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Cocoa

Awakening Blade-dead Limbs

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I had a thought, what if your limb (or theoretically someone else's, but let's stick to a single hypothetical test subject for now) were deadened by a shardblade, and you used Breath to awaken it? You'd need the right command and Intent, obviously, but I imagine that since human bodies are some of the most efficient things to awaken, and a deadened limb is basically part of a corpse that's still Physically alive, it would be very receptive to awakening.

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That's a pretty interesting idea! I wonder if a Command and Intent could be found that would cause it to operate naturally. Awakened objects usually have minds of their own on fulfilling their purposes, and even the Lifeless require verbal prodding to do things. Imagine having something like Nightblood, but as your hand or leg!

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1 hour ago, Returned said:

That's a pretty interesting idea! I wonder if a Command and Intent could be found that would cause it to operate naturally. Awakened objects usually have minds of their own on fulfilling their purposes, and even the Lifeless require verbal prodding to do things. Imagine having something like Nightblood, but as your hand or leg!

Well, we see Vasher and Vivenna use complex commands like "grab things," "protect me," "become as my legs and give them strength," and "fight for me as if you were me." So I think that a proper visualization of a command similar to "move as if you were my arm" would turn it into, essentially, a flesh-and-blood prosthetic. I don't think it'd restore sensation in the arm though, unless putting Breath in the limb somehow allowed its spiritual aspect to grow back into your Spiritweb, either instantly or over time.

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20 minutes ago, Cocoa said:

Well, we see Vasher and Vivenna use complex commands like "grab things," "protect me," "become as my legs and give them strength," and "fight for me as if you were me." So I think that a proper visualization of a command similar to "move as if you were my arm" would turn it into, essentially, a flesh-and-blood prosthetic. I don't think it'd restore sensation in the arm though, unless putting Breath in the limb somehow allowed its spiritual aspect to grow back into your Spiritweb, either instantly or over time.

If severing the limb with the shard blade is actually severing the spiritual connection of the limb to the individual, then Breath might restore that connection. In Warbreaker, we see indications that Breath creates a connection between the awakener and the awakened <object>.:

Spoiler

Warbreaker Ch. 35:

That wasn’t the way her newfound senses worked. They were part of her. So, instead of concentrating, she relaxed, letting her unconscious mind do the work. A little like she did when she changed the color of her hair.

“Untie,” she Commanded.

The Breath flowed from her. It was like blowing bubbles beneath the water, exhaling a piece of herself but feeling it flow into something else. That something else became part of her—a limb she could only slightly control. It was more of a sense of the rope than an ability to move it. 

So, if the breath creates a connection to the severed limb, then I would guess that the correct intent and command might be able to just restore the limb entirely (since we already see some investiture "heal" the severed limbs).

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Do blade-dead limbs decay? Or are they simply paralyzed? If they decay it could present some serious health problems for keeping it attached. Otherwise I imagine a human limb would be very easy to awaken.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/9/2022 at 6:28 AM, SwordNimiForPresident said:

Do blade-dead limbs decay? Or are they simply paralyzed?

I don't think they decay, if just because of Hobber:

Spoiler

Oathbringer Ch 37

“I had to breathe to draw it in,” Kaladin explained softly. “I’d been doing it unconsciously for weeks, maybe months, before Teft explained the truth to me.”

“Sir,” Hobber said, “I don’t know if … I mean, sir, I’m no Radiant. I was never that good with the spear. I’m barely a passable cook.”

Passable was a stretch. But he was earnest and helpful, so Lunamor was happy to have him. Besides, he needed a job he could do sitting. A month back, the Assassin in White had swept through the king’s palace at the warcamps, trying to kill Elhokar—and the attack had left Hobber with dead legs.

Kaladin folded the gemstone in Hobber’s fingers. “Just try,” the captain said softly.

<Snip>

The light in Hobber’s fist went out.

“Ha!” Lunamor shouted. “HA!”

Hobber jumped in surprise. His jaw dropped and he stared at the now-dun gemstone. Then he held up his hand, gawking at the luminescent smoke that rose from it. “Guys?” he called. “Guys, guys!”

Lunamor stepped back as the bridgemen left their stations and came rushing over. “Give him your gemstones!” Kaladin called. “He’s going to need a lot! Pile them up!”

Bridgemen scrambled to give Hobber their emeralds, and he drew in more and more Stormlight. Then the light suddenly dampened. “I can feel them again!” Hobber cried. “I can feel my toes!”

So, with at least a month passing we do know that there was never any mention of decay in Hobber's deadened legs. Absence of evidence isn't proof, but I think its a strong indiecator in this case. 

Also, while thinking on this, I find it interesting that when color is used in Awakeneing the object turns grey* - like a Blade deadened limb. I wonder if anyone has ever asked BS if it is the same shade of grey. It might indicate that when color is pulled from an object, it loses some "quality" that is similarly lost when a limb is severed.  

[Edit]

WoB

Spoiler

 

Excelsius

What's the biological reaction of a limb cut by a Shardblade, because they don't start to rot after being cut?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah they don't start to rot, so the bloodflow is still happening. The limb is still attached, it's not going to rot off, but the soul is dead. This is a thing that can happen in the cosmere that can't happen here. Because you have Spiritual, [Cognitive], and Physical DNA. Your soul's been severed in that part, and it just flops around. You can't feel it, you can't control it. It's something that, again, couldn't happen here.

 

 

*Note: obviously excepting H10 - Perfect Invocation

Edited by Treamayne
SPAG, Update WoB
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Posted (edited)

Redoing my post after some thought.

We may need to look more closely at who is doing the Awakening. This WoB notes that because Breaths are the power of Endowment, which is intrinsically about giving away power, you can't use it on yourself (this actually explains to me why Awakeners usually are bad at healing themselves).

Quote

vandar10

Could someone with enough Breaths use part of them to heal himself without the help of a Returned?? Could the God King have healed himself without Lightsong with enough knowledge?

Brandon Sanderson

The nature of the Warbreaker magic is tied to the shard of Endowment, which is about giving. There are, therefore, things you cannot do for yourself.

RobotAztec

For healing can Big Breaths heal only one person at a time or can you heal a bunch of people at once?(as long as they are not yourself)?

Brandon Sanderson

Legends say you can heal many.

/r/books AMA 2015 (June 8, 2015)

This probably invalidates the injured person from simply restoring the dead limb themselves. I think another person could do it, but that leaves you vulnerable to the Awakener infusing you with Breaths. We know Breaths can be forced on someone.

Edited by Duxredux
Found more relevant information
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