”Sixteen people, together, killed Adonalsium, ripping it apart and dividing its essence between them, becoming the first who Ascended.
The Shattering of Adonalsium (or simply, the Shattering) was a pivotal moment in the history of the cosmere when Adonalsium was killed. Prior to this, there were no Shards, which have been the dominant influence in the cosmere we've seen so far. Brandon has stated that he currently imagines it to be about 6,000 years before the Stormlight Archive Prelude, or 11,000 years before The Way of Kings, but he might change his mind in the future.
Prior to the Shattering
It is not clear how different the cosmere was prior to the Shattering, but the Shattering did have an effect on the magic. An example is the highstorms, 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.
The sixteen people who killed Adonalsium all had different motivations, including a desire for power and a belief in the necessity of the action. Hoid was there at the Shattering and was offered a Shard, but he refused. All of the sixteen Shards were created at once, and they all started with the same amount of Investiture. All of the Investiture in the cosmere was divided between and became associated with a Shard. It was not random which Vessel got which Shard. It is possible for Adonalsium to have Shattered into different Shards than the Shards currently in existence.
- Mistborn: Secret History part 3 chapter 2 Summary: Mistborn: Secret History/Part_3_Chapter_2#
- Idaho Falls signing 2014
— Arcanum - 2014-11-29#
- Oathbringer Houston signing
— Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
- Oathbringer San Francisco signing
— Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
- Leipzig Book Fair
— Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
- Firefight Seattle UBooks signing
— Arcanum - 2015-01-06#
- Shadows of Self London UK signing
— Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
- Oathbringer London signing
— Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
- Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A
— Arcanum - 2011-11-05#
- Words of Radiance Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
|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|