|Featured In||Mistborn Era 1|
The specific nature of the orb's power is unclear. It was technically created using a known magic system, although its particular manifestation of the magic has not been seen before. It may have involved "distilling" Investiture in some way. Kelsier notes that the liquid inside the orb bears some similarities to a glowing liquid that the Ire drink, although it is much brighter. Hoid also applies a similar liquid made of Investiture to his oar while traveling through the Cognitive Realm. The Ire are ancient and highly cosmere-aware, but they may not have been fully prepared for the effects of the orb.
A book discovered by Kelsier in the Ire's fortress in the Cognitive Realm was full of notes and sketches regarding the cosmere and Realmatic Theory, including a description of an orb that would contain the power to Connect someone to the Shard Preservation and allow them to take up its power. The Ire was made up of ancient Elantrians and they were known to have other unusual arcane devices, so it is likely that they somehow created the orb. Alonoe and Elrao implied that the Ire had been working on their strategy to take over Preservation's power for quite some time, although they did consider other uses for the orb before settling on their plan. The orb was critical to their scheme and they were actively monitoring the failing health of Preservation's Vessel, Leras, because his death would be their window to act. The Ire were concerned about Ruin sensing the orb, but one of their members placed wards on the orb that she believed to be completely effective.
With the Ire
Kelsier, as a Cognitive Shadow, discovered the Ire's fortress in the Cognitive Realm and overheard their plans to take the power of a Shard. He snooped around the fortress and found the notebook with details on the orb. He knew from previous conversations with Leras that Connection must exist to Ascend as a Shard, and realized that the Ire planned to use the orb to artificially create the necessary Connection. Partly due to his friendship with Leras, he vowed to steal it.
Kelsier realized that the orb was too difficult to steal directly from the fortress, so he waited about a week until an expedition of the Ire and some guards left on their mission to take control of Preservation. Four of the Ire members carried decoy glass orbs, while Alonoe carried the real one. Kelsier stole one decoy orb and confirmed that the authentic one was in Alonoe's pack. He pretended to be Ruin and caused chaos and confusion in the group, eventually isolating Alonoe and forcing her to give up the orb.
Used by Kelsier
Kelsier traveled as quickly as he could to find Preservation, hoping that the orb would be able to save Leras. He eventually found a way to talk to Leras and revealed the orb; Leras seemed to recognize its power, but told Kelsier that it could not help him. As Kelsier tried to communicate with Vin in Fadrex City, Ruin appeared; he could not sense the orb and wondered why he did not sense Kelsier sooner. Kelsier realized that the Ire's wards on the orb were effective and were able to hide him temporarily. Kelsier continued to try and reach out to Vin but Ruin interfered. Kelsier asked Leras about the orb again, and Leras told him that he was "already dead" and couldn't be healed, and also implied that the orb would not work correctly with Vin while she still had a Hemalurgic spike.
As Leras died, Kelsier decided to use the orb himself despite Leras's warnings that the power belonged to Vin. He smashed it open using a knife that he was previously given by Nazh, and the liquid sprayed over his body. He immediately saw glowing threads connecting him to everything that he could perceive. Using the threads and the magic of the orb, he was able to somehow instinctively draw in Preservation's power, Ascending to become a Shard. Although he quickly realized that he could not overpower Ruin, Kelsier did use the orb in the way that the Ire intended, and was later able to give the power to Vin.
- Mistborn: Secret History part 5 chapter 2 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_5_Chapter_2#
- The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson
— Arcanum - 2018-10-25#
- Mistborn: Secret History part 5 chapter 3 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_5_Chapter_3#
- Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 1 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_6_Chapter_1#
- White Sand vol.1 Orem signing
— Arcanum - 2016-06-29#
- Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
- JordanCon 2018
— Arcanum - 2018-04-20#
- JordanCon 2016
— Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
- Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
- Mistborn: Secret History part 2 chapter 1 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_2_Chapter_1#
- White Sand vol.1 release party
— Arcanum - 2016-06-28#
- Skyward signing Seattle
— Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
- Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 3 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_6_Chapter_3#
- Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 2 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_6_Chapter_2#
- Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 4 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_6_Chapter_4#
- Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 8 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_6_Chapter_8#
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|Era 1 books||Mistborn: The Final Empire · The Well of Ascension · The Hero of Ages · (Mistborn: Secret History · The Eleventh Metal)|
|Era 2 books||The Alloy of Law · Shadows of Self · The Bands of Mourning · The Lost Metal · (Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania)|
|Shards||Preservation · Ruin · Harmony|
|History||Classical Scadrial · Final Empire · Catacendre · Elendel · Southern Scadrian|
|Magic||Metallic Arts (Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy) · Metalborn · Mistborn · Misting · Savant · Ferring · Twinborn · Compounding · Atium · Lerasium · Ettmetal|
|Other Media||Mistborn Adventure Game · Mistborn: Birthright · Mistborn film · Mistborn: House War|
|Shards||Ambition · Autonomy · Cultivation · Devotion · Dominion · Endowment · Harmony · Honor · Odium · Preservation · Ruin · Survival Shard|
|Planets||Ashyn · Braize · First of the Sun · Nalthis · Obrodai · Roshar · Scadrial · Sel · Taldain · Threnody · Vax · Yolen|
|Terms||Adonalsium · Sliver · Splinter · Realmatic Theory · Investiture · Connection · Identity · Fortune · Intention · Perpendicularity · Spiritweb · Resonance|
|Worldhoppers||Hoid · Khriss · Nazh · Iyatil · Mraize · Vasher · Vivenna · Galladon · Demoux · Baon · Felt · Nightblood|
|Other||Seventeenth Shard · Ire · Shattering · Letters · Silverlight|