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A focus is a specific magic-related term in the Cosmere, it is the method by which Investiture can be formed into magical effects. Magic systems and magical engineering use these focuses to filter Investiture into a magical effect.[1] The focus is determined by the interaction of the Shardworld and a Shard but the World is the key factor and all magics will use the focus in some way, how it is used is determined by the interaction of the Shards.

Magic Systems and Their Focus[edit]

Sel Magics[edit]

Shape Based

AonDor uses patterns connected to the geography of Arelon that, when drawn by an Elantrian, allow Investiture to affect the Physical Realm.
Forgery uses stamps with detailed instructions to alter something's history. The map of MaiPon is drawn on all the stamps.
Bloodsealing uses stamps inked with fresh blood with detailed instructions. Little is known of this form of magic, but it is believed to be an offshoot of Forgery
ChayShan is a martial art that allows the use of Investiture through patterns created by movements of the body.
Dakhor uses chanting and blood sacrifice. The bones in the body twist into new shapes. These shapes determine what effect or ability is granted.

Scadrial Magics[edit]

Metal Based

Allomancy uses metal by taking it into the body where it is used as a filter to determine what effect is created.[2]
Feruchemy uses metal to determine what attributes can be stored in it.
Hemalurgy uses metal to steal and implant attributes, both magical and non magical, from one person to the next via metal spikes. The shape of the spike is irrelevant The type of metal determines what can be stolen. The location on the body is important when implanting a Hemalurgic spike. Flowing blood is required.[3]

Nalthis Magics[edit]

Command based

Awakening uses Breath and color drawn from non-living material as fuel while commands determine what effect is created. Commands are used to animate objects, pitch and tone is important in this process as is the mental picture in the Awakener's mind.[4]

Roshar Magics[edit]

Gemstone based

Surgebinding is granted by the Nahel Bond between spren and humans. The type of spren determines what Surges are available to be used. For example, a bond with an honorspren, like Syl, grants the surges of Gravitation and Adhesion.
Soulcasting uses gems infused with Stormlight. The type of gem (one gem per essence) determines what a substance can be transformed into.

Magic Sciences and Their Focus[edit]

Magic Sciences use Investiture without direct alteration of the Spiritweb

Roshar Sciences[edit]

Fabrials are a magical Science System that uses an infused Gems color, captured Spren, and mechanical configuration to create an effect.

Scadrial Sciences[edit]

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Be aware that in its current state, it does not include this additional content yet.
Nothing is known of Scadrial Sciences; Brandon Sanderson has mentioned that they exist in the southern hemisphere.

Magic without direct shard influence[edit]

Worlds without a Shard often have no active magic that the people living on them can directly use.

Aviar eat a worm that grants unique powers to each Species of animal, Birds bond with humans and share these powers.
Shades are the ghosts of the dead and are harmed by silver.


  1. Brandon on how the magic works.
    Theoryland - Nov 16th, 2011
  2. Why are specific focuses chosen for specific Shards?
    Theoryland - May 2010
  3. Relation between blood and the Spiritual Realm
    Theoryland - September 2012
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    Theoryland - {{{date}}}
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