Figberts

Would a worldhopper be a drab?

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Everybody on Nalthis is born with one breath, which gives them some investiture. People who are not from Nalthis don't have any breaths. If they are a Knight Radiant or an Allomancer, they do have some investiture in them, but the average person does not. You can get investiture from other sources, like when Vashar/Zahel gets Stormlight and uses it as breath, but the average person doesn't suck up stormlight on a daily basis. The only two worldhoppers we've seen in Warbreaker are Hoid, who has breath (we know this because he has perfect pitch) and Vashar, who was born there. So if a random person from another planet came to Nalthis, would they be seen as a drab?

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A couple of relevant WoBs

Quote

NUTIKETAIEL

"If a native of Sel or another Shardworld travelled to Nalthis, would they be a drab?"

Brandon almost answered quickly, but then got a thoughtful look and paused to consider with a "hmm." After a moment, he replied:

BRANDON SANDERSON

"No, they would not be a drab. But, no one would be able to take their breath."

 

Quote

QUESTION

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 people on other planets have Breaths 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 of 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.

QUESTION

So we’re not Drabs?

BRANDON SANDERSON

So we’re not Drabs. That’s exactly it. We’re not Drabs

So the answer as I see it is that a non-Nalthian has less investiture than a Nalthian with Breath, but a drab has less than a non-Nalthian because they have given up not just the additional investiture Endowment provided but also the investiture that a normal Cosmeran would have.

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How would a normal Cosmerean get breath?

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Normally investiture is keyed to your identity and can't be easily transferred. Breath, because it is of Endowment, can be transferred to someone not from Nalthis by command and thatcwill key it's identity to the new person and even give them access to the powers granted by it (Awakening). 

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Yeah, later in that same WoB Brandon mentions how non-Nalthians can obtain Breath and he mentions it in other WoBs as well. So all you need to get Breath (and the ability to Awaken with it, plus all the passive effects) regardless of your origin is for someone who already has Breath to grant you some via the appropriate Command.

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