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A Rejoining is an aetheric phenomenon that occurs when The Source violently re-absorbs the aether of one of its' thirteen Reflection worlds, the process of which completely destroys the Reflection, and triggers an Umbral Calamity on The Source.[1]

For a Rejoining to occur, two very specific conditions must be met simultaneously.

Condition 1: "Abnormal Ascendancy"

The Source and its Reflections maintain an invisible connection to each other,[2] in spite of being physically separated by the rift between worlds, and all of these worlds have their own "aetheric balance" composed of the same elements.[3] In one of the Reflections, if a singular element becomes much more prevalent than the others (or as the Crystal Exarch describes it, "attains abnormal ascendancy"),[4] the "excess" aether[5] will start being pulled across the rift towards The Source. The arrival of this aether on The Source will influence the aetheric balance there, causing disruptions and disasters matching the elemental flavor of the incoming aether.[6][7]

Condition 2: A "Crack" in the Barrier

Once a Reflection meets the first condition described above, the supposed "barrier" that separates that Reflection from The Source begins to thin, and eventually vulnerable to breakage. When an event[8] occurs that is big enough to "crack" the barrier between worlds, a Rejoining is finally triggered. This causes the remaining aether composing the imbalanced Reflection to pour into the source all at once (like a Flood caused by the breaking of a dam) supercharging the event's effects on The Source with the element of the incoming aether, resulting in the cataclysmic effects typical to an Umbral Calamity.[9]

Additional Information

  • It is unclear if the "Crack" in the barrier has to occur from an event on The Source, or if it could be caused by an event on the imbalanced Reflection.
  • The Thirteenth meets all the conditions of Condition 1, made evident by the existence of Void Gates.
    • Why the Thirteenth has not had its own Rejoining is unclear; if it really was the first world that the Ascians threw into elemental imbalance, it has been in this state during all of the prior known Umbral Calamities, and yet was unaffected (as far as we yet know).


  1. Cutscene dialogue from Main Scenario (Shadowbringers) quest "The Lightwardens",
    CRYSTAL EXARCH: "In the ancient past, a single star was divided into fourteen worlds." ... "This is the Source--your home. These others are the thirteen shards, in whose number we find the First."
  2. Cutscene dialogue from Main Scenario (Shadowbringers) quest "The Lightwardens",
    CRYSTAL EXARCH: "Though physically separate, they retain a connection to each other, and with the Source especially."
  3. i.e. Wind, Lightning, Fire, Earth, Water, Ice, Light/Astral, and Darkness/Umbral aethers
  4. Cutscene dialogue from Main Scenario (Shadowbringers) quest "The Lightwardens",
    CRYSTAL EXARCH: "Now, let us assume that a given element in one of these shards attains abnormal ascendancy."
  5. Presumably, aether of the abundant element, but this is not made entirely clear
  6. Cutscene dialogue from Main Scenario (Shadowbringers) quest "The Lightwardens",
    CRYSTAL EXARCH: "If the element in question were fire, then drought and wildfires might ensue. If it were ice, one might expect the weather to turn bitterly cold."
  7. This is presumed to be why The Source began experiencing "aetherial stagnation" in the days after The Flood of Light, because The First was inundated with Light-aspected aether, which is the element of passivity.
  8. presumably, some kind of natural disaster, like a storm or an earthquake
  9. Cutscene dialogue from Main Scenario (Shadowbringers) quest "The Lightwardens",
    CRYSTAL EXARCH: "At the same time, the element which held sway in the shard is unleashed in full, its energies amplifying the original disaster to truly catastrophic proportions. An earthquake thus magnified might strike with enough force to shatter continents; a tidal wave might swell to a size capable of drowning entire nations. These devastating events are what we refer to as "Umbral Calamities."