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Related to Investiture, Intention
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Warbreaker, The Stormlight Archive
This page or section contains spoilers for Dawnshard and Rhythm of War!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read these books.

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]



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,[2] a person can absorb a Dawnshard,[3][1] after which they are considered to be the Dawnshard;[4] 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][5][6] but seem to be capable of supercharging other Invested Arts.[7] 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.[8]


Commands are required for Awakening.[9] Usually, they must be spoken clearly in the Awakener's native language,[10] though they could make another language with a strong enough Connection[11] and Awakeners of the Tenth Heightening can learn to give their Commands mentally.[12] 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.[13] The Awakener must be able to properly visualize the Command, but ultimately the Awakened objects obeys the exact words of the Command.[10][9]


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.[14]


Khriss believes that Navani Kholin's method of creating anti-Investiture requires a Command as well as Intent.[14] As Navani's thoughts on the process focus on the Intent required and make no mention of a Command,[15] the Command in this case may be nonverbal or possibly subconscious.


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