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Shattering by Connor Chamberlain.jpg
World Yolen
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Dragonsteel
This page or section contains spoilers for The Sunlit Man!
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 Dawnshard, Rhythm of War, and Tress of the Emerald Sea!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

Sixteen people, together, killed Adonalsium, ripping it apart and dividing its essence between them, becoming the first who Ascended.

Khriss on the Shattering[1]

The Shattering of Adonalsium (or simply, the Shattering) was a pivotal moment in the history of the cosmere when Adonalsium was killed using the Dawnshards.[1][2] Prior to this, there were no Shards, which have been the dominant influence in the cosmere we've seen so far. It takes place roughly ten thousand years before the rebellion against the Cinder King on Canticle.[3]

Prior to the Shattering[edit]

It is not clear how different the cosmere was prior to the Shattering, but the Shattering did have an effect on the magic.[4] An example is the highstorms,[5] natural phenomena that are central to the life cycle of many of the native inhabitants of Roshar; the highstorms were later infused with the power of Honor.

Participants and Aftereffects[edit]

Shard Vessel
Odium Rayse
Honor Tanavast
Cultivation Koravellium Avast
Ruin Ati
Preservation Leras
Devotion Aona
Dominion Skai
Endowment Edgli
Autonomy Bavadin
Ambition Uli Da
Invention Unknown
Mercy Unknown
Valor Unknown
Whimsy Unknown
Virtuosity Unknown
Survival Shard Unknown
None Hoid

The people who killed Adonalsium all had different motivations, including a desire for power and a belief in the necessity of the action.[1] Hoid was there at the Shattering and was offered a Shard, but he refused.[6][7] Hoid participated in the plan to kill Adonalsium.[8]

All of the Investiture in the cosmere was divided between and became associated with a Shard,[9] with some exceptions like the Aethers and the Dawnshards.[10][2][11] All of the sixteen Shards were created at once, and they all started with the same amount of Investiture.[12][13][14]

It was not random which Vessel got which Shard;[15] some chose Shards that they were particularly Connected with, while others chose Shards that they believed they could control well.[16] The Shattering happened on Yolen.[17] It is possible for Adonalsium to have Shattered into different Shards than the Shards currently in existence.[18]

Following the Shattering, the Vessels spread across the Cosmere, Investing into various planets, with Ruin and Preservation themselves creating the planet of Scadrial.[19]

Various Shards fought amongst themselves for various reasons, leading to the death of Vessels and Splintering of the Shards. In particularly, this applies to Devotion, Dominion, Honor, and Ambition.[12][20][21][22] All of these Splinterings had strong and lasting effects upon the planets they were Invested within, and are also largely the result of Odium having gone to kill every Shard he could.[12][21][23][24][25] Ruin and Preservation were also later fused into one Vessel after the death of their previous holders, creating the hybrid Shard, Harmony.[26]


  1. a b c Mistborn: Secret History part 3 chapter 2#
  2. a b Dawnshard chapter 19#
  3. The Sunlit Man chapter 11#
  4. Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  5. Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  6. Rhythm of War chapter 99#
  7. Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  8. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 39#
  9. Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  10. The Lost Metal chapter 42#
  11. YouTube Spoiler Stream 5
    Arcanum - 2022-12-02#
  12. a b c The Lost Metal chapter 20#
  13. Firefight Seattle UBooks signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-06#
  14. Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
  15. Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A
    Arcanum - 2011-11-05#
  16. YouTube Spoiler Stream 5
    Arcanum - 2022-12-02#
  17. Skyward San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-07#
  18. Words of Radiance Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
  19. Arcanum Unbounded - The Scadrian System#
  20. The Way of Kings chapter 75#
  21. a b Arcanum Unbounded - The Selish System#
  22. Arcanum Unbounded - The Threnodite System#
  23. Rhythm of War chapter 27 epigraph#
  24. General Reddit 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-01-01#
  25. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-19#
  26. The Hero of Ages chapter 82#
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