely expected.[42] It is clear that they did not fully have a plan as to how the power might be divided, as more than sixteen individuals were present and at least one of them, Hoid, refused the offer of a Shard.[50][51] At least some of the participants in the Shattering regret what occurred--particularly those who did not seize Shards.[52] This may be due to the direct consequences of the Shattering, to the subsequent actions taken by the Shards, or simply to guilt.[13]

The weapon intended to kill Adonalsium no longer exists in its original form, having been expended,[53] though remnants of it still exist in the Physical Realm and are the source of Hoid's immortality.[54]

The Shattering was accomplished through the use of the four Dawnshards, a process which required both Intent and Command.[55][56]


The Shattering occurred roughly 10,000 years before the True Desolation.[57][58][59] In the centuries that followed, the Shards settled on other worlds and began using their new power to shape the cosmere. New magic systems were developed, and manifestations of Investiture which previously existed were changed in small ways.[60][61] Adonalsium's name was eventually forgotten in much of the cosmere,[62][1] though worldhoppers remember at least some of its history[4] and Shalash appears to revere it still as divinity.[38]

Adonalsium... Have you ever heard the term, Dalinar?

Hoid questioning Dalinar[62]

With access to future sight, Adonalsium may have actually anticipated the Shattering. While it apparently took no successful measures to prevent the attack, it may have laid certain plans in place which are still in effect.[31] It is also possible that a cognitive shadow of Adonalsium was left in its place following the Shattering.[63]

Scholars disagree as to whether Adonalsium could be reformed by reuniting the sixteen Shards of its power.[64] Though some theorize this may be possible, others argue that it would not restore that which was "killed."[65] Some think that uniting all sixteen Shards would prove impossible, or that any being attempting to do so would be destroyed.[66] Regardless of the possibility, some believe that this should not be attempted for one reason or another.[67]


  • Events on Yolen, including the Shattering of Adonalsium, will be addressed in the Dragonsteel series.[68][69] Dragonsteel is currently planned as a trilogy to be written after The Stormlight Archive is complete.[70]
  • Adonalsium is not a dragon.[71]
  • Brandon Sanderson developed the concept of Adonalsium and the cosmere while writing Dragonsteel Prime.[72]
  • The name Adonalsium is derived from a Hebrew name for God, Adonai (literally, "my master").[73]
  • Adonalsium is an anagram of "a mind, a soul." This may or may not be intentional.
  • While some might refer to Adonalsium with he/him pronouns, this is not a canonization of what Adonalsium actually is or how it should accurately be referred to.[74][75]
  • In the original publication of The Hero of Ages, Adonalsium was misspelled as "Adonasium".[76]


  1. a b The Hero of Ages chapter 39 epigraph#
  2. Rhythm of War chapter 37#
  3. YouTube Livestream 39
    Arcanum - 2022-02-01#
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mistborn: Secret History part 3 chapter 2#
  5. a b c Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  6. Supanova 2017 - Sydney
    Arcanum - 2017-06-16#
  7. a b Calamity Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-17#
  8. a b /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-05#
  9. a b General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-02-01#
  10. The Way of Kings chapter 11 epigraph#
  11. Steelheart Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2013-10-14#
  12. a b Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  13. a b c d e Words of Radiance chapter 66 epigraph#
  14. Oathbringer San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-14#
  15. Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  16. a b Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  17. /r/fantasy AMA 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-05-30#
  18. Arcanum Unbounded - The Scadrian System#
  19. General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-10-12#
  20. Lisbon signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-07#
  21. DragonCon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-08-30#
  22. Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  23. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  24. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-17#
  25. Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  26. American Fork High School Signing
    Arcanum - 2019-12-12#
  27. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-14#
  28. a b Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  29. Words of Radiance chapter 71 epigraph#
  30. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-22#
  31. a b Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  32. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-05#
  33. Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  34. General Reddit 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-09-28#
  35. Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  36. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-19#
  37. White Sand vol.1 release party
    Arcanum - 2016-06-28#
  38. a b Oathbringer chapter 121#
  39. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  40. Words of Radiance release party
    Arcanum - 2014-03-03#
  41. General Signed Books 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-01-07#
  42. a b Librarypalooza
    Arcanum - 2016-02-27#
  43. Skyward San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-07#
  44. FanX 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-06#
  45. Firefight Seattle UBooks signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-06#
  46. Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
  47. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-08#
  48. /r/Cosmere
    Arcanum - 2018-03-18#
  49. New York Signing
    Arcanum - 2013-11-16#
  50. Oathbringer chapter 41 epigraph#
  51. Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  52. Calamity Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-22#
  53. General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-02-25#
  54. Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-07-21#
  55. Dawnshard chapter 19#
  56. The Sunlit Man chapter 21#
  57. Idaho Falls signing 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-11-29#
  58. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  59. Idaho Falls Signing
    Arcanum - 2015-11-28#
  60. Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  61. Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  62. a b The Way of Kings chapter 54#
  63. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  64. Kraków signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-21#
  65. Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-01#
  66. Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
  67. Manchester signing
    Arcanum - 2014-08-06#
  68. State of the Sanderson 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-12-19#
  69. West Jordan signing 2012
    Arcanum - 2012-12-06#
  70. FanX 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-06#
  71. White Sand vol.1 Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2016-06-29#
  72. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  73. Stormlight Three Update #6
    Arcanum - 2017-02-28#
  74. The Lost Metal chapter 42#
  75. YouTube Spoiler Stream 5
    Arcanum - 2022-12-02#
  76. The Hero of Ages Annotations
    Arcanum - 2009-11-17#
This article is still missing information. Please help The Coppermind by expanding it.
This article was complete and reviewed prior to Rhythm of War, but now needs to be updated.