skaa

White Drab

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Fact 1: Transfer of Breath to one object requires draining the color of another object, usually turning it grey.
 
Fact 2: When a person transfers all of his Breath to a target (e.g. by using the Command "My life to yours, my Breath become yours"), the color drained is his own. The person loses color, turning dull, becoming "Drab".
 
Fact 3: A Drab is a Nalthian with no discernible Innate Investiture, meaning he does not exhibit the physical enhancements given by the Shard Endowment to all Nalthians at birth. Note that being Drab doesn't necessarily mean one has given his Breaths away to someone else; he might have simply hidden it in an object, or suppressed it the way Vasher and Denth do.

 

Fact 4: Perfect Invocation, the power to drain colors from objects so completely that they turn white, is one of the powers achieved upon reaching the Tenth Heightening (~50,000 Breaths).

 

 

Now, suppose a person with Perfect Invocation gives away all his enormous store of Breath. Does his ability mean he will turn white instead of simply becoming dull-colored? Does he become a White Drab? If so, what would that entail? If being a regular Drab means your Innate Investiture is removed, what else was removed from a White Drab? His Spark of Life? If so, is a White Drab simply a Dead White Drab?

 

That would normally be true for one of the Returned, since giving away their Divine Breath is fatal to them. But a Returned could learn to suppress his Divine Breath, as I said earlier. In fact, that must be how the Hallandren God Kings pass Peacegiver's Treasure on to their successors, by suppressing their Divine Breath before performing the transfer. And as we know, Peacegiver's Treasure is what gives God Kings their Tenth Heightening, and therefore their Perfect Invocation.

 

Too bad we don't see a Hallandren succession ceremony in the book. I bet the previous God King would literally turn white the moment he gives away the Treasure.

 

 

***

 

But wait, wasn't Peacegiver just another name for Vasher? Why then isn't Vasher white? The answer is simple. A Drab regains color when obtaining Breath, and Vasher obviously obtained at least one Breath a few days after handing over his Treasure (otherwise he would have died). Unless Vasher regains Tenth Heightening at some point in the future, he'll never have the chance to become a White Drab again.

 

***

 

I still haven't discussed how I think White Drabs experience the world. We have virtually no clue at all about it, actually. I think it would be fun, though, to speculate on interesting ways White Drabs might perceive things. I invite you guys to contribute.

 

Since regular Drabs see the world as less bright and less colorful, what if White Drabs see the world in monochrome? Let's make the speculation more interesting. I propose that this monochrome vision is related to Identity: Things that have stronger Cognitive Identity appear darker to them, and those with less Identity appear lighter.

 

In other words, I boldly speculate that White Drabs can see the Nalthian Cognitive Realm, and that this is the key to Nalthian Worldhopping.

Edited by skaa
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Small clarification:
 

Fact 2: When a person transfers all of his Breath to a target (e.g. by using the Command "My life to yours, my Breath become yours"), the color drained is his own. The person turns grey, becoming "Drab".

 
Not quite. There seems to be some color loss, but certainly not the degree of Lifeless. Vivenne doesn't even recognize that Jewels is Drab for quite some time. 
 

[After giving her Breath] The girl grew dull. The color of her lips and eyes faded slightly. Her brown hair lost some of its luster; her cheeks became more bland.

-I'd note that this is from Lightsong's POV (with his 5th-Heightening vision and all), so the color drain was likely far far less obvious than even this description indicates.

 

Grayer, maybe, but certainly not to the level where you'd say "hey that guy's gray!!"
 
I'll note that you're likely on the right track so far as losing color goes, if Brandon's moderate Trollishness is to be trusted.

 

Source:

CHAOS ()

Why does giving your Breath to another person not require color? Every other Command does.
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
I thought I answered this in the book. You use your own color. :)
Edited by Kurkistan
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Heh, yeah, I corrected myself before you were able to post. Sorry about that, Kurk! :)

Apparently Lifeless, who unlike Drab have no Spark of Life, are grey.

His skin was grey. His eyes too. There was no color to him at all, and her Heightenings told her that he didn’t have a single Breath. A Lifeless soldier.

So it must be the Spark of Life that gives a regular Drab what bit of color he has. I don't think such a thing exists in a Returned, though, so a Perfectly Invoked Breath transfer Command should still turn him white if Perfect Invocation does apply in that case. Edited by skaa
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So you did. Oops.

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I've had a small theory kicking around that giving away their Divine Breath isn't what kills a Returned, it's the massive color loss (since color seems to be associated with having a soul in the cosmere). This isn't really evidence for or against this theory, but I'd definitely guess that if you literally turn white from color loss you're probably going to be dead, because it should be similar to being cut with a Shardblade.

 

I'm also unsure on why giving away your Breath drains your color. Why does it not drain the color of objects around you? Giving away your Breath doesn't seem to be operating under a different framework than normal Awakening to me (still requires a Command), so you'd think you'd be able to drain something else.

 

Actually on topic with the theory: the whole "it turns things white" effect seems to be a result of the Awakener being able to super-efficiently draw color. Their Awakenings won't require more color, they can just use the color around them more efficiently. Transferring Breath doesn't seem to require very much color - Vivenna gets rid of around 100(?) to Vasher without super noticeable physical side effects, and the same thing applies to the man Vivenna got her Breaths from. I'm not sure if transferring >10000 Breaths would be enough to drain you to the point where you become white if however many Vivenna got wasn't enough to turn him gray - he just became more dull:

A vibrant cloud of shifting, oil-on-water air burst from his mouth, puffing toward
her. Vivenna closed her mouth, eyes wide, hair white. She ripped her arm free from
Lemks’ grip, his face dull, his eyes losing of their luster, colors fading around him.

 

Kinda matches the girl who gave Lightsong her Breath, though Lightsong would have had more enhanced color sense. Hrm. Maybe more Breaths does drain more color.

Edited by Moogle
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This isn't really evidence for or against this theory, but I'd definitely guess that if you literally turn white from color loss you're probably going to be dead

 

That's what I thought as well. I don't think a non-Returned person with 50,000+ Breaths could survive giving away his Breaths with Perfect Invocation. But as I said in the original post, perhaps a Returned could survive it by suppressing his Divine Breath beforehand.

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Speaking of Perfect Invocation, I'm looking at the chart right now and trying to check something. Is the white produced from the super-efficient awakening and the rainbow distortions that appear from white objects around people at 10th heightening supposed to produce an infinite loop, or is it not compatible?

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Please don't ask that question. Oh, the threads that have been derailed...

I think the general consensus is that an infinite loop would not occur. I'm sure I shall shortly be attacked. I'll try to find another thread that talks about that.

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Speaking of Perfect Invocation, I'm looking at the chart right now and trying to check something. Is the white produced from the super-efficient awakening and the rainbow distortions that appear from white objects around people at 10th heightening supposed to produce an infinite loop, or is it not compatible?

 

We don't know, as Snoopy says. At this point, I feel reasonably confident that Susebron can't use the rainbow aura he creates from white objects to Awaken (though I've argued otherwise before), since it seems like it drains pigments. Some discussion was done here, though it was mainly Kurk decimating my position. I know we've had other threads on it...

Edited by Moogle
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Well thanks for the link.

We can ignore that now.

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Ooh, another thing I forgot to mention is the possibility of White Lifeless. Vasher, as Kalad, could have used his Tenth Heightening to create white-fleshed Lifeless, but we know that Kalad's Phantoms are bones encased in stone.

Creating Lifeless involves using the color of the corpse itself. The skeletons Kalad used were probably not pure white (i.e. bleached) when he got them, so they still had enough color for Lifeless Awakening. Given that Kalad had Tenth Heightening at the time, the resulting Lifeless skeletons would have become truly white in the end. But they're hidden in stone, so we won't see them unless Nightblood's book has a scene where one of Kalad's Phantoms is cracked open.

I confess that my crazy Nalthian Shadesmar idea above has inspired another crazy idea regarding Kalad's Phantoms. What if Kalad didn't procure skeletons to make Lifeless, but instead created white-fleshed Lifeless that had a strong connection to the Cognitive Realm, and could therefore follow Transformation Commands like "Make your flesh as stone, yet still allowing movement"? That would definitely be easier than having to tediously insert thousands of bones into stone sculptures that have to be manufactured first, piece by piece.

I know, I know, me and my crazy theories. :P

Edited by skaa
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I'm actually more impressed that he managed to arrange getting giant suits of statue-armor with fully functional joints custom tailored to fit skeleton lifeless delivered to his lab.

That's such a specific request that I wonder how nobody remembers it.

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I'm actually more impressed that he managed to arrange getting giant suits of statue-armor with fully functional joints custom tailored to fit skeleton lifeless delivered to his lab.

That's such a specific request that I wonder how nobody remembers it.

Indeed, I wonder how he managed that. :)

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