Pechvarry

Storing Breath in rock/metal

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A pretty quick question:

 

I understand you have to be a pretty serious heavy hitter to be able to awaken metal and, ostensibly, rock.  What about simply storing breath?  Much as Vivenna does during her time out in the cold, where her breath is stored in her shawl or scarf or whatever.  This isn't an awakening, so no complex commands, no massive amount of breath required to make it do stuff.  

 

Just storage, to be recalled later.

 

Could Vivenna, for example, put her Breath in the blade of a thoroughly mundane sword, and recall it later?

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Yes, I'm pretty sure that she could, though you'll have to wait for the experts and/or people who own the book to get a definate answer. Still, I see no reason why you couldn't.

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I agree. I don't see why you couldn't, it's just placing breath into it without doing anything to it. I'm pretty sure seeing as you aren't actually awakening it there is no functional difference between storing it in a sword and storing it in, say, a shawl. The only real difference between them is the quantity of breath and the technique required to actually awaken it which is irrelevant in this case.

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Right, I think my main concern is: it requires a certain Heightening to awaken metal, in addition to the breaths used.  It, therefore, seems feasible this Heightening (I forget which) is needed just to force breath into objects so far removed from life.  If this is true, then the God-King could store breaths in metal without awakening it, but not many other people.

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True. But personally I see awakening and "investing" breaths into an object to be very seperate actions. Although the awakening requires the investing to accomplish the investing can be done by itself. Just like someone with only say 10 breaths could invest them in a large curtain but couldn't awaken it, I think that people below the 9th heightening can still invest breaths in rock and metal but simply couldn't awaken it.

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Yet ninth heightening - necessary for Awakening metal, IIRC - is 20000 Breath, and you only need a 1000 of those to actually Awaken metal (Nightblood), so there is something else going on here, too. Giving Breath to object is like awakening in many respects (again, IIRC) - you still command your Breath to leave, you just don't Command it to do anything.

There is also a question of "stickiness" - Breaths stick differently to different objects, and so are easier to recover from some, and actually impossible to recover from others (lifeless). That may suggest that normally, Breaths going into stones simply unstick and come back instead of staying in the material, and you need to warp them somehow to get them to stick to begin with. (aka "paint them black")

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That may suggest that normally, Breaths going into stones simply unstick and come back instead of staying in the material, and you need to warp them somehow to get them to stick to begin with. (aka "paint them black")

I don't necessarily think it's the case but I do like that idea. Although, it is also possible that it could be the other way and recovering breaths from stone and metal is very very hard or nearly impossible. In which case storing breath into a sword but not awakening it could be a very bad move.

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I've been trying to think of some sort of interim object.  More removed from life than a dead tree or a drape (made from organic fibers -- I don't think there's polyester or nylon or whatever yet), but less removed than a rock or a tree.  It seems like a substance that matches these criteria would yield some interesting information.  For example, maybe there would be a sort of heavy resistance to force breath into it - which the Ninth Heightening would give you the ultimate ability to overcome, in much the same way that all breaths increase life sense or resistance to toxins, but top out at certain Heightenings.  If so, then that would imply the need for the Ninth Heightening just to force breath into metal to begin with.  

 

But maybe there is no resistance, maybe there's a binary state with a very distinct cut-off: if you're on this side of the "remembers life" line, you need the Ninth, else, you're on this side of the life line.

 

While a petrified tree seems like it'd take less breath to awaken than normal stone, I still think it's stone.  Something like petroleum?  Preferably in a solid state?  Tar?

Edited by Pechvarry
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I've been trying to think of some sort of interim object.  More removed from life than a dead tree or a drape (made from organic fibers -- I don't think there's polyester or nylon or whatever yet), but less removed than a rock or a tree.  It seems like a substance that matches these criteria would yield some interesting information.  For example, maybe there would be a sort of heavy resistance to force breath into it - which the Ninth Heightening would give you the ultimate ability to overcome, in much the same way that all breaths increase life sense or resistance to toxins, but top out at certain Heightenings.  If so, then that would imply the need for the Ninth Heightening just to force breath into metal to begin with.  

 

But maybe there is no resistance, maybe there's a binary state with a very distinct cut-off: if you're on this side of the "remembers life" line, you need the Ninth, else, you're on this side of the life line.

 

While a petrified tree seems like it'd take less breath to awaken than normal stone, I still think it's stone.  Something like petroleum?  Preferably in a solid state?  Tar?

 

Why not go with some of the synthetics?  Some synthetics, like plastics, are made out of very-long-dead organic material that has been changed quite a bit (IIRC, they can be made as side-products from regular oil).  The "memory of life" has probably faded, but they are not anywhere near as distant as rock or metal, which have far less potential to be alive in any form we know of.

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Synthetics likely don't exist on Nalthis as of Warbreaker, but I suppose that doesn't affect its value as a question for Brandon.  Time to ask him how hard a synthetic polyester shirt would be to Awaken.

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Recall though, petroleum-based polymers are organic. ^_^

 

(It's a dirty little secret, I know)  

Edited by Shardlet
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Yes, that's why I suggested petroleum before. It's very far removed from life compared to a bed of straw, but no where near as far from life as a chunk of iron. The BioChromatic interactions of such a substance could be rather interesting.

But I'd rather just figure out if anyone can store Breath in a piece of metal.

...and take it to Scadrial.

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Yet ninth heightening - necessary for Awakening metal, IIRC - is 20000 Breath, and you only need a 1000 of those to actually Awaken metal (Nightblood), so there is something else going on here, too. Giving Breath to object is like awakening in many respects (again, IIRC) - you still command your Breath to leave, you just don't Command it to do anything.

 

 

Although, it is also possible that it could be the other way and recovering breaths from stone and metal is very very hard or nearly impossible. In which case storing breath into a sword but not awakening it could be a very bad move.

 

What if you only need the Eighth Heightening (10,000 Breaths) to Awaken metal, but you also need the Eighth Heightening to be able to retrieve that Breath once you've Awakened it? So you need 20,000 originally so that, after Awakening the metal, you still have 10,000 left to get back that Breath?

 

Edit: Oh, also, they do say that the higher-level Heightenings aren't well-researched, and that people of the Ninth Heightening being able to Awaken metal or stone hasn't been studied or confirmed.

Edited by Wherethewindgoes
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The only instance we know of successfully awakened metal doesn't seem reversible (nightblood) but it's as good a guess as any

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Nightblood is also something of an anomaly. He's a different type of BioChromatic entity than we usually see.

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Nightblood is also something of an anomaly. He's a different type of BioChromatic entity than we usually see.

 

Brandon being Brandon, I would prefer to say that Nightblood is not yet well understood.  Also, we know that Nightblood isn't going to stay unique.

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Brandon being Brandon, I would prefer to say that Nightblood is not yet well understood.  Also, we know that Nightblood isn't going to stay unique.

Actually, I do think he'll stay unique, but maybe that's more of a hope. More awakened swords != more awakened, nigh-human-level intellect swords.
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Brandon being Brandon, I would prefer to say that Nightblood is not yet well understood.  Also, we know that Nightblood isn't going to stay unique.

I know he's not well understood, I was saying he's not like what is usually seen because he's not one of the three more common types. Vasher himself thinks that the process he and Shashara used should have just Awakened metal, no different from a rug or some other more mundane material.

 

 

Actually, I do think he'll stay unique, but maybe that's more of a hope. More awakened swords != more awakened, nigh-human-level intellect swords.

This isn't really evidence one way or the other, but Yesteel, the guy Vasher and Vivenna are after, knows how to create more swords like Nightblood.

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I know he's not well understood, I was saying he's not like what is usually seen because he's not one of the three more common types. Vasher himself thinks that the process he and Shashara used should have just Awakened metal, no different from a rug or some other more mundane material.

 

 

This isn't really evidence one way or the other, but Yesteel, the guy Vasher and Vivenna are after, knows how to create more swords like Nightblood.

I think the key word in that statement is "like".  The state of an Awakened object depends heavily on the amount of Breath used, the Visualization, and the Command, none of which have to be exactly the same.  We don't if they are a bit like Nightblood, or exactly like Nightblood.  I'm guessing with only "a bit", no sentience, somehow weaker than Nightblood.

 

Theory: The reason Nightblood became sentient was that his Command ("Destroy evil.") required some degree of sentience to interpret what "evil" is, and even that wasn't enough, since it heavily borrows from the wielder's own impressions.

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Well Brian Johnson probably needs a lot of Breath for his performances, so we can only assume it's possible

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I wonder if by storing Breath in a piece of metal, you'd lose some on retrieval. Organic materials hold Breath better because it lets them mimic life. With a sword, it can't mimic something it never had, so even retrieving the Breath might result in a net loss, since the sword may not hold it as well... like a bottle with a small hole in it.

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UPDATE:
 
Just (okay, a bit ago. Turns out no one else is as kind and generous as me) in from Miyabi: Yes.

Source:

Miyabi: We only have one here from Nalthis, this one’s a little bit tricky. Can you store Breath in metal without the Eighth Heightening? Just put it there without awakening, just to hide the Breath.

Brandon: Can you hide Breath… Yes you can hide Breath in things.

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That seems like such an iffy response from Brandon.

 

Also, isn't it cannon that storing Breath in something is the same as making a failed Command? it still takes the Breath but nothing happens. Which is exactly what happens when you donate all of your Breath into an object to make yourself look Drab. So I would have to wonder if the Ninth Heightening is needed at all to Awaken metal/stone, since it was never studied/tested. 

 

Brandon only said you could hide Breath in things. Never mentioned in metal, or mentioned a Heightening. 

 

I think that no, if the Ninth Heightening is actually needed to awaken stone/metal, than you will not be able to store breath in there without first achieving the Ninth Heightening.

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That seems like such an iffy response from Brandon.

 

Not really, no. Miyabi asked Brandon a question. Brandon took a moment and answered it. They were sitting down in a quiet restaurant: there was no misunderstanding. Brandon heard and very clearly answered the question at hand. It would be leagues beyond Aes Sedai for him to answer "can you store in metal" with "no yes you can hide Breath in things".

 

Also, isn't it cannon that storing Breath in something is the same as making a failed Command? it still takes the Breath but nothing happens. Which is exactly what happens when you donate all of your Breath into an object to make yourself look Drab. So I would have to wonder if the Ninth Heightening is needed at all to Awaken metal/stone, since it was never studied/tested. 

 

Brandon only said you could hide Breath in things. Never mentioned in metal, or mentioned a Heightening. 

 

I think that no, if the Ninth Heightening is actually needed to awaken stone/metal, than you will not be able to store breath in there without first achieving the Ninth Heightening.

 

Consider this: If storing Breath is the same as making a failed Command, then won't all below the Eigth Heightening who try to Command metal/rock "fail" and just end up storing it? Problem solved.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Here is the exchange in full which sheds some more light on this:
 

Chris King (Miyabi)

We only have one here from Nalthis, this one's a little bit tricky. Can you store Breath in metal without the Eighth Heightening? Just put it there without Awakening, just to hide the Breath.

Brandon Sanderson

Can you hide Breath… Yes you can hide Breath in things.

Chris King (Miyabi)

Metal in particular, without the Eighth Heightening.

Brandon Sanderson

I would say yes you could.

 

(source)

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