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Luckspren

Weird Returning scenario

Question

If someone died heroically, was made into a Lifeless immediately, and then Returned... what would happen? Is this possible?

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"You'd end up with a drab god, which would be hilarious" 

 

Quote

 

ReaderAt2046

What would happen if, right after someone died, they were made into a Lifeless, and then Endowment tried to Return that person?

Brandon Sanderson

Oooh...now that's a spicy one. Endowment's gift of a superpowered Breath would come down, strike the Lifeless, and all kinds of craziness would occur. You'd end up with a drab god, which would be hilarious.

17th Shard Forum Q&A (Sept. 26, 2012)

 

 
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seems like it could be - pretty sure there was enough of a delay for Lightsong in his scene that someone with the breth could have done it. that said, i suspect most lifeless go through an embalming type process to get the ichor alcohol and sew up any wounds that might leak etc. so I'd guess you wouldn't see it in most places because it would essentially be a waste of breath/body to awaken it immediately

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On 6/24/2022 at 9:25 PM, Dunkum said:

seems like it could be - pretty sure there was enough of a delay for Lightsong in his scene that someone with the breth could have done it. that said, i suspect most lifeless go through an embalming type process to get the ichor alcohol and sew up any wounds that might leak etc. so I'd guess you wouldn't see it in most places because it would essentially be a waste of breath/body to awaken it immediately

You could technically awaken it and then embalm it (or make it embalm itself.)

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2 hours ago, Tani said:

You could technically awaken it and then embalm it (or make it embalm itself.)

you could, and they probably do in emergencies, but I'd guess they'd prefer the other way. i could be wrong.  maybe they always awaken first because that way no one needs to carry the corpse. but i'd bet they prefer to get a good idea of the damage and assess what it would take to fix/how useful it will be as a lifeless before permanently using up a breath

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Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, Dunkum said:

you could, and they probably do in emergencies, but I'd guess they'd prefer the other way. i could be wrong.  maybe they always awaken first because that way no one needs to carry the corpse. but i'd bet they prefer to get a good idea of the damage and assess what it would take to fix/how useful it will be as a lifeless before permanently using up a breath

It'd be newly dead, and probably not mutilated. It shouldn't take much fixing. Especially if the one turning it into a Lifeless was the same person who rendered it dead.

Edited by Tani
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Posted (edited)

Lightsong is actually a good example of when this may be worth testing. At the bare minimum, I assume that whatever the cause of death has to be removed or repaired before the Lifeless would operate correctly (and not go inactive shortly after Awakening), so if they bled out you would need to replenish the blood with ichor alcohol, if you stabbed them in the heart, I assume you would have to sew up the damage first. A drowning victim may be a good subject, you just have to drain the water from them (asphyxiation death may be the best actually).

The most direct answer to this that I see is that the immensely powerful Divine Breath would just overwhelm the Breath in the Lifeless, and they would Return normally, getting healed of whatever killed them in the first place and undoing any sewing done to prepare the body to be a Lifeless. Depends on if there's any issues with Command breaking with only the equivalent of 2,000 Breaths in the Divine Breath or if when Endowment sent back the Returned the Command in the Lifeless would just get overridden. If the Command to the Breath that was turning the body into the Lifeless remained, unless the Awakener decided to dump an inordinate amount of Breath into this body, I'd guess that it wouldn't do much to effect the Returned other than a slight nudging to follow the Command, just in terms of the relative Investiture. It probably wouldn't matter too much, since that Breath would probably get eaten by the Returned the following week.

Edited by Duxredux
added another thought
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1 hour ago, Duxredux said:

The most direct answer to this that I see is that the immensely powerful Divine Breath would just overwhelm the Breath in the Lifeless, and they would Return normally, getting healed of whatever killed them in the first place and undoing any sewing done to prepare the body to be a Lifeless. Depends on if there's any issues with Command breaking with only the equivalent of 2,000 Breaths in the Divine Breath or if when Endowment sent back the Returned the Command in the Lifeless would just get overridden. If the Command to the Breath that was turning the body into the Lifeless remained, unless the Awakener decided to dump an inordinate amount of Breath into this body, I'd guess that it wouldn't do much to effect the Returned other than a slight nudging to follow the Command, just in terms of the relative Investiture.

Might Endowment break the Command? I think it would depend on how much it would affect the Returned's purpose for Returning.

1 hour ago, Duxredux said:

It probably wouldn't matter too much, since that Breath would probably get eaten by the Returned the following week.

Ooooo cool thought! But would the Command get eaten when the Breath was?

Also, Breaths used to make Lifeless can't be recovered. I think it's because the Lifeless technically have no will and therefore can't give their Breaths away, but are technically alive and therefore their Breath cannot be taken from them It's possible that the Lifeless Returned would not be able to consume the Lifeless Breath and it'd just go away or be locked up forever.

It took Lifesong's people weeks to break the Command on Vasher's Lifeless squirrel. With what I currently know, I think the hypothetical Lifeless/Returned's Command wouldn't be immediately broken, but could be broken over time once the Lifeless Returned knew about it.

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I do not think it's possible but what might happen if it were possible would be that the body is restored to it's normal condition regardless of whether it's lifeless or not. 

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On 6/29/2022 at 10:06 AM, Tani said:

Also, Breaths used to make Lifeless can't be recovered. I think it's because the Lifeless technically have no will and therefore can't give their Breaths away, but are technically alive and therefore their Breath cannot be taken from them It's possible that the Lifeless Returned would not be able to consume the Lifeless Breath and it'd just go away or be locked up forever.

The Breath can't be taken since it now 'belongs' to the Lifeless not the Awakener (as with Awakening usual inanimate objects), but the Lifeless isn't capable of giving it away.

But the Returned-Lifeless would have full sapience and will so I think it could use the Breath used to Awaken it normally, either consuming it or giving it away, since it would now 'belong' to the Returned-Lifeless.

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