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Related to Shards, Realmatic Theory
Universe Cosmere
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Investiture. The essence of the gods.

Investiture is a term describing the energy that infuses the cosmere and on which all cosmere magic systems are based.


The term Investiture[2] has only seen in-world use by cosmere aware individuals or groups. Most who refer to Investiture use terminology specific to the world in which they reside; Feruchemists refer to the process of Investing a metalmind as 'filling' or ‘storing’ and Windrunners refer to the process by which they create Lashings as 'infusing'.[3] Most characters using this term understand more cogently that the cosmere encompasses worlds and systems of magic other than their own.

Kinetic Investiture is a term used for Investiture that is being used or expressed.[4][5][6][7] This is the form of Investiture that is able to be detected by Seekers or absorbed by white sand.[8][4][6]

Static Investiture is a term used for Investiture that is held within a vessel such as a gemstone, therefore not being in use.[4][7] An object containing, or being made up of, Static Investiture is referred to as being Invested.[9] Invested objects, such as metalminds or Shardplate, resist being affected by Invested Arts.[10]

Innate Investiture is a term used to refer to added Investiture to a being from birth, not including the natural Investiture that makes up the soul.[11][2] Examples of Innate Investiture include the fragment of Preservation and Ruin in all Scadrians, or BioChromatic Breath on Nalthis.[12][13][2]

Unkeyed Investiture refers to Investiture that is unkeyed from any Connection or Identity to any Shard.[14][15][16][17] This allows anyone with the relevant powers to access it as fuel for their abilities.[18][19]

The Breath Equivalent Unit (BEU) is a unit of measurement for Investiture.[20] The unit is based on the quantity of Investiture in one typical BioChromatic Breath.[21][22][23] The innate Investiture of one person is approximately equivalent to one BEU.[24] People from highly Invested worlds typically have no more than three BEUs of Investiture.[25]

The Nature of Investiture[edit]

Investiture is what souls are made out of. Well, everything is Investiture—because matter, energy, and Investiture are the same. But souls, as you’d call them, are parts of our beings that are pure Investiture. Like…fire is energy. This table is matter. Souls? Investiture.

Investiture transcends the three realms: Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual Realm that compose most of the cosmere. However, it is more Spiritual than anything.[27][28] In the Physical Realm, Investiture is known to exist in solid, (i.e. atium and lerasium), liquid (many perpendicularities), and gaseous material forms (Preservation's Mists, Light, BioChromatic Breath). For some reason, all solid Investiture is metallic, the result of one of the laws governing the cosmere.[29][30] Most often these appear due to influence by a Vessel, however some formations occur in a more natural way. Some solid Investiture, like atium, breaks the general rules regarding how Invested objects interact with Investiture.[31]

Large amounts of Investiture concentrated in a specific location tend to pierce a hole in the three realms (Spiritual, Cognitive, and Physical) and create a perpendicularity. This effect is similar to the gravity generated by large amounts of matter.[32] Like matter, Investiture causes time dilation in any amount, with the degree of time dilation being proportional to the amount of Investiture in a given area, but this is relatively mild even by perpendicularities.[33][34][35][36] But the amount of Investiture condensed into Shards is able to cause a degree of time dilation that would be virtually impossible in the real world.[36]

When a Shard is "co-opting or corrupting another Shard's magic", the color red has a tendency to manifest.[37][38][39] All Investiture creates some type of emotional reaction in users.[40] Investiture has flavor to beings such as Nightblood, and different Investitures would have different flavors.[41][42] Raw Investiture responds to thoughts, emotions, and Intent, especially from heavily Invested beings.[26][43]

Investiture works in a similar fashion to energy in that it follows its own version of the laws of thermodynamics. It is not possible to create, or destroy, Investiture; it can only be redistributed or changed in form.[44] Following from this, Investiture can be converted directly into mass or energy, and vice versa.[1][45][46][14]

This page or section deals with theories or speculation.
Please read carefully and note that this is not necessarily canonical.

There are at least four laws that govern Investiture.[47]

The First Law of Investiture
The First Law, known as Khriss's Second Law,[43] states that Investiture cannot be created or destroyed, only changed in form.[44][1][45][46][14][43]
The Second Law of Investiture
The Second Law, according to Brandon, "stands as is",[47] this refers to the fact that, in simple terms, energy flows from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration.

This law can be observed through how Investiture tends to leak out of bodies containing it (be it gem or sophont),[48] and how it tends to flow into vessels that aren't Invested. For example, when Stormlight is quickly removed from a gem, it would pull in Investiture and spren from the surrounding area.[49][42][citation needed] The flow of Investiture outside of holes into the Cognitive Realm created through AonDor,[50] which creates an opening or release valve to the very densely packed Investiture of the Dor,[51][52] into the far less Invested Physical Realm; and the way in which Investiture leaks from, and affects the surroundings of, those with many Breaths,[53][citation needed] might be other examples of this.

Further evidence is in how the more Stormlight a Surgebinder takes in, therefore, the more concentrated the Investiture within them, the faster it leaks out of their body, which could be a further display of the flow of Investiture from higher a system of higher concentration (the body of the Surgebinder) to one of lower concentration (the world surrounding said Surgebinder).[54]
The Third Law of Investiture
The Third Law is unknown.
The Fourth Law of Investiture
The Fourth Law is unknown, and somehow relates to Adonalsium.[47]

From the fact that Investiture follows the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy,[1][45][46][14] and the Law of Conservation of Momentum holds true in the cosmere,[55][citation needed][56] it can be reasonably postulated that liquid Investiture follows the Navier–Stokes equations, which govern the motion of fluids, and is derived from these two laws.


Physical matter is known to have a counterpart called antimatter - matter composed of antiparticles that share many properties with the particles of ordinary matter, but manifest some of them in an opposite way (e.g. a proton and an antiproton have the same mass, but opposite electric charges and magnetic moments). The Fused scholar Raboniel describes this in terms of axi with opposite polarities.[14] A similar relationship exists between Investiture and anti-Investiture in the cosmere. When Investiture combines with its corresponding anti-Investiture, they are both annihilated, resulting in the release of a large amount of energy.[14][57] The reaction seems to be more violent when the two are brought together under pressure.[14]

Khriss notes that the existence of anti-Investiture has been theorized for some time, but that the anti-Lights developed by Navani Kholin and Raboniel are her first evidence that it actually exists.[10]

Accessing Investiture[edit]

Many methods of accessing Shardic power have been observed throughout the cosmere, but all share certain cardinal similarities; an established Connection or ability to create a Connection to a source of power and a way of directing that power. Methods of accessing Investiture can be broadly divided into two types: physical and mechanical; the source of the Investiture (end-positive, end-neutral, or end-negative) also plays a role in the way the power is accessed.

Several end-positive magics share the trait of requiring a Spiritual shift of some kind; Elantrians are more closely attuned to the Spiritual Realm (incidentally, this is why Hemalurgy gets more from them),[58] Allomancers in Classical Scadrial and the Final Empire had to Snap to access power,[59] and Surgebinders "plug" spren into themselves.[60][61] Once a conduit has been established, a key, such as an Aon, metal, or Command, is used to tell it how to act.

While a key is generally used, Shards can also choose to use their Investiture to power magic: Endowment breaks pieces off itself to resurrect the Returned, and Preservation powers Vin's Allomancy with the Mists; some magics, such as BioChroma and Feruchemy, deal with the use of power that already exists within a human (be that naturally or by Shardic intervention). Others lack an explicit key; instead of pulling power directly from a Shard, Surgebinders draw from the Investiture of highstorms, and direct it through their bond with their spren, similarly to fabrials.

Intent of use[edit]

The Intent of a user is very important to several magic systems; these magic systems require a mental component to function. Some, like Hemalurgy, simply require that someone intend to make a spike when they do it, and others, like Awakening, require complex images created in your mind with the spoken command to function.

Hemalurgy has only one known mental component: that the user or Shard must be trying to do Hemalurgy (this is Ruin's intent when Spook temporarily gains the ability to burn pewter). This mental component, if not present, renders the spike to a normal metal spike and simply harms the victim. When present, it controls what is stolen when used in conjunction with the correct binding point. One can also, with proper Intent (alongside other preparations), perform Hemalurgy without killing the victim.[62]

Awakening is almost as much mental as spoken. If the visualizing of the command is not firm, the Awakened object can behave in a unknown manner or not at all. The more complex the command the more important that mental component is.

In Surgebinding, the mental component has varying degrees of necessity depending on the Surge used. Lightweaving requires an extremely clear image in a user's mind to create an illusion with the appropriate appearance, but with Surges like Gravitation the user does not have to have any idea of what they are doing; the Surge will do the same thing regardless. Some Surges do require simply that the user wish it to happen. Often with Surgebinding this can be accomplished by instinctively pushing Stormlight into something.

The creation of Anti-Investiture, and replication of the Anti-Tones of Shards, requires an active Intent in order to work properly.[14]


Color is like flavor to spren. It is part of the soul of a thing.

Color is an important part of the cosmere and its magics,[63][64] and is relevant to every manifestation of Investiture.[65] Some magic systems are connected through how color works within them.[66][67] Certain colors are linked to a change in Investiture, such as corrupted Investiture being red.[68] How color is viewed and therefore how it affects Investiture is mainly through people's perception of it.[69] Holding large amounts of Investiture for prolonged periods, such as with Breaths and Dawnshards, will give a person enhanced perception of colors.[70]


Every Shard is associated with certain colors.[68][71] Their perpendicularities are also associated with their colors.[72]

Cultivation’s Investiture is typically associated with the color green.[68]
Devotion’s Investiture might be associated with sapphire colors.[73][72]
Honor’s Investiture is typically associated with the color blue-white.[68]
Odium’s Investiture is typically associated with “burning” gold or violet-black colors,[74] though it is also often red, the color that signifies corrupted Investiture.[68]
Preservation’s Investiture is typically associated with the color white.[75][68]
Ruin’s Investiture is typically associated with the color black.[75][68]
Harmony’s Investiture is not typically associated with the colors of Preservation and Ruin.[76]
Virtuosity's colors appear to be cyan and magenta.[77]

Color in Investiture[edit]


Awakening an object has a cost of draining the color of nearby objects. Color appears to act as a fuel for Awakening. Objects drained of their color usually turn grey, although an Awakener who achieved Perfect Invocation could drain objects more fully, turning them white.[78] Colors outside the visible spectrum, like ultraviolet, can be used as fuel for Awakening.[79]
The Third Heightening grants Perfect Color Recognition, the ability to instantly and instinctively determine exact shades of colors and their hue harmonics.[80] The Tenth Heightening grants Color Distortion, the natural and intrinsic ability to bend light around white objects within their BioChroma, creating colors from them as if from a prism.[53] The Tenth Heightening also grants Perfect Invocation, the ability to draw more color from the objects Awakeners use to fuel their art. This leaves objects drained to white, rather than grey.[81]
Royal Locks
Members of the royal family of Idris can change their hair color. Normally the color of the Royal Locks reflects the person's emotional state by default but this can be controlled through training and discipline.[82] They can also change their hair color to unnatural colors.[83] Which particular color that will match up with which particular emotion is based on associations that people in the culture give them and the user's own perspective.[84]

Rosharan system[edit]

Knights Radiant
Each Knights Radiant Order is associated with a color. When a Surgebinder summons their Shardblade, their eyes will change to match their Order's color.[85][86]
When Soulcasting, both Surgebinders and fabrial users are limited by the types of gems available to them.[87] While the chemical composition of the gemstone is important, its color is paramount, with every color of a polestone corresponding to one of the Ten Essences. Some polestones are the same type of crystal but with different color and chemical signatures, such as sapphires and rubies both being types of corundum.[10] Much like how iron and steel, despite being very similar chemically, are different metals in the Metallic Arts, the exact color and chemical signatures are enough to differentiate the polestones. As a result, an off-color polestone acts much like an impure alloy in Allomancy.[88] If a polestone was drained of its color by an Awakener, it would still hold Stormlight but would have the properties of a dusty or cloudy quartz.[89][90] If a spren was trapped inside, they would be released.[91] Although the type of polestone Stormlight is stored in is irrelevant for most Surgebinding, polestones do have an important impact on Soulcasting. Namely, they determine what kind of substances a Soulcaster can transmute objects into.[87]
The color of a gemstone determines its flavor to a spren, and can be used to attract certain types of spren.[42]


When combined with different colors, AonDor has interesting combinations.[92]
The Investiture of each Dawnshard grants Heightening-like abilities,[93] allowing a person to see colors more vividly than before.[94] This is not intrinsic to Dawnshards, but rather to high quantities of Investiture in general.[70]


Many magic systems in the cosmere are able to heal a person from damage. This includes physical wounds[95] or sprains,[96] and can even heal fatal damage.[97][98] Limbs and body parts can be regrown as well.[99] Healing can also be used to recover from poisoning,[100] sickness such as a cold or cancer,[101] chronic diseases, such as poor eyesight,[102][103] tiredness,[104] and even damage to the soul.[105] Constantly healing from wounds can leave the user invulnerable to pain.[106] Most forms of extreme healing don't care much about what is done to the physical body, as long as the person's spiritual template is in power at the time.[107] Some magic systems are better at healing than others, and general healing can happen if a person is Invested enough.[108][109]

Memories can be restored via healing, as they are stored with the Cognitive version of a person, and encoded into their Investiture. This is also why Cognitive Shadows retain their memories.[110][111][26]

Healing the soul[edit]

When healing the soul, such as a missing piece cut off from a Shardblade, a new patch of soul will be created.[112][113] Healing wounds to the soul is much more Spiritual Realm based.[114] If a magic is strong enough to heal from pieces of a body, it will try to heal from the biggest piece.[115] If the body was perfectly cut in half, a random half would be chosen to heal from. Not every magic system is capable of healing soul wounds.[114] If the soul leaves the body and is then healed, the soul will not return and the physical body will be the only thing healed, leaving the person dead.[116][117][118] If a soul is healed but not reattached properly, the person will leave a glowing afterimage when they move,[119] though it is only visible to those who are highly Invested or connected to the Cognitive Realm.[120]


While a number of things can be healed, there are certain limitations. Disorders like depression that are a part of a person's personality will not be cured.[121][122] Electrical stimulation of muscles, such as being electrocuted, will not be healed as it's not doing any harm and it's how muscles normally work.[123] Aging and certain genetic diseases can also not be healed.[124]

Many, if not all, magical healing processes are stopped by aluminum. If aluminum is in the wound, it makes it impossible for wounds to heal around the aluminum until it is removed from the body.[125]

Perception of oneself[edit]

Healing works by using the three versions of the user's self; their Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual version.[126] Healing typically heals the Physical version by matching it to their ideal Spiritual version, which is filtered through the lens of their minds (Cognitive version). Almost all forms of healing in the cosmere are filtered through the perception of the user.[127][116] This applies to both internal and external forms of healing. When someone is healing someone else, both of their perceptions matter.[128] If a person hasn't accepted a wound as a part of themselves, they can still heal it regardless of how long they've had it.[99][129] However, even if a wound is recent, if the person has changed their mindset to see it as a part of themselves, they will not be able to heal from it.[130][131][132] Perception can also have users change their body to match their identity, such as a transgender person changing their biological sex,[133][134][135] or a human changing into a singer.[136] There are a few magic systems that are an exception to this rule.[137]

Highly Invested individuals can shift their Spiritual self to more closely match their Cognitive self, making self-perception more important in the process. This allows for the healing of old wounds if the person doesn't view them as being part of themself, something that is impossible with less Invested individuals.[99][138]

Types of known Investiture healing[edit]

Metallic Arts[edit]

Feruchemical Gold
In Feruchemy, health is stored in gold. A goldmind can be tapped to heal at an accelerated rate, or to heal from wounds that would normally be fatal.[139] It's hard to fill a goldmind, due to the fact that it requires the Bloodmaker to spend time sickly and weak. Gold does not heal diseases as efficiently as it heals wounds, but it can heal damage to the soul.[140][113] A gold Compounder can use gold to have a nearly infinite supply of health. When Compounding, a Bloodmaker can heal very rapidly, and can survive flaying, decapitations, and point-blank explosions.[141][142] The recovery from injuries and wounds is almost instantaneous.[106]
Allomantic Aluminum
In Allomancy, burning aluminum would be able to heal the withering inflicted by a Shade.[143] If someone were able to burn the amount of aluminum needed to become an Allomantic savant with the metal, it may be possible to cleanse their spirit of unwanted effects of Investiture.[144]
Allomantic Pewter
In Allomancy, burning pewter grants the user the ability to heal from otherwise deadly wounds, and to recover much more quickly.[145]

The Dor[edit]

In AonDor, the Aon Ien is used as the basis for healing.[146] To maximize its potential, Elantrians use specialized modifiers that can target the part of the body that needs to be healed, as well as define how the healing should take place.[147]
Elantrians are able to heal themselves quickly and survive fatal injuries, such as decapitation.[148] This ability doesn't function if the massive Aon Rao of Elantris is non-functional. Reod Elantrians' wounds will refuse to heal; nonetheless, a Reod Elantrian can only be killed by decapitation or burning, while remaining immune to hunger or most fatal wounds, as the Dor keeps their bodies functioning.[149]
A form of Forgery practiced by surgeons is called Resealing.[150] Resealing can effect miraculous healing, even allowing to survive otherwise fatal wounds, but it doesn't repair spiritual damage. Forgery can also be used to Forge a new soul.[151]

Rosharan system[edit]

With Stormlight as a fuel source, Surgebinders are able to heal both their body and their soul. Almost any kind of injury can be reversed, including bad eyesight, scar tissues, or Spiritual damage done by a Shardblade.[152]
Progression Surge
In Surgebinding, the Progression Surge can alter the growth and healing of organisms.[153] Using Growth and Regrowth, the Surgebinder can heal the damage done to the body and the soul of other people near-instantly.[96][154] Thanks to this, Surgebinders with Progression are nigh-on unkillable so long as they have Stormlight.[155]
Surge Fabrial
A Surge Fabrial is able to mimic the Radiant ability of Regrowth. Ancient Radiants possessed fabrials constructed from a large topaz and a heliodor that were able to "regrow" and repair injuries through manipulating the Surge of Progression.[156] In the present day, most of those fabrials, as well as the knowledge of how to make them, have been lost; however, the Herald Nale possesses one capable of bringing someone back from the brink of death.[157]
An Honorblade inherently grants the ability to Surgebind.[158][159] This allows the user to heal with Stormlight, but doesn't let them heal from a soul wound.[48]
There is a Regal form that grants healing.[160]
The Fused use Voidlight to heal themselves.[161] Precisely how they do that, and whether their ability has any similarity to Radiants', is uncertain.[162][130]


Each Returned is gifted a single, powerful Breath called a Divine Breath, a Splinter of Endowment.[163] A Returned may give this Breath up to heal one person, albeit at the cost of their own life.[164] This sacrifice can cure diseases, heal almost any wound, and regrow lost body parts.[164] The Divine Breath is one of the most powerful healing abilities in the cosmere, perhaps the most powerful available to non-Shards.[116]
Hoid has access to some sort of healing factor that is capable of repairing both his body and soul.[165] He's able to regenerate any damaged body parts at will, including his head. He's also able to repress his healing factor in some way, preventing instantaneous healing, an ability that he makes use of in some of his disguises.[166] This healing factor makes it very difficult to kill Hoid, although he is still at least somewhat vulnerable.[167][166] The name of the manifestation of Investiture responsible for Hoid's healing is unknown, but it is ancient, likely originating from some Pre-Shattering source.[168] It is uncertain whether or not this healing factor is at all related to Hoid's apparent agelessness, which is known to originate from a remnant of a weapon built to kill Adonalsium.[169]
Shards are able to heal physical and spiritual wounds of other people.[170][171] They can also heal those who have very recently died, and can even heal normally irreversible damage, such as savantism.[172][118]
Being heavily Invested in general can cause the body to change to match the cognitive aspect, even without any conscious effort on part of the sophont in question. Such as Yumi changing Painter's body into her own simply from being heavily Invested.[134]


Bonds are connections between entities in the cosmere that exist outside the Physical Realm. All bonds are basically the same, with the powers and functions depending on the holders of the bond.[173] The nature of the planet can also have an effect on what the bond does. Bonds are typically formed between entities with greater-than-normal Investiture (e.g. Spren) and other entities, allowing them to gain enhancements. It is unknown if a person with only innate Investiture is able to create a bond.[174] Bonds are not limited to connections of entities with greater-than-normal Investiture to innately Invested entities; they can also be made between two entities with greater-than-normal Investiture.[175]

Types of known Bonding Entities[edit]

  • Spren: Entities of the Cognitive Realm, primarily used in relation to Splinters of Honor, Cultivation, and Odium in the Rosharan Subastral.
  • Type IV BioChromatic Entities: Intelligent inorganic entities created through the use of Breath.
  • Seons: Intelligent entities with connections to AonDor.
  • Aviar: Birds infected with symbiotic worms native to the Pantheon.
  • Aether: Various Pre-Shattering entities which are able to bond with sapient beings, trading power with them for water. They are capable of connecting with many people at one time.

Bonds By Shard World[edit]

Roshar Bonds[edit]

The Nahel Bond: This Bond is between a human and certain types of intelligent Spren. The Nahel bond gives a human access to the system of magic known as Surgebinding, while granting the spren the ability to maintain their cognition in the Physical Realm. There are ten known forms the Nahel bond can take, each giving access to two different Surges. See Surgebinding and Nahel bond for more information.

Singer Bond: The singers can bond with a spren. Doing so grants the singer a form (a specific physical and mental change). Not all spren grant a unique form; most spren give the singers dullform. Without a spren, singers exist in what is known as slaveform (Parshmen). Singers in slaveform have very little mental capacity and are extremely docile. Dullform gives more free will and a small increase in mental capacity. Slaveform and dullform are physically similar. Singers can become Surgebinders, but forms of power exist that grant them abnormal abilities. See singer for more information on the various forms.

Shardblade: Shardblades are able to bond with people through the use of charged gemstones. The gem is placed in the hilt of the Blade and after a week of constant contact, the Blade is bonded and can be dismissed from and recalled to the Physical Realm. Once bonded the blade can be dismissed and recalled by syncing with the user's heart to the blade. Ten heartbeats are required. A person's iris will lighten during the bonding process. Surgebinding is not granted by this bond.

NergaoulNergaoul is able to bond with humans who embrace the Thrill.[176] This imbues them with bloodlust and the urge to fight above all else.[177] With the help of Odium, he is able to fully control large groups of people through the bond.[178]

Yelig-narYelig-nar is able to bond with a human[179] or singer, and grants his host the use of all ten Surges.[180] The people he bonds with appear to remain fully in control of themselves,[155] but they must control Yelig-nar if they do not wish to be consumed by him.[179]

Lesser Spren Bonds: Non-intelligent spren are able to form bonds with humans.[181] This bond does not grant Surgebinding.

Other Spren Bonds: Certain spren bond with animals native to Roshar, enhancing those animals and granting them abilities. Animals that are confirmed to have these bonds are chasmfiends, chulls, Larkin, Ryshadium,[182] and skyeels.

Honorblades: Honorblades grant surgebinding abilities to humans who touch them, but this requires dangerous levels of stormlight.[183]

Sel Bonds[edit]

Seons: A seon can create bonds with humans and Elantrians. Little is known of this bond other than that the seon follows and helps the person it is bonded to, functioning as a servant to the owner of the bond. This bond does not give the seon an innate ability to find the human to whom it is bonded. Seons will automatically seek out a new person to bond with following the death of its master; often the new master has been prearranged. During the time of the Reod, while the Shaod was unable to finish transforming a human into an Elantrian, any seon bonded to a Elantrian lost its mind and would float around the city, often near their master.[184] This bond grants new unknown powers to the members of the bond while on Roshar and is very similar to a Nahel bond.[185][186]

First of the Sun Bonds[edit]

Aviar: Aviars create a bond with a person and grant a specific power based of the type of Aviar bonded. Aviar are granted their ability if raised on one of the pantheon islands and consume a worm native to the island. See Aviar for more information.

Other Worm Infected Animals Other birds besides native island Aviar are able to eat the worms and create a bond with a new effect (i.e. Sak). It is unknown if eating the worms will grant new abilities to other non-bird animals.

Nalthis Bonds[edit]

Sentient Awakened Entities in an Inorganic Host: Also known as Type IV BioChromatic Entities. The only known entities of this kind are Nightblood and Azure's Sword. Nightblood is a sentient sword made using a thousand Breaths and the Command to destroy evil. It makes a bond with anyone with whom it wishes to communicate, and it is able to read and speak with minds directly.[186] Distance appears to be a factor, but this may be a limitation of the mind of Nightblood and not its ability. While idle, Nightblood reaches out to other people, tempting them to draw the blade. "Pure" people who cannot be tempted would feel great nausea, even induce vomiting. Anyone who is able to wield Nightblood and survive, bonds with the blade to a greater degree and is no longer repelled by or abnormally drawn to use it.[187] Those unable to control Nightblood are controlled by it, in effect Nightblood wields them killing everyone around and absorbing all of the Investiture from the victim including the spark of life (i.e. the soul). This bond may grant additional powers on Roshar.[188]

Scadrial Bonds[edit]

No bonds are known of on Scadrial.

Of note is that by using Hemalurgy, bonds may be stolen and given to a new person.[189][190]

Lumar Bonds[edit]

The Luhel Bond: This Bond is between a human and an aether. The Luhel bond allows the human to manipulate the aether in exchange for water from their body.[191] See aether, Luhel bond, and spore eater for more information.

Komashi Bonds[edit]

It is theoretically possible to form a bond with a nightmare.[192] How exactly one would do this, or what effects such a bond would have on either party, is unknown.

The Known effect of Bonds while on other Planets[edit]

Bonds on some planets provide the Holders of the bonds with additional powers.[173]


It has been confirmed that bonds other than the Nahel bond will provide powers to the constituent entities of that bond while on Roshar. What these powers are is unknown, and will not be of the ten Surges. The seon bond is confirmed to do this, as the Nahel bond and the seon bond are very similar.[186]

Categories of Investiture[edit]

In the Alloy of Law Ars Arcanum, the author categorizes the three Metallic Arts.[139] Every type of Investiture can be classified along these categories.[193]

End-positive Investiture[edit]

When practicing an end-positive Investiture, the practitioner draws in power from an external source.[139] The practitioner gains power from the external source. The Investiture is positive in that it adds -- in most cases temporarily -- power to the practitioner. Most types of Investiture are end-positive.[193]

Allomancy draws Investiture from Preservation in a similar way to AonDor pulling power from the Dor; both are considered End-Positive since they add power to the Allomancer or Elantrian. Allomantic Atium draws power from Ruin's concentrated Physical form, but is still considered End-Positive as the power comes from an outside source. Stormlight acts as an external source to the Surges, so the system is also end-positive.

End-neutral Investiture[edit]

For an act of Investiture to be considered end-neutral, power is neither gained nor lost.[139] A practitioner manipulates power that already exists or power that comes from themselves.

Feruchemy is end-neutral, since the amount of Investiture remains constant. Awakening is also considered end-neutral, even though color is lost.[194]

End-negative Investiture[edit]

In the practice of an end-negative Investiture, some power is lost.[139] End-negative Investiture is very rare.[193]

Hemalurgy is end-negative. Investiture held in a spike outside the body decays.

Investiture of Humans[edit]

All living creatures on some level have Investiture. This is called the spark of life. All sentient creatures have a slightly greater amount of Investiture than non-intelligent ones. The spark of life or soul of a person creates a kind of interference when working with other forms of Investiture. This interference is the reason that metal inside of a person's body is highly resistant to Allomantic steel or iron. To affect something like metal inside a person's body takes a much greater degree of Investiture than most humans are capable of wielding. This is of note because a human's soul does not count as a highly Invested object and a person is not even counted as being innately Invested if they only have the spark of life.[174]

Generally, humans are not considered to have innate Investiture. However, on some worlds, a Shard has Invested humans. For example, Preservation gave part of his power to make sentient humans with the ability to develop Allomancy. On Nalthis, people are born with Breath. Both cases are known as innate Investiture.[2] For example, on Nalthis every person is born with a breath and has innate Investiture, but a person who has given up their breath is no longer innately Invested while still maintaining their spark of life.

Under specific conditions, some humans can become Invested with more power than others. In general, the closer the connection between a human and a Shard, the more powerful the human becomes. A normal human on Scadrial is less connected to Preservation's Investiture than a Misting, who is less connected than a Mistborn, who is less connected than Mistborn who has consumed Lerasium (the direct Physical essence of Preservation), who is less connected than a person using a pool of liquid Investiture like the Well of Ascension. A human who is holding a Shard is basically pure Investiture and cannot really be considered human while holding a Shard.

The conditions required for becoming Invested with a larger amount of power differ from planet to planet. It is assumed that the intent of the respective Shard influences these conditions. On Scadrial Connection to a Shard is determined by genetics. On Sel it's the Shaod that comes to those who live in the correct area, and on Roshar it has to do with a person's actions and how they live their life.[195]

Investiture of Objects[edit]

Objects are not Invested in their original state. They can become Invested by a Shard or by a human having met the above-mentioned requirements. An Invested object gains magical properties. The more Invested an object is, the more power it has. Examples for Invested objects include:

Invested objects are harder to affect with any magic system, the more Investiture the more difficult to affect.[196][197] Once an object has been Invested it is very hard to Invest it with a different kind of Investiture as well.[198] Sometimes when an object in one of the Realms has a large amount of Investiture it can gain sentience (see, for example, spren and Nightblood).

Investiture of Natural Phenomena[edit]

It is possible for a natural force to become Invested. On Roshar, Zahel states that the highstorms are Invested.[199] The Stormfather also states that during a highstorm, Honor’s power is concentrated in the storm as it moves across the land, temporarily joining all three Realms.[200]

Manifestations of Investiture[edit]

Investiture Planet Shard Books
Allomancy Scadrial Preservation Mistborn
Feruchemy Scadrial Preservation, Ruin Mistborn
Hemalurgy Scadrial Ruin Mistborn
Awakening Nalthis Endowment Warbreaker
AonDor Sel Devotion, Dominion Elantris, Tress of the Emerald Sea
Dakhor Sel Devotion, Dominion Elantris
ChayShan Sel Devotion, Dominion Elantris
Forgery Sel Devotion, Dominion The Emperor's Soul, Mistborn Era 2
Bloodsealing Sel Devotion, Dominion The Emperor's Soul
Surgebinding Roshar Honor, Cultivation The Stormlight Archive
Voidbinding Roshar Odium The Stormlight Archive
Old Magic Roshar Cultivation The Stormlight Archive
Sand mastery Taldain Autonomy White Sand
Starmarks Taldain Autonomy White Sand
Hion Komashi Virtuosity Yumi and the Nightmare Painter
Charred Canticle Unknown The Sunlit Man
Microkinesis Yolen Unknown Dragonsteel
Yolish Lightweaving Yolen Unknown Dragonsteel
Aether Aether homeworld, Lumar None Tress of the Emerald Sea, Mistborn Era 2


  1. a b c d The Lost Metal chapter 17#
  2. a b c d 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-25#
  3. Ancient 17S Q&A
    Arcanum - 2010-05-01#
  4. a b c YouTube Spoiler Stream 3
    Arcanum - 2021-12-16#
  5. Shadows of Self San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-08#
  6. a b Warsaw signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-18#
  7. a b Rhythm of War chapter 89#
  8. Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  9. Rhythm of War chapter 15#
  10. a b c Rhythm of War Ars Arcanum#
  11. The Lost Metal Ars Arcanum#
  12. The Hero of Ages chapter 38 epigraph#
  13. Warbreaker prologue#
  14. a b c d e f g h Rhythm of War chapter 97#
  15. The Lost Metal chapter 39#
  16. The Lost Metal chapter 40#
  17. Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-01#
  18. The Bands of Mourning chapter 3#
  19. The Lost Metal chapter 51#
  20. The Sunlit Man chapter 1#
  21. The Sunlit Man chapter 13#
  22. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  23. FanX 2022
    Arcanum - 2022-09-24#
  24. The Sunlit Man chapter 23#
  25. The Sunlit Man chapter 24#
  26. a b c Yumi and the Nightmare Painter chapter 32#
  27. The Hero of Ages chapter 57 epigraph#
  28. Words of Radiance Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-11#
  29. Edgedancer chapter 20#
  30. Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  31. Salt Lake City signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-16#
  32. Salt Lake City signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-16#
  33. Rhythm of War interlude I-1#
  34. Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  35. Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  36. a b YouTube Spoiler Stream 5
    Arcanum - 2022-12-02#
  37. Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  38. Oathbringer chapter 117#
  39. The Emperor's Soul - Day 30#
  40. Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  41. YouTube Spoiler Stream 4
    Arcanum - 2022-06-16#
  42. a b c d Rhythm of War chapter 42#
  43. a b c The Sunlit Man chapter 21#
  44. a b /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-03-12#
  45. a b c The Hero of Ages chapter 78 epigraph#
  46. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 65#
  47. a b c /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-14#
  48. a b The Way of Kings prologue#
  49. The Arnist Method
  50. Elantris chapter 7#
  51. Arcanum Unbounded - The Selish System#
  52. Shadows of Self Lansing signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-13#
  53. a b Warbreaker chapter 15#
  54. Words of Radiance chapter 2#
  55. The Bands of Mourning chapter 12#
  56. Shadows of Self Lansing signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-13#
  57. Dragonsteel 2023
    Arcanum - 2023-11-21#
  58. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  59. Calamity Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-17#
  60. Shadows of Self Boston signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-14#
  61. Words of Radiance chapter 68#
  62. The Lost Metal chapter 47#
  63. Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-07-21#
  64. Skyward San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-08#
  65. Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2018-03-10#
  66. Skyward Atlanta signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-17#
  67. Stuttgart signing
    Arcanum - 2019-05-17#
  68. a b c d e f g ICon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-10-15#
  69. General Reddit 2020
    Arcanum - 2020-09-26#
  70. a b Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A
    Arcanum - 2020-11-06#
  71. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  72. a b Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-21#
  73. Elantris chapter 25#
  74. Oathbringer chapter 57#
  75. a b Steelheart Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2013-10-01#
  76. JordanCon 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-07-17#
  77. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter chapter 1#
  78. Warbreaker chapter 57#
  79. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-22#
  80. Warbreaker chapter 3#
  81. Warbreaker chapter 58#
  82. Warbreaker chapter 2#
  83. FanX Spring 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-04-19#
  84. ICon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-10-15#
  85. Shadows of Self Lansing signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-13#
  86. Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  87. a b The Rithmatist signing Albuquerque
    Arcanum - 2013-05-22#
  88. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
  89. Holiday signing
    Arcanum - 2015-12-12#
  90. Bands of Mourning release party
    Arcanum - 2016-01-25#
  91. Bands of Mourning release party
    Arcanum - 2016-01-25#
  92. Skyward release party
    Arcanum - 2018-11-06#
  93. Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A
    Arcanum - 2020-11-06#
  94. Dawnshard epilogue#
  95. The Bands of Mourning chapter 14#
  96. a b Oathbringer chapter 10#
  97. The Bands of Mourning chapter 17#
  98. Oathbringer chapter 72#
  99. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 87#
  100. Oathbringer chapter 18#
  101. Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-09-04#
  102. Pocatello signing
    Arcanum - 2013-12-09#
  103. Words of Radiance chapter 89#
  104. The Alloy of Law chapter 15#
  105. Oathbringer chapter 37#
  106. a b The Alloy of Law chapter 13#
  107. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-06#
  108. Salt Lake City signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-29#
  109. The Sunlit Man chapter 49#
  110. Mini-Con 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-11-23#
  111. Rhythm of War chapter 84 epigraph#
  112. Firefight signing Chicago
    Arcanum - 2015-02-20#
  113. a b Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A
    Arcanum - 2014-08-13#
  114. a b Calamity release party
    Arcanum - 2016-02-16#
  115. General Reddit 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-02-20#
  116. a b c Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  117. The Hero of Ages chapter 82#
  118. a b The Hero of Ages epilogue#
  119. Oathbringer chapter 90#
  120. Arcanum Unbounded Fort Collins signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  121. Firefight San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-20#
  122. Warsaw signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-18#
  123. Legion Release Party
    Arcanum - 2018-09-19#
  124. Stormlight Three Update #5
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  125. Words of Radiance signing Philadelphia
    Arcanum - 2014-03-21#
  126. Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2018-03-10#
  127. Calamity release party
    Arcanum - 2016-02-16#
  128. Skyward Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-16#
  129. Skyward Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-19#
  130. a b Oathbringer interlude I-13#
  131. Dawnshard chapter 1#
  132. Words of Radiance Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-08#
  133. Dawnshard chapter 3#
  134. a b Yumi and the Nightmare Painter chapter 17#
  135. Legion Release Party
    Arcanum - 2018-09-19#
  136. YouTube Spoiler Stream 5
    Arcanum - 2022-12-02#
  137. Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
  138. Tor Instagram Livestream
    Arcanum - 2020-11-25#
  139. a b c d e The Alloy of Law Ars Arcanum#
  140. Shadows of Self chapter 5#
  141. The Alloy of Law chapter 11#
  142. The Alloy of Law epilogue#
  143. Shadows of Self signing Chicago
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  144. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-27#
  145. The Final Empire chapter 15#
  146. Elantris chapter 19#
  147. Elantris chapter 53#
  148. ICon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-10-18#
  149. Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2005-07-08#
  150. Chris King interview
    Arcanum - 2013-09-24#
  151. The Emperor's Soul - Day 2#
  152. Words of Radiance chapter 33#
  153. Words of Radiance Ars Arcanum#
  154. Words of Radiance interlude I-9#
  155. a b Oathbringer chapter 120#
  156. The Way of Kings chapter 19#
  157. Words of Radiance chapter 88#
  158. A Memory of Light Milford Signing
    Arcanum - 2013-02-16#
  159. Words of Radiance interlude I-1#
  160. Rhythm of War chapter 52#
  161. Oathbringer chapter 79#
  162. Oathbringer chapter 43#
  163. Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A
    Arcanum - 2010-01-18#
  164. a b Warbreaker chapter 12#
  165. Words of Radiance release party
    Arcanum - 2014-03-03#
  166. a b Oathbringer epilogue#
  167. Fantasy Faction interview
    Arcanum - 2014-04-24#
  168. Oathbringer Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-21#
  169. Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-07-21#
  170. The Hero of Ages chapter 72#
  171. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  172. Stormlight Three Update #4
    Arcanum - 2016-09-27#
  173. a b /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-19#
  174. a b Words of Radiance San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-06#
  175. London signing
    Arcanum - 2014-08-04#
  176. Oathbringer chapter 115#
  177. The Way of Kings chapter 28#
  178. Oathbringer chapter 116#
  179. a b Oathbringer chapter 118#
  180. Oathbringer chapter 95 epigraph#
  181. Fantasy Faction interview
    Arcanum - 2014-04-24#
  182. OdysseyCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-08#
  183. Words of Radiance San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-04#
  184. Elantris chapter 4#
  185. Steelheart Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2013-10-01#
  186. a b c Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-20#
  187. Warbreaker Annotations
    Arcanum - 2011-06-22#
  188. Words of Radiance signing San Fansisco
    Arcanum - 2014-03-06#
  189. Words of Radiance San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-06#
  190. Arcanum entry 1153
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  191. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 31#
  192. Arcanum entry 15528
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  193. a b c Arcanum entry 1084
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  194. Arcanum entry 6738
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  195. Arcanum entry 7256
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  196. Arcanum entry 4207
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  197. Arcanum entry 4074
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  198. Arcanum entry 10416
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  199. Words of Radiance interlude I-6#
  200. Oathbringer chapter 64#
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