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The Coppermind has spoilers for all of Brandon's published works, now including The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England and Yumi and the Nightmare Painter (Secret Projects Two and Three). Information about books that have not yet been released, like the other secret novels releasing in 2023 and 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 Realmatic Theory
Type Spiritual property
Universe Cosmere
This page or section contains spoilers for Yumi and the Nightmare Painter!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Rhythm of War and Yumi and the Nightmare Painter!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

Connection is a Spiritual attribute that represents spiritual connections and relationships between different entities -- living being, locations, items and so on. Like other Spiritual attributes in the cosmere, Connection is quantifiable and can affect or be affected by different Invested Arts.

The Nature of Connection[edit]

Connection uses Spiritwebs, and connects them in the Spiritual Realm. Connection is thought to be part of the Spiritual aspect of a being. Additionally, it is possible to alter Connection through artificial means,[1] though the particulars of how this is accomplished are unknown. Connection can be inherited.[2] People are generally Connected to certain locations, and can be Connected to more than one place at a time.[3] Cognitive Shadows, and in certain instances Shards, can get tied to an area or planet in the cosmere due to their Connection to the location.[4]

When made visual in the Physical Realm, Connection appears as glowing cords of light connecting things together in a complex web.[5][6]

Uses of Connection[edit]

Accessing Investiture[edit]

Many methods of accessing Investiture 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.


Connection can be used in many ways to allow the user to speak the language of another person they are Connecting with.[7][8][9] This can be done without the user learning any of the language beforehand. The ability has flaws though, as it will fill in local idioms and phrases on its own, but if the user is careless and focuses on a specific word or phrase the ability may fail and they will say the word verbatim in their own tongue[10] or it may be said in an odd way.[11] This includes slip-ups that confuse others,[12] such as saying coin[13] or bunny[14] on Roshar. Blanking Identity and tapping Connection can cause someone to gain an accent for a particular area.[15]

Feruchemical Duralumin: In Feruchemy, Connection is stored in duralumin.[16] Using this, a Feruchemist can communicate with others on foreign lands.[7] Connection can also be used by anyone by wearing unsealed metalminds.[17] These medallions are worn by a person who is in a land that is not their own, and they are then able to speak the language of the place they are in. A person wearing their medallion in their own land will still speak their own language, not the language of the person they are communicating with. Occasionally, words do not translate fully.

Spiritual Adhesion: Using the Surge of Adhesion to manipulate spiritual, rather than purely physical forces, a Bondsmith can touch another person and forge a spiritual connection between them. This allows the Bondsmith to temporarily speak whatever languages this other person can speak.[8]

Regal Forms of Power: By staying out in the Everstorm, singers are capable of bonding with a Voidspren, which has the effect of changing their form, which alters their physical appearance and mental capabilities.[18] One Regal form of power is envoyform, which allows the user to have Connection to other cultures and allows the user to speak and read their languages.[18][19]

Ones Above: The Ones Above have a handheld device that is a language translator and can even translate written words.[20]

Nalthian Technology: Fort uses a computer tablet from Nalthis that is said to use Awakened predictive Connection circuits. While Fort uses the tablet to communicate with people who read and write the same language as him, the individual he received the tablet from used it to translate between languages.[21]

Hoid: Hoid has access to some manifestation of Investiture that allows him to manipulate the Spiritual attribute of Connection. The full extent of this ability is unknown, but its primary known use is to help Hoid speak the various languages of the worlds of the cosmere that he visits. The ability allows him to Connect to whatever land he is in, temporarily altering his Spiritual aspect to believe that he was raised in that place, allowing him to speak as a native.[10]


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.[22] Bonds are typically formed between entities with greater-than-normal Investiture and other entities, allowing them to gain enhancements. Forming a bond utilizes Connection and Identity in some manner. Lessening those attributes, such as by storing them in a metalmind, would affect the bond.[23]

  • The Nahel Bond: The Nahel bond is formed between sapient beings and certain types of intelligent Spren. It gives access to 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 among the ten.
    • Lesser Spren Bonds: Non-intelligent spren can theoretically form symbiotic bonds with people.[24]
    • 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, Ryshadium, and skyeels.
  • The Luhel Bond: The Luhel bond is typically formed between sapient beings and aethers. It gives access to aether manipulation abilities in exchange for the sophont giving up water. This bond can be either symbiotic or parasitic depending on the context, and varies in duration and nature.[25]
  • Singer Bond: The singers can bond with a spren. Doing so grants the singer a form with 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).
  • Yelig-narYelig-nar is able to bond with a human or singer and gives his host command of the Surges.[26][27] Hessi believes this bond grants the host the use of all ten Surges,[27] though given the Voidbringers' view of the Surge of Adhesion,[28] Yelig-Nar may only grant the other nine. The people he bonds with appear to remain fully in control of themselves,[29] but they must control Yelig-nar if they do not wish to be consumed by him.[26]
  • NergaoulNergaoul is able to bond with humans who embrace the Thrill.[30] This imbues them with bloodlust and the urge to fight above all else.[31] With the help of Odium, he is able to fully control large groups of people through the bond.[32]
  • Seons: A seon can create bonds with humans, including 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. 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 an Elantrian lost its mind and would float around the city, often near their master.[33] This bond is similar to the Nahel bond[34] and would grant some sort of ability if manifested on Roshar.[35]
  • Aviar: Aviars create a bond with a person and grant a specific power based on 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.[20]
    • Other Worm-Infected Animals: Other birds besides native island Aviar are able to eat the worms and create a bond with a new effect.[20]
  • Sentient Awakened Entities in an Inorganic Host: Also known as Type IV BioChromatic Entities. The only known entities of this kind are Nightblood and Vivenna's Blade, though much less is known about the latter. Nightblood is a sentient sword made using one thousand Breaths and the command destroy evil. Nightblood will bond with anyone they wish to communicate with, and is able to read and speak with minds directly.[35] Distance appears to be a factor, but this may be a limitation of the mind of Nightblood and not their 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.[36] Those unable to control Nightblood become controlled themselves, leading to them using Nightblood to kill everyone around them and allowing Nightblood to absorb all Investiture from the victims including the spark of life (i.e. the soul).[37][38] This bond may grant additional powers on Roshar.[39]
  • Shardblades: 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 irises will lighten during the bonding process.
  • Honorblades: Honorblades grant Surgebinding abilities to humans who touch them, but require dangerous levels of Stormlight.[40]
  • Shardplate: There is some manner of bond between Shardplate and its wearer that will disappear when the wearer dies, causing the the Plate to fall off of their body.[41][42]

Other Uses[edit]

  • Lightweaving: In order to Lightweave properly, a strong spiritual component requiring a certain measure of Connection and a full mental picture of the desired illusion is necessary.[43]
  • Allomantic Malatium: Flaring malatium allows an Allomancer to see not just a malatium shadow of a person, but seems to give them a glimpse into the Spiritual Realm, allowing them to see a vision of a past event in another person's life by seeing their Connection and their past. Given the only circumstance in which this effect is seen, it may be a result of flaring malatium at the moment of death and transition to the Cognitive Realm, rather than a result of simply flaring the metal in and of itself.[44]
  • Allomantic Lerasium: For normal people, burning lerasium forges a permanent Connection between them and Preservation, turning them into a very powerful Mistborn by rewriting their spiritual DNA.[45] For people who are already Mistborn, the same effect increases their power.[46]
  • Selish Magic: All magic on Sel (including AonDor, Dakhor, ChayShan, Forgery, and Bloodsealing) requires a Connection to certain lands to function properly. The magics will decrease in power the farther from the land the user is,[47] and will not normally work outside of Sel.[48][49]
  • Ba-Ado-Mishram: Ba-Ado-Mishram is able to Connect with the vast majority of singers on Roshar and is able to grant them forms of power. This made them into Regals. She also provided them with Voidlight.[50]
  • Singers: Singers are able to speak to rhythms.[51] Rhythms represent a certain state of mind, the feelings of the singer using it. The rhythms Connect the singers,[52] and there is Connection between them and the songs of Roshar.[53]
  • Realms: Connection can be used to exist in different realms.[54]
  • Bondsmith powers: After the death of Honor, Bondsmiths can use their powers to affect Connection more directly. These expanded powers allow a skilled Bondsmith to see the Connections a person has when touching them.[5]
  • Tracking : Certain entities are able to follow Connection in order to find people, such as the Messengers in the Cognitive Realm.[55]
  • Body Swap : Manipulation Connection in certain ways can allow one to swap souls between bodies. How this would be done intentionally is unknown, but it can be done on accident when creating a Connection between two people.[56]

Manipulating Connection[edit]

  • Feruchemical Duralumin: In Feruchemy, Connection is stored in duralumin.[16] Storing Connection lessens others' trust in and awareness of the Feruchemist, while tapping Connection allows the Feruchemist to form trusting relationships quickly.[16] Tapping the metalmind will allow the Feruchemist to form stronger Connections, possibly depending on what Connections were stored. It can allow Feruchemists to form trust relationships with others much faster, for example. Duralumin Feruchemy can also change one's Spiritual Connection to a planet, which can help worldhoppers with magic systems. If a Feruchemist were able to compound duralumin, they would be able to use duralumin to have a nearly infinite supply of Spiritual Connection.
  • Hemalurgic Duralumin: In Hemalurgy, Connection can be stolen by a duralumin spike.[57]
  • Singers: If a singers Connection and Identity is stolen, they will change into slaveform.[58][59]
  • The Ire's orb: The Ire's orb is an arcane device that can magically grant Connection. The members of the Ire intended to use it to allow one of their members to ascend as a Vessel of a Shard of Adonalsium.[1][60]
  • Aons: There is an Aon for Connection, but its use is unknown.[61]
  • Fabrials: Fabrials can be used to alter Connection, though how is currently unknown.[62]
  • Bondsmith powers: After the death of Honor Bondsmiths can use their powers to affect Connection more directly. These expanded powers allow a skilled Bondsmith to bind Surgebinders to the ground causing their Stormlight to be drained, or steal a Nahel bond.[63]

Through an unknown manner, one can directly interact with and manipulate Connection. They can directly stretch it and check for issues in the Connection. Stretching it too far can risk degradation to the Connection.[6] How exactly distance functions in relation to Connection, given the lack of such concepts in the Spiritual Realm, is unknown.

Connection with Shards[edit]

The closer the Connection between a human and a Shard, the more powerful the human becomes. How a person becomes Connected to a Shard varies between planets. 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 will depend on a person's location and their Connection to the land, and on Roshar it has to do with a person's actions and how they live their life.[64]

Since Shards are Connected to their magic, a Shard is able to directly interact with its users and provide the needed Investiture directly when needed.[65]


Connection has an influence on who can or cannot Ascend as the holder of a certain Shard,[66] and Connection to a Shard is required to Ascend. Improper Connection decreases the vessel's ability to control the powers and weakens the vessel's power.[66] Connection to an opposing Shard makes it more difficult to maintain Ascension. Proper Ascension can happen either forged artificially or driven by a natural inclination towards the Shard's intent.[1]


  1. a b c Mistborn: Secret History part 5 chapter 2#
  2. Skyward Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
  3. Calamity Denver signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-19#
  4. OdysseyCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-08#
  5. a b Rhythm of War chapter 47#
  6. a b Yumi and the Nightmare Painter chapter 22#
  7. a b The Bands of Mourning chapter 22#
  8. a b Oathbringer chapter 65#
  9. The Lost Metal chapter 39#
  10. a b Stormlight Three Update #4
    Arcanum - 2016-09-10#
  11. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-20#
  12. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  13. Words of Radiance epilogue#
  14. Words of Radiance chapter 59#
  15. Arcanum Unbounded signing Fort Collins
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  16. a b c The Alloy of Law Ars Arcanum#
  17. General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-01-26#
  18. a b Oathbringer interlude I-6#
  19. Rhythm of War chapter 11#
  20. a b c Sixth of the Dusk#
  21. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 15#
  22. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-19#
  23. Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2018-03-10#
  24. Fantasy Faction interview
    Arcanum - 2014-04-24#
  25. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 31#
  26. a b Oathbringer chapter 118#
  27. a b Oathbringer chapter 95 epigraph#
  28. Rhythm of War chapter 31#
  29. Oathbringer chapter 120#
  30. Oathbringer chapter 115#
  31. The Way of Kings chapter 28#
  32. Oathbringer chapter 116#
  33. Elantris chapter 4#
  34. Steelheart Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2013-10-01#
  35. a b Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-20#
  36. Warbreaker Annotations
    Arcanum - 2011-06-22#
  37. Oathbringer chapter 90#
  38. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  39. Words of Radiance signing San Fansisco
    Arcanum - 2014-03-06#
  40. Words of Radiance San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-04#
  41. Firefight San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-17#
  42. The Way of Kings chapter 47#
  43. Words of Radiance Ars Arcanum#
  44. Mistborn: Secret History part 1 chapter 1#
  45. 17th Shard Interview
    Arcanum - 2010-10-03#
  46. Firefight Seattle UBooks signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-06#
  47. Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  48. Arcanum Unbounded signing Chicago
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  49. Shadows of Self signing Chicago
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  50. Oathbringer chapter 80 epigraph#
  51. Words of Radiance interlude I-4#
  52. Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2012-09-22#
  53. Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  54. Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 6#
  55. The Lost Metal epilogue 6#
  56. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter chapter 40#
  57. Hemalurgy Table
  58. The Way of Kings chapter 72#
  59. Oathbringer chapter 17#
  60. The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson
    Arcanum - 2018-10-25#
  61. The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson
    Arcanum - 2018-10-25#
  62. Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-03#
  63. Rhythm of War chapter 111#
  64. Amsterdam signing, 2011
    Arcanum - 2011-05-31#
  65. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  66. a b Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 4#
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