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{!{event |title=The Shattering of Adonalsium |related=Adonalsium, Shards |world=Yolen |universe=Cosmere |books=Dragonsteel (unpublished) }}

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 and its power split between sixteen Shards.[1] After the Shattering, the Shards became the dominant influence in the cosmere. The event likely occurred several thousand years before the primary events of The Stormlight Archive.[2][3][4]


It is not clear how different the cosmere was prior to the Shattering.

Adonalsium had some measure of interaction with mortals, given its place in their religion and mythology,[5][6] but perhaps the strongest

but the Shattering did have an effect on the magic.[7] An example is the highstorms[8], 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.

Shattering of Adonalsium

The sixteen 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.[9] All of the sixteen Shards were created at once, and they all started with the same amount of Investiture.[10][11] All of the Investiture in the cosmere was divided between and became associated with a Shard.[12] It was not random which Vessel got which Shard.[13] It is possible for Adonalsium to have Shattered into different Shards.[14]


Nothing is known about any interaction Adonalsium may have had with mortals, beyond his work as a creator. Sapient beings were apparently aware of Adonalsium's existence and power, at least, and some worshiped Adonalsium as a deity.[6] Despite this, or perhaps because of it, some individuals grew to oppose Adonalsium.[1] Their number included humans, dragons, and Sho Del,[15] and their motives were diverse; while some sought power for themselves, others simply believed that Adonalsium presented some manner of threat.[1] And so, this opposing force developed a mysterious weapon for use against Adonalsium.[16]

At least one plot to destroy Adonalsium failed, though the details of this remain an enigma.[17] It is possible that the weapon failed to accomplish the task it was designed for, and that the Shattering was forced by some other means. On the other hand, it may be that the weapon was developed as an alternative approach after some prior strategy failed. Though unlikely, given the thirst for power that motivated some conspirators,[1] it is even possible that the Shattering itself is the aforementioned failure--that the results of the Shattering, whether caused by the weapon or otherwise, were not intended.[18]

Shattering of Adonalsium

Main article: The Shattering of Adonalsium

A diverse group. With equally diverse motives. Some wished for the power; others saw killing Adonalsium as the only good option left to them. Together they murdered a deity, and became divine themselves.

—Khriss speaking of the Shattering

Adonalsium's opposition, or some subset of their number, eventually put their final plan into action on Yolen.[12] The group included Hoid[19] and, likely, Frost,[20] in addition to those who would become the original vessels of the sixteen Shards. Few details are known concerning what transpired at the Shattering. The Shattering occurred as a single event[10] at which Adonalsium was indeed killed,[21], and consequently its power was divided into sixteen equal portions.[11] This bears some measure of resemblance to the Splintering of Shards.[22] Investiture throughout the cosmere was affected as a result of the Shattering--becoming associated with particular Shards.[23]

Some evidence suggests that the participants influenced the quantity or nature of the Shards which were left behind,[24] but it may be that the result of the Shattering was not entirely expected.[18] It is clear that they did not fully have a plan as to how the power might be divided, as more than sixteen individuals were present and at least one of them, Hoid, refused the offer of a Shard.[25][9] At least some of the participants in the Shattering regret what occurred--particularly those who did not seize Shards.[26] This may be due to the direct consequences of the Shattering, to the subsequent actions taken by the Shards, or simply to guilt.[20]

The weapon intended to kill Adonalsium no longer exists in its current form[27] though remnants still exist in the Physical Realm and are the source of Hoid's immortality.[28]


The Shattering occurred long before other notable events in the cosmere.[2][4][3] In the centuries that followed, the Shards settled on other words and began using their new power to shape the cosmere in new ways. New magic systems were developed, and manifestations of Investiture which previously existed were changed in some small ways.[7][29] Adonalsium's name was eventually forgotten in much of the cosmere,[30][31] though worldhoppers remember at least some of its history[1] and Shalash appears to still revere it as divinity.[6]

Adonalsium... Have you ever heard the term, Dalinar?

—Hoid questioning Dalinar[30]

With access to future sight, Adonalsium may have actually anticipated the Shattering. While it apparently took no successful measures to prevent the attack, it may have laid certain plans in place which are still in effect.[32] It is also possible that a cognitive shadow of Adonalsium was left in its place following the Shattering.[33]

Scholars disagree as to whether Adonalsium could be reformed by reuniting the sixteen Shards of its power.[34] Though some theorize this may be possible, others argue that it would not restore that which was "killed".[35] Other evidence suggests that uniting all sixteen Shards would prove impossible, or that any being attempting to do so would be destroyed.[36] Regardless of the possibility, some additionally believe that this should not be attempted for one reason or another.[37]


  1. a b c d e f g Nacidos de la bruma: Historia Secreta parte 3 capítulo 2#
  2. a b Idaho Falls signing 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-11-29#
  3. a b Idaho Falls Signing
    Arcanum - 2015-11-28#
  4. a b Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  5. /r/fantasy AMA 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-05-30#
  6. a b c Juramentada capítulo 121#
  7. a b Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  8. Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  9. a b Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  10. a b Firefight Seattle UBooks signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-06#
  11. a b Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
  12. a b Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  13. Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A
    Arcanum - 2011-11-05#
  14. Words of Radiance Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
  15. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  16. Words of Radiance release party
    Arcanum - 2014-03-03#
  17. General Signed Books 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-01-07#
  18. a b Librarypalooza
    Arcanum - 2016-02-27#
  19. FanX 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-06#
  20. a b Palabras radiantes capítulo 66 Epígrafe#
  21. General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-02-01#
  22. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-08#
  23. /r/Cosmere
    Arcanum - 2018-03-18#
  24. New York Signing
    Arcanum - 2013-11-16#
  25. Juramentada capítulo 41 Epígrafe#
  26. Calamity Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-22#
  27. General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-02-25#
  28. Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-07-21#
  29. Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  30. a b El camino de los reyes capítulo 54#
  31. El Héroe de las Eras capítulo 39 Epígrafe#
  32. Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  33. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  34. Kraków signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-21#
  35. Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-01#
  36. Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
  37. Manchester signing
    Arcanum - 2014-08-06#

{!{partial}} {!{cosmere}} [![category: Events and Eras]]