A Pathfinder is a long wand-like device that is the main mode of transportation for the elves. Pathfinders usually have a colored crystal atop a long, thin stick, allowing light to pass through the facets and create a beam on the ground. Simply stepping into the beam will whisk one away to their chosen location. The light pulls your cells apart and reforms them at your destination. Depending on the light source, color and facets of the crystal, a pathfinder can be made to reach a variety of places. Using a pathfinder is called light leaping. In Book 1: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Fitz explained it to Sophie as "We hitched a ride on a beam of light heading straight here." Sophie tries to explain the human theory "e=mc2" to Fitz, but he laughs and says that whoever came up with that is stupid. In Nightfall, we learn that light leaping with a human is very dangerous, especially if they are not calm. Elves are only allowed to have a pathfinder until they reach a certain point on their nexus. Their nexus tracks their concentration. If the elf doesn't concentrate, their cells could be pulled into the light, rendering them unable to reform. Opalescence on a normally clear crystal, Mr. Forkle explains, is an added security measure.
As previously mentioned, different colors of crystals can lead to different places. The different colored crystals will lead to:
- Clear - Elvin Cities
- Cobalt Blue - Forbidden Cities
- Yellow - Neutral Territories
- Green - Ogre Cities
- Pale Pinkish Purple - Black Swan's Hideouts
- Red - Unknown