From The Coppermind
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Coppermind has spoilers for all of Brandon's published works, now including Yumi and the Nightmare Painter and The Sunlit Man (Secret Projects Three and Four). Information about books that have not yet been released, like 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!

Related to father machine
Type Invested miasma of consumed souls
World Komashi
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Yumi and the Nightmare Painter
This page or section contains spoilers for Yumi and the Nightmare Painter!
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.

The shroud is a black miasma of unbound Investiture that covers the planet of Komashi[1] and is the source of the nightmares there. It consists of the waste created from the souls of the people of Torio after they were consumed by the father machine.[2]

Characteristics and Attributes[edit]

The shroud is described as a seemingly endless, inky black darkness.[3] The surface has an appearance somewhat like black ink or tar, though it doesn't reflect any light. The surface appears to churn slowly. When a nightmare exits the shroud, the surface at the point of transition ripples for a time afterwards, showing it was disrupted.[4] The movement of the shroud's surface is more something that one senses rather than something they can see.[5] The shroud is not perfectly uniform--a spaceship launch from Nagadan was once postponed because the shroud was too thick at the time.[1]

Despite this usual appearance, the shroud can be made to take other forms. The machine is able to force the shroud to take the appearance of Torish villages, along with the surrounding countryside, which is what it uses to imprison the yoki-hijo.[2] It is also able to make the shroud create a solid wall around the boundary of these prisons.[6] On one occasion, Yumi sees the form of a fellow yoki-hijo in the shroud, though the precise cause is unclear.[5] In a sense, the nightmares themselves are a fragment of the shroud given form.[2]

Some other forms of Investiture repel the shroud. Most notably hion lines keep the shroud at bay. Cities built around networks of hion are able to exist within a bubble--the shroud itself forming a dome around the settlement.[3][7] Yumi is also able to push the shroud back by stacking stones, though the shroud is able to resist this to some extent.[5] Nikaro is unable to accomplish this because he is not a yoki-hijo.[8] Nightblood would feed on the shroud.[9]

The shroud generally blocks all light from passing through, obscuring a view of celestial bodies from the surface of the planet. The only exception to this is the light of UTol, which shines through the shroud for unknown reasons.[10] Yumi is also able to see her Connection to the other yoki-hijo through it.[11] An Allomancer burning tin would be able to see through it clearly.[12][11]


When the father machine was activated, it initially utilized the souls of the people of Torio as an energy source. The "waste" of this process--the unused portions of the peoples' souls--was expelled into the air, and it rained down to blanket the entire planet.[1][2] This blocked out light to the planet's surface, forcing plant and animal life to adapt to a reliance on hion for energy.[2] Limited fragments remain to document what happened at this point in the history of Komashi.[7] In these early days, nightmares were not as common, though developed hion lines were also not to be found .[13]

The machine was, to some extent, maintaining the presence of the shroud. When Yumi destroyed the machine, this caused the shroud to permanently evaporate.[2][11]


This page is probably complete!
This page contains most of the knowledge we have on the subject at this time.
It has yet to be reviewed.