A Splinter is a specific type of fragment of a Shard's power.
What are Splinters?
Brandon has not stated the complete definition of what a Splinter is. The most he has said is that it is a term used by certain people in the Cosmere for a power of Adonalsium which has no person holding it, which has attained self-awareness. In a way they are qualitative opposites of Slivers. Whereas Slivers are people who have been influenced by Shardic power, a Splinter is a thing that has never been human. One distinguishing factor of a Splinter is that they often have an intent, separate from their Shards'. Splinters are a blend of more the spiritual and cognitive and less the physical.
Examples of Splinters are Honorspren (Splinters of Honor), the Unmade (Splinters of Odium), the Divine Breath that Returned hold (Splinters of Endowment), and the Aons inside of seons (Splinters of Devotion).
No Splinters on Scadrial
It is not clear how Splinters are formed, though it appears a Shard must actively create one. Endowment seems to be able to form them at will for Returned. Odium traveled to Sel and Splintered Devotion and Dominion. Since Odium killed Tanavast, the holder of Honor, Honor was Splintered as well.
- Steelheart Seattle signing
— Arcanum - 2013-10-14#
- Vericon 2011
— Arcanum - 2011-03-19#
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— Arcanum - 2011-08-04#
- /r/fantasy AMA 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
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— Arcanum - 2015-03-12#
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— Arcanum - 2010-09-09#
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— Arcanum - 2013-02-16#
- The Letter
- The Way of Kings chapter 75 #
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— Arcanum - 2012-04-17#
|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|