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Warbreaker Annotations ()
#1 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher and Denth's Climax

I wanted to offer Denth the chance for redemption here, though there was no way he was going to let himself take it. His response is honest. He doesn't feel he deserves it. He has done terrible things; to wipe away the memory of them would be cheating. Better to just get it over with.

There's a very good chance that after killing Vasher, Denth would have walked over, picked up Nightblood, and let the sword drain his life away. He wouldn't have been able to live with the guilt.

But that doesn't happen. When I first designed this magic system, I added to it the idea that taking a lot of Breath shocks you and sends you into a small seizure of pleasure. This is lifted from the magic system in Mythwalker, the story from which I drew Siri and Vivenna. I added the component to Awakening not only because it fit, but because I liked giving one more little nod to Mythwalker.

However, the moment I began writing it, I knew that this twist of giving someone Breath, then killing them, would be an awesome way to pull a reversal with the magic. So I built into the story the entire arc of Vasher beating Arsteel mysteriously, and Denth wanting to duel him to prove that he couldn't win a duel.

Denth was right. Vasher cheated.

Holiday signing ()
#2 Share

Questioner

The nature of humans on different worlds, like people from Warbreaker have a Breath, people from Scadrial, do they have a Breath as well?

Brandon Sanderson

They do not.

Questioner

That's specific to the Endowment Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yup.

Questioner

I've read that Hoid does have a Breath. Was he born with a Breath or--

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid was not born on Taldain-- err Nalthis, on Nalthis. So no, he did not start with one. But the magic was much different when he started. He was before the Shattering of Adonalsium so things are weird regarding him.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#3 Share

Question (paraphrased)

A bonus piece of information - my poor friend that I dragged along with me (who had only read Warbreaker) asked about the specific naming of Bio-Chromatic Breath.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Sanderson confirmed as part of his response that at least some the Five Scholars had visited worlds who had gone through the Industrial Revolution (and therefore would have more of a sense of scientific theory, that the Scholars would have picked up on).

JordanCon 2016 ()
#4 Share

Questioner

Someone who has Breath Investiture, can they give Breath to somebody who doesn't, so like somebody from Scadrial, or--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Would the Scadrian be able to use it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You have seen people from off-planet who have Breath before.

Moderator

Or, indeed, perfect pitch?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhuh. *laughter* And are making use of it in a variety of ways.
Warbreaker Annotations ()
#6 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Siri Is Rescued

And here we have a big scene that a lot of readers have been waiting for. I apologize for making Siri need to be rescued like this, but I felt it was appropriate to the story. It's because of her teaching the God King and helping him become the man he is that he's able to do this.

Remember that the Seventh Heightening (I think that's the one) grants a person Instinctive Awakening, meaning that once you reach that Heightening, you don't need any practice to learn to Awaken. Your Commands are obeyed instinctively. This doesn't mean that everything you try will work, but that you can make most basic Commands (grab things, that sort) work without having to try. In fact, figuring out most of the more complicated, previously unknown Commands requires a person to be of the Seventh Heightening.

This power grew out of me wanting the upper Heightenings to do some very dramatic things. I do worry that this scene is a little deus ex machina. That keeps me from liking it quite as much as the Lightsong climax or the Denth/Vasher climax. But I feel that a story needs a great variety of climactic moments—some internal character moments, some external skill moments, some great twists, some expected payoffs, some big reveals, and some dramatic rescues. This chapter and the next take a shot at trying to cover a lot of those different types.

Words of Radiance Dayton signing ()
#7 Share

Pechvarry (paraphrased)

What happens when non-Nalthians come to Nalthis.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They cannot use their own soul to Awaken but could do so with obtained Breath.

Pechvarry (paraphrased)

So anyone could start Awakening once they received Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You would probably have to jump through some hoops to Awaken (talks about systems needing rigged up to work on different planets), but anyone can benefit from a Breath. Essentially said "it's not that easy!"

Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
#9 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

About how many Breaths do you need to become Invested enough to be influenced by Endowment's Intent?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

On the small scale, not very many... One could argue that even someone with one is influenced a little bit. 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Significantly influenced?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No. But the more you get the more likely that is.

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
#10 Share

Ghero6

In Vahr's case, did collecting Breath from other rebel-minded people strengthen his determination and resolve?

Brandon Sanderson

It would have had an influence on him, but you would need the numbers of Breaths that he had for any effect to manifest. It's basically a non-issue in the current book, but it could be an issue in some of the things that will happen in the next book.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#13 Share

Questioner

In the last panel we talked a lot about people from different planets using magic systems on other planets, one of the things I've been thinking about, we've been thinking about, talking about Breath, and people being born with Breath, is that something specific to Nalthis or do, technically, other people on other planets have a Breath as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question and that is a Nalthian thing. Now, everyone in the cosmere to an extent has Investiture, the Nalthian Breath is part what everyone has and then a little extra, plus the ability to share it around. So a person who gives up their Breath on Nalthis is actually going below what a normal person has. But a normal person on Nalthis has more than somebody-- So if you were for instance to pick a world like Sixth of the Dusk, where there's not a Shard in residence, and you compared them to a Nalthian, Nalthian has an Investiture advantage over them. When they've given up their Breath, they have an Investiture disadvantage.

Bystander

So we're not Drabs?

Brandon Sanderson

So we're not Drabs. That's exactly it. We're not Drabs.
Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#14 Share

yulerule

*Written:* So somewhere it says that the number of Breaths doesn't determine the power of the object. But are the number of Breaths directly tied to how much Investiture is in an object? You're repeatedly said that Nightblood is ridiculously heavily Invested, more so than Shardblades, Honorblades, or the Bands of Mourning. But it only has a thousand Breaths, which doesn't seem all that much from the point of view of the God King--Tenth Heightening, over 50,000.

Brandon Sanderson

So this is a RAFO, but you're starting to ask the right questions there. Okay?

*Writes:* RAFO

Teen Author Boot Camp ()
#16 Share

Lindel (paraphrased)

There's that trick with Feruchemy that lets you make metalminds that others can tap. Could you do something similar with Self-Awakening?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Oh yeah, there are all sorts of tricks that you can do. You could use other peoples Breaths, make it seem like you don't have any Breath-

Lindel (paraphrased)

Awaken an object so that others could access its Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes.

Calamity release party ()
#17 Share

Questioner

So assuming you have mentioned that it is technically possible to be able to use one magic system on another planet from a different one...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is it possible to fuel that... Like, say could you fuel Awakening using Stormlight, or do you have to bring Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could!

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. Now it's-- there are tricks to making it happen on each world. Some are easier than others, but yes you can.

Questioner

So could that allow a loophole to maybe... convert from one form of power to another? Or like from Stormlight to Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. In fact, that's part of why Vasher--

Questioner

Vasher. I wondered that.

Brandon Sanderson

--is on Roshar, is because it's a lot easier to get Stormlight than Breath.

TWG Posts ()
#18 Share

DavidB

Also, it seems to me like it would be more internally consistent if awakened objects consumed breath, to make all of these breath-consuming powers in the last few chapters fit in better. So for example, if Vasher awakened a shirt and left it awakened and doing stuff for a day, then he might be down one-seventh of a breath when he took it back at the end of the day. (Of course, that mechanic requires it to be possible to transfer or awaken with portions of a breath, and if you could do that, then using the "putting the breaths you don't want to transfer into a cloth until after the transfer" thing, you could feed the returned by taking a tiny fraction of all the Halladren's breaths, instead of taking some people's entire breaths and turning them into drabs.)

Brandon Sanderson

Hum. I like that suggestion, actually. I think I'll use it. Though, what I'll do is say that if you leave the breath in for too long, one of them vanishes. If you can get them back quickly enough, however, there is no loss. That gives a bit of a better explanation of why there aren't a lot of awakened objects doing things all over the place. True, using the breath to make them would be initially expensive--but if you got a magic object that never winds down, then that might be worth the expense.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#19 Share

Questioner

Question for you, regarding Nalthis.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Do priests use-- to extract the divine Breath and hoard.. Do they use a sharp object to get the divine Breath and hoard from the God King?

Brandon Sanderson

The divine Breath what?

Questioner

Divine Breath and hoard. Can you get it away from him by using a sharp pointy object?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, the-- like you're asking like--

Questioner

Hemalurgy as an option.

Brandon Sanderson

It is not, but that's a good question. That is a really good question. I'm surprised no one's asked me that before.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#20 Share

Questioner

I teach economics at Rutgers and in general I love the books but *inaudible* I like to tease him because he loves them, and say it doesn’t really make sense to have a fixed price for Breaths and it doesn’t make sense that if you give it away when you’re young, and his claim was that somewhere in the book it talks about how the Breath actually gets weaker as you get older.

Brandon Sanderson

So, dying Breaths can be much weaker, but not middle aged ones. So, you have a legitimate thing, my counter to you is, having listened to a ton of Freakonomics, economic people do not do what is logically economic, particularly in a closed system. You might find that Breaths sell for different things, or are treated differently, in other countries.

Questioner

In the Warbreaker world.

Brandon Sanderson

But I do think about these things.

Questioner

Oh no, it’s obvious you do. It’s pretty clear when you start looking at it, and that's not something...

Brandon Sanderson

Here’s the thing, there are fantasy writers who are actually economists, L.E. Modesit is the most famous one, and he-- I’ve been on panels where he’s complained about how writers, fantasy writers ignore economics, basic economics, all the time. So I try to listen at his feet a bit.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#21 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Lightsong Feeds on the Child

Why a child? It doesn't much matter, truthfully. An adult, or even someone elderly, could provide a Breath that would keep a god alive.

But the Breaths of those who are aged aren't as vigorous as those of those who are young. If Lightsong were given one of those to feed on, he'd survive for another week—but he wouldn't feel as vibrant or alive as he does after feeding on the child's Breath.

The people of Hallandren are faithful. Even if Lightsong himself doesn't believe, they do, and they want to provide the best for him. Hence they use children. Old enough to know what they are doing, yet young enough to give a powerful, vibrant Breath to their god.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#24 Share

Questioner

With spikes, would you be able to actually transfer Breaths, when they get to the other planets?

Brandon Sanderson

So spikes rip of pieces of the soul and so Breaths are not going to be part of the soul. You could maybe get a divine Breath but I haven't really decided on regular Breaths, they're kind of stuck there in the Physical Realm which is not a thing that spikes are dealing with. Divine Breath, potentially, because that's something that's actually melding onto your soul. But, you know, when you're using the Breaths they're actually reaching through to the Spiritual Realm so, maybe if you got it while the Breaths were kinetic, right, while you're using them, then you might be able to rip them off. I'm not a hundred percent certain on that one.

Questioner

There's still things to decide upon.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah there's still things, like I have to kind of see. My instinct says no right now but, you know, how they interact is not something that I have-- Yeah.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#26 Share

Jeremy_Carroll

How could Vasher become Drab, since he would have to give up his Big Breath to do so?

Brandon Sanderson

The Divine Breath can be hid. Essentially, you have to view yourself NOT as a god at all, using a very specific bit of mental gymnastics. As a Returned, your body changes based on how you see yourself. (This, by the way, is an indication that Lightsong was more pleased with himself than he ever let on.)

You don't lose your Divine Breath, but it does go into hiding, making you look like a normal person. But you're still Returned, and are consuming a Breath at one a week. If you give away your other Breaths, you retain this hidden one, but your body will still consume its own spirit if left to do so. So you still need a Breath a week to survive, and will die the week you don't get one.

I left this as an intentional place to explore the magic in the sequel, which I had planned to be writing (and posting on my website) by the time Warbreaker was out in stores. The WoT has diverted me, and so I feel bad, since this ends up being a confusing question that a number of readers have had. The hints toward how this is working are very difficult to find. (The biggest one is probably in the opening, where Vasher thinks about how he could reach the Fifth Heightening instantly, if he wanted to.)

Salt Lake City signing ()
#27 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do you have-- Or have you determined an equivalency between how much Breath it takes to make a certain gem's worth of Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I have recently assigned Peter to this task, and he is feeling overwhelmed by it. It was actually during the writing of Oathbringer where I finally said, "Yeah we need to standardize this, so start working on it." So it was like, "Oh great". Which means he has to read through all the books for references and start figuring it all out. And we're going to need like an equivalent of a jewel or something like this, right? *gestures to a sphere that a fan made* And we've been putting it off because it sounds like an awful lot of work. 

So the answer is no, we don't have it yet. It's something I've known for years we're going to need. And on this book, I just started saying, "All right.  I'm going to have them do all the stuff they need to do. And then you're going to tell me how many spheres they need to start with." Right? Like, I write the book, and then we retrofit how many spheres they needed to have how much Stormlight, so that we could be consistent with that.

But we haven't done across magic systems calculations, yet.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#28 Share

Questioner

Can you tell me how many souls Hoid has?

Brandon Sanderson

How many Breaths? No, but I can tell you you could look up the minimum he has based on the heightenings and things that he says.

Questioner

Right, and all that i know is that he has perfect pitch.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. There is room to rise from that, so I'm not going to confirm anything else, just keep an eye on him.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#29 Share

Argent

About the Returned, they don’t quite fit the other Splinters, their Breath rather, because it’s the Divine Breath that’s a splinter, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Ehhhhhhh…. Ehhhhhhh....

Argent

Okay, that was vague.

Brandon Sanderson

Not a 100% correlation there.

Argent

So in that case it’s not entirely fair to say that the Returned are like vessels for--

Brandon Sanderson

No… Well, more vessels than the people that are in [T’Telir…]

So, Endowment is in control of what’s happening, right?

Argent

The giving of Breaths.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. So what you’ve got to remember-- and this is something that people keep mistaking is-- something like a spren is still part of the god, right?  And it’s not that different from the fact that the rock has a part of the body in it, and that everything is kind of made—Like in Mistborn world in particular, everything is made out of their essence. And so, the breath are similar, but it’s less that-- they’re not autonomous in most cases and it’s more like-- it’s like a hybrid of what’s happening in Mistborn where everybody’s got a bit of Preservation in them. Everyone’s got a bit of Endowment in them.

Argent

Innate investiture.

Brandon Sanderson

Innate investiture that they are born with.

Argent

I was looking to Divine Breath, more specifically.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh Divine breath! …Divine Breath is its own special thing, and it’s more like what happened with the Honorblades, in that the god is pouring a bit of its investiture, infusing the magic.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#30 Share

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Alright, thanks. Last question for me tonight - so, when a Hemalurgic spike steals something, then it's storing Investiture in it, yeah? So could you - could you do something with that Investiture? Like... say I'm on Nalthis, and just theoretically, I use a Hemalurgic spike to steal a lot of Breath - can I use that Investiture to Awaken something? Could I Awaken the spike?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That... you'd need a lot of Investiture to Awaken a spike.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Because it's already charged up with something else?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#31 Share

Questioner

Is there any other magic types on the Warbreaker world?

Brandon Sanderson

There are different manipulations and manifestations of Breath.

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

They are gonna be much closer than, like, the Selish magic systems and things like that.

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

So, the deviation is much smaller, but it does manifest in slightly different ways-- Kind of a thing.

TheHunter

Have we seen any?

Brandon Sanderson

Ahh! RAFO!

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#32 Share

TurtletheFlsh

What would happen if you created a lifeless with more breath then is necessary? Would they be more or completely human or just a lifeless that's holding more breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Lifeless with more breath are an interesting situation. It's quite possible for the BREATH to start taking on a personality, much like a cognitive shadow, related to the individual. Whether or not it is actually them, though, is a big question. Note, this doesn't always happen. Often, dumping a lot of breath in them is like sticking it in an inanimate object with no command.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#33 Share

Weltall (paraphrased)

I asked if someone who had a lot of Breath would have it weaken collectively, in the same way that the single Breaths of children are more vibrant than others and move one slightly closer to a Heightening, then weaken as they grow older (and contribute slightly less towards a Heightening).

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He said that it wouldn't be noticeable once you accumulate enough Breath and, for example, Hoid wouldn't find himself suddenly losing perfect pitch as a function of time.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#34 Share

Argent

Awakening and Surgebinding, Stormlight and Breath seem really similar in some aspects--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

--except Breaths seem to stick to things better--

Brandon Sanderson

They do.

Argent

--than Stormlight. So when you are holding the Breath it doesn't expire when you put it in something it doesn't go away. Can you tell me something about why that's happening?

Brandon Sanderson

Part of this is kind of inherent to the Shard and the power it's coming from. I mean the power of Endowment is just going to stick, that's part of the nature of its magic. Does that make sense? But it also kind of has to do with how the ecosystems are working. For instance the Stormlight is essential to the ecosystem of Roshar, it needs to be expended, it needs to get out and-- It's like evaporation, does that make sense?

Argent

Recycling? Not the recycling but the cycle of--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah like the cycle of water. And so just part of the way the nature of it works, it has to get out, it has to leak out, it has to run out. I mean it leaks even from spheres, right?

Argent

And when you lash things it's temporary--

Brandon Sanderson

Yep. And even though Szeth says that he thought Voidbringers could hold it they can't. Like it is just not the way that it works.

Argent

Can they just hold it better?

Brandon Sanderson

They can hold it better. It's not permanent. Now there are things that can do it permanently but--

Argent

Like the black sphere for example?

Brandon Sanderson

Well we are not going to... The black sphere is something different. You guys have guessed what the black sphere is, right?

Argent

Well we have some ideas. I support that it holds an Unmade. Am I wrong?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not going to answer that.

Argent

But you said--

Brandon Sanderson

I'm just curious what the theories are. Book 3 the black sphere is-- Everyone who reads the books will know what the black sphere is by the end of Book 3.
Warbreaker Annotations ()
#37 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Fourteen - Part Two

Vivenna Enters the Court

Color harmonics are one of the things in this book that, I think, have some very interesting philosophical implications. I've always been fascinated by the concept of perfect pitch. Pitches and tones are an absolute; music isn't just something we humans devise and construct out of nothing. It's not arbitrary. Like mathematics, music is based on principles greater than human intervention in the world. Someone with perfect pitch can recognize pure tones, and they exist outside of our perception and division of them. (Unlike something like our appreciation of other kinds of art, which is dealing with things that are far more subjective.)

However, I wondered if—perhaps—there are perfect steps of colors just like there are perfect tones, with color fifths, sevenths, and chords and the like. In our world, nobody has the ability to distinguish these things—but what if there were someone who could? Someone who could tell something innate about color that isn't at all subjective?

I'm not sure if I explained that right, but it intrigued me enough to become part of this book.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#38 Share

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted a good, strong scene where we could see that Siri made the decision to keep her hair in check. Again, I'm moving her and Vivenna into different roles, but I want it to be natural, an evolution of their characters brought on by who they are and how their surroundings affect them.

In this case, living in the Court of Gods, there is a very good reason to learn to control your hair. If many are like Treledees, who is of the Third Heightening, then even the most minute changes in your hair color will tip them off.

This is one of the interactions of the magic system that was nice to connect, an interaction I didn't expect or anticipate. With a lot of Breath, you can perceive very slight changes in color. With the Royal Locks, your hair responds to even your slightest emotions. Put the two together, and you get this scene. It was, in a way, inevitable from the beginning of the book.

Siri has come a long way. She's still stumbling about and making a lot of mistakes. But she's also winning some victories. There's nothing hidden to learn about this chapter; she really did just one-up Treledees and get what she wanted.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#40 Share

yulerule

*Written:* How much compounding would a nicrosil Twinborn would need to do to get a metalmind that is as Invested as Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

*Reading question:* How much compounding would... *mumbling*

Wow, so much.

*Writes:* Wow so much. 

yulerule

*Written:* A thousand breaths doesn't seem to be that much--the God King has tens of thousands. Would a piece of stone, wood, cloth, or plain metal that has a thousand breaths be as Invested as Nightblood, or is there something more? 

Brandon Sanderson

No, it needs more. Needs more.

*Writes:* Needs more.

yulerule

More?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

yulerule

Does that-- is it *inaudible* nicrosil? *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO, good question.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#41 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Denth Tells Vivenna to Use Her Breaths

Don't forget that Vivenna has a huge wealth of Breath. To most people, anything over one or two Breaths is a huge wealth—and Vivenna has enough to reach the Third Heightening. She's fully capable of Awakening objects, and while she's not as powerful as Vasher in Breath right now, she could learn quite quickly. (The more Breath you hold, the easier it is for you to learn how to use it.)

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
#42 Share

Ghero6

How unique are individual Breaths? Would collecting 100 Breaths from criminals and scumbags affect your personality in any way? Or collecting 100 Breaths from generous, charitable people?

Brandon Sanderson

I intended them to not be terribly individual. Breaths do bring some things along with them, but for the most part I wanted them to be a step removed from that

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
#43 Share

Stroniax

Is there a way to harvest BioChromatic Breath from a planet, if it holds any? (If a person dies, and their body turns to dusty he dust of the earth, then doesn't [Nalthis] therefore hold thousands, if not millions, of BioChromatic Breaths?)

Brandon Sanderson

Possible. It would be the same thing as harvesting the nature of Preservation or Ruin, which--on Scadrial--took the form of nuggets of metal.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#44 Share

little_wilson

Mi'chelle is wanting to know for a fanfic she's wanting to write if when you cut/break an object that has been Awakened if the object then "dies", or if the pieces will try to carry out the command. Also, either way, can the breaths be recovered from it?

Brandon Sanderson

The object does not die, and will try to continue its purpose. The level of damage will determine just how well it can continue. The Breaths are recoverable. (Though there could be some loss of Breaths, depending on how the item is destroyed.) There's a scene near the end where Vasher Awakens some clothing, then it gets cut down and he recovers the Breath.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#45 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Vivenna at the Safe House

Vivenna is right about what happens to a person when they lose their Breath. It is a part of your soul, and without one, you are more prone to depression, you get sick much more easily, and you're generally more irritable.

I included this mention here because I'm betting that most people who read the book side with Denth and assume he's right when he talks about these things. But don't be too judgmental about the Idrians—yes, they're biased, but the Hallandren are too in a lot of ways. It's not as simple as one side always being right and the other wrong. In this case, the Idrian teachings are correct, and most Hallandren are looking for justifications when they say that giving up one's Breath isn't all that damaging to them.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#46 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher Explains the Different Kinds of BioChromatic Entities

This is a scene I'd been waiting to write for almost the entire book. Not just because I wanted to get into the scientific rules for Awakening, but because I wanted to pull a good reversal for Vasher. When he begins talking like this, I hope that the reader responds like Vivenna: Who is this guy?

A lot of readers, my editor included, resisted the term BioChroma. They wanted me to simply use Breath, as they thought BioChroma was just too scientific sounding. I like this concept, however. I want people to read the book and think it sounds scientific. My novels, my magic systems, have a kind of "hard magic" sense to them. I want there to be an edge of science to them, a feeling that people are studying them and trying to learn about them using the scientific method.

Vasher's explanations here are dead on. He's got a lot of good information, and he has a handle on what he doesn't understand. That alone should be a big clue about who he is. The fact that he never has to trim his beard is another one.

Oathbringer London signing ()
#48 Share

Yata [PENDING REVIEW]

When someone dies on Nalthis, their Breaths: go away with the soul, or remain in the corpse?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Breaths return to Endowment.

Yata [PENDING REVIEW]

Together with the soul? Or remain in the corpse?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The soul--

Yata [PENDING REVIEW]

Passes away?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, unless it turns into a Cognitive Shadow. Then, the soul goes into the Beyond. And so the actual essence of the soul, the Investiture of it, does return to Endowment.