|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 is 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 is made up of ancient Elantrians and they are known to have other unusual arcane devices, so it is likely that they somehow created the orb. Alonoe and Elrao imply that the Ire has been working on their plan 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 is critical to their scheme and they are actively monitoring the failing health of Preservation's Vessel, Leras, because his death will be their window to act. The Ire are concerned about Ruin sensing the orb, but one of their members places wards on the orb that she believes to be completely effective.
With the Ire
Kelsier, as a Cognitive Shadow, discovers the Ire's fortress in the Cognitive Realm and overhears their plans to take the power of a Shard. He snoops around the fortress and finds the notebook with details on the orb. He knows from previous conversations with Leras that Connection must exist to Ascend as a Shard, and realizes that the Ire plan to use the orb to artificially create the necessary Connection. Partly due to his friendship with Leras, he vows to steal it.
Kelsier realizes that the orb is too difficult to steal directly from the fortress, so he waits about a week until an expedition of the Ire and some guards leave on their mission to take control of Preservation. Four of the Ire members carry decoy glass orbs, while Alonoe carries the real one. Kelsier steals one decoy orb and confirms that the authentic one is in Alonoe's pack. He pretends to be Ruin and causes chaos and confusion in the group, eventually isolating Alonoe and forcing her to give up the orb.
Used by Kelsier
Kelsier travels as quickly as he can to find Preservation, hoping that the orb will be able to save Leras. He eventually finds a way to talk to Leras and reveals the orb; Leras seems to recognize its power, but tells Kelsier that it cannot help him. As Kelsier tries to communicate with Vin in Fadrex City, Ruin appears; he cannot sense the orb and wonders why he did not sense Kelsier sooner. Kelsier realizes that the Ire's wards on the orb are effective and were able to hide him temporarily. Kelsier continues to try and reach out to Vin but Ruin interferes. Kelsier asks Leras about the orb again, and Leras tells him that he is "already dead" and can't be healed, and also implies that the orb would not work correctly with Vin while she still has a Hemalurgic spike.
As Leras dies, Kelsier decides to use the orb himself despite Leras's warnings that the power belongs to Vin. He smashes it open using a knife that he was previously given by Nazh, and the liquid sprays over his body. He immediately sees glowing threads connecting him to everything that he can perceive. Using the threads and the magic of the orb, he is able to somehow instinctively draw in Preservation's power, Ascending to become a Shard. Although he quickly realizes that he cannot overpower Ruin, Kelsier did use the orb in the way that the Ire intended, and is 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 · 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|