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The Coppermind has spoilers for all of Brandon's published works, now including The Lost Metal and Tress of the Emerald Sea (Secret Project 1). 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!

Unity by Marie Seeberger.jpg
Related to Realmatic Theory, Shards, Investiture
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Elantris, Mistborn, The Stormlight Archive, Sixth of the Dusk
This page or section contains spoilers for The Lost Metal!
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 The Lost Metal!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

At these points, Physical matter, Cognitive thought, and Spiritual essence become one--and a being can slide between Realms.

—From Khriss's essay on the Drominad system[1]

A perpendicularity is a junction between the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual Realms. They are used by worldhoppers such as Hoid to go from planet to planet. They are formed through the concentration of Investiture. Because of this, they are most commonly found at places where a Shard's power is focused, often in the form of a pool of liquid. A Shard can control where their perpendicularity manifests.[2]


Perpendicularities are formed at locations with a large concentration of Investiture. The concentration of Investiture brings the three realms closer together and allows travel between them.[1] The proximity of the realms also makes Soulcasting easier.[3] They occur naturally when a Shard spends lots of time on a world.[4] Generally, leaving a planet would cause the Shard's perpendicularity to disappear. As a result, their presence is often used to indicate the presence of a Shard. Special circumstances, however, can prevent the perpendicularity from disappearing, and there is at least one Shard that fits these circumstances.[5][6] Aluminum can be used to take liquid from a perpendicularity, and it will stay Invested.[7] They can be used to see into the Spiritual Realm.[8] Nightblood is able to collapse a perpendicularity.[9] Some perpendicularities are more Invested than others.[10] The enormous concentration of Investiture in a perpendicularity makes it possible to become a Cognitive Shadow by entering one.[11]

Autonomy is capable of creating perpendicularities unexpectedly across multiple planets in a way that goes against the laws of Realmatic Theory as it is currently understood by arcanists.[12] It requires specific conditions.[13]

Marasi is able to shut a perpendicularity of Autonomy before it fully opens by having dozens of Allomancers utilize the massive amount of Investiture coming from it. This indicates that in at least some circumstances, a perpendicularity's liquid Investiture may be unkeyed.

Known Perpendicularities[edit]

  • Ruin: the pool below the Pits of Hathsin was Ruin's perpendicularity; it was the main path used by inter-world traders before it was destroyed by Kelsier.[14]
  • Preservation: Preservation's perpendicularity was the Well of Ascension. It served as Ruin's prison, making it extremely dangerous.[14]
  • Harmony: Harmony has a perpendicularity somewhere in the south, it is known to be under careful watch by the Malwish.[12] An article in The House Record mentions a woman coming across a perfectly blue pool somewhere in the mountains in the Southern Roughs, and a sudden appearance of a strange figure by the pool. It's possible, though not confirmed, that this could be Harmony's perpendicularity.[15]
  • Autonomy: Autonomy briefly had a perpendicularity on in Bilming, that was since destroyed by Marasi Colms, Armal, and several other Allomancers.[12]
  • Threnody does not have a stable perpendicularity, but rather a number of unstable, unpredictable ones of a morbid origin.[17] They may possibly have something to do with the creation of Shades, although the fact that the Shard of Ambition has died near the system has far greater influence on their creation.[18] It is more of a circumstance than a location.[19]
First of the Sun
  • First of the Sun is notable for having a perpendicularity, presumably Patji's Eye, without a Shard in residence.[1] However, Patji is an avatar of Autonomy,[20] which is likely the cause of the perpendicularity.
  • Endowment: The location of Endowment's perpendicularity is unspecified. It is, however, located somewhere in the jungles of Hallandren. The Tears of Edgli owe their existence and their unusual properties as dye material to soaking up the Investiture flowing up from the perpendicularity.[26] There are enough cosmere-aware people on Nalthis for there to be customs at this perpendicularity,[27] and it is used for trade.[28]
  • There is something similar to a perpendicularity on Yolen, despite the lack of a Shard.[29]
General Cosmere
  • Autonomy: Autonomy has an ability to create and collapse perpendicularities in a way that goes against the understanding of Arcanists.[12][30] These have specific constraints and conditions in order to be produced.[13] Despite the specific conditions, she is known to have created perpendicularities across multiple worlds across the cosmere.[12]


  1. a b c Arcanum Unbounded - The Drominad System#
  2. Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-20#
  3. Oathbringer chapter 120#
  4. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-24#
  5. Arcanum Unbounded Fort Collins signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  6. Kraków signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-21#
  7. General Signed Books 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-02-22#
  8. Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-04#
  9. DragonCon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-08-29#
  10. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  11. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  12. a b c d e The Lost Metal chapter 50#
  13. a b The Lost Metal chapter 59#
  14. a b Mistborn: Secret History part 2 chapter 1#
  15. The House Record Broadsheet
  16. ICon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-10-17#
  17. Arcanum Unbounded - The Threnodite System#
  18. DragonCon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-08-29#
  19. FanX 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-09-16#
  20. /r/Cosmere
    Arcanum - 2018-03-18#
  21. a b Oathbringer chapter 93#
  22. Oathbringer chapter 102#
  23. Oathbringer chapter 119#
  24. Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  25. Words of Radiance epilogue#
  26. SpoCon 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-07-10#
  27. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-21#
  28. The Lost Metal chapter 39#
  29. JordanCon 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-07-16#
  30. Arcanum Unbounded - The Taldain System#
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