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The Coppermind has spoilers for all of Brandon's published works, now including The Sunlit Man. Information about books that have not yet been released, like Stormlight 5, is allowed only on meta-pages for the books themselves. For more details, see our spoiler policy. To view an earlier version of the wiki without spoilers for a book, go to the Time Machine!

Related to Investiture, Intention
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Warbreaker, The Stormlight Archive, Yumi and the Nightmare Painter
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for The Lost Metal and Yumi and the Nightmare Painter!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

The most powerful forms of Surgebinding transcend traditional mortal understanding. All their greatest applications require Intent and a Command.

Nikliasorm explaining the Dawnshards to Rysn Ftori[1]

In the cosmere, a Command, made with Intent, is sometimes required to use Investiture.[1]

Relationship to Intent[edit]

The concepts of Command and Intent are fundamentally intertwined. While a person's Intent more broadly encompasses what they are trying to accomplish, the Command is the narrower words they use to express that Intent. For example, if someone creates an Awakened object with the instructions "fetch keys," the Command is exactly that whereas the Intent would include the Awakener's broader desire to escape whatever is imprisoning them and be free. The words of the Command help focus the Intent, but, depending on the Invested Art involved, the skill of the person making the Command, and other factors, the Investiture involved can also understand the broader Intent involved, not just the Command. Even people who are relatively knowledgeable about the mechanics of the cosmere, like Vasher, will conflate the Command and its associated Intent, and most of the time there is not much of an appreciable difference, though it is important for the cosmere overall that the Intent is understood and not bound by the limited form of the Command.[2]



The Dawnshards are the four primal Commands that were used to create the cosmere. They were also later involved in the Shattering of Adonalsium.[1] Under certain circumstances,[3] a person can absorb a Dawnshard,[4][1] after which they are considered to be the Dawnshard;[5] the Dawnshards can also be stored in objects, like the Akinah Dawnshard mural.[1] The Dawnshards appear to be useless without some other method of using Investiture,[1][6][7] but seem to be capable of supercharging other Invested Arts.[8] To fully understand the nature of a Dawnshard, one would need to have the understanding of deity, but the Dawnshards appear to be capable of conveying at least their basic purpose.[1] One of the Dawnshards is "the will of a god to remake things, to demand they be better ... the power to change"[1] and one of the Dawnshards is somehow different from the other three.[9]


Commands are required for Awakening.[10] Usually, they must be spoken clearly in the Awakener's native language,[11] though they could make another language with a strong enough Connection[12] and Awakeners of the Tenth Heightening can learn to give their Commands mentally.[13] Under normal circumstances, the Awakener must be touching their target when they give the Command, but an Awakener of the Ninth Heightening can Awaken anything within the sound of their voice.[14] Properly visualizing the Command is crucial to effective Awakening, particularly for advanced Commands, though Awakened objects are still limited by the exact words of the Command.[11][10][2] Some Commands that have the same effect, such as creating a Lifeless, are more efficient—that is, require less Breath—than others.[11]


Stoneshaping, and the use of the Surge of Cohesion to reshape objects more generally, often requires a Command, though the Command can be given either mentally or verbally. While stone is often one of the most difficult materials to change with Soulcasting, it readily responds to the Commands and Intent of a Stoneshaper and can Connect them with the distant past.[15]


Khriss believes that Navani Kholin's method of creating anti-Investiture requires a Command as well as Intent.[15] As Navani's thoughts on the process focus on the Intent required and make no mention of a Command,[16] the Command in this case may be nonverbal or possibly subconscious.


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