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Warbreaker Annotations ()
#1 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The Pahn Kahl Religion

In the Siri section, she mentions the Pahn Kahl religion, but she doesn't know what it is. This happens numerous times in the book, people getting confused about whether the Pahn Kahl are just Hallandren or being unable to describe their religion.

If you're curious, the Pahn Kahl are nature worshippers who focus on the storms of the Inner Sea as a manifestation of their unity of five gods. They believe that all Returned are men who deny the power of the gods and are forbidden entrance into heaven, yet are otherwise just men and not sinners worthy of hell—so they're given a chance to come back to have another try at life, to try to find belief this time.

Anyway, the purpose of having people so confused about the Pahn Kahl was to try to make readers vague about them in the same way. In this case, I want the reader to feel that the Pahn Kahl are unimportant, like the characters do, which is exactly the reason why the Pahn Kahl are so annoyed in the first place. If Hallandren didn't take them for granted so much, there's a good chance they wouldn't be so inclined to rebel.

Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A ()
#2 Copy

Zach

What do the Pahn Kahl believe in? All we seem to know is that they are similar to the Iridescent Tones. Any more info?

Brandon Sanderson

I was going to get into this more in the sequel, because we would have some more Pahn Kahl people. Anytime I'm saving something for a sequel, I feel like I shouldn't say too much because I don't want to lock myself in. Let's say that it's like the Iridescent Tones, but without the god-worship of the Returned. More worship in the concepts, and more of a focus on the voice itself.

One thing to remember about the Pahn Kahl is that they've kind of lost a lot of it. By letting themselves get so focused on the enemy that conquered them, they've actually ended up losing much of who they were. Not everything, of course, but substantial portions of who they were have gotten swept under the rug and consumed in their desire to get their freedom. Which is an important thing, but they've let it consume them to pretty extreme levels.