Hemalurgist

What are the limits to what can be awakened?

25 posts in this topic

I'm wondering could you potentially awaken something that isn't a solid.  Blood is pretty close to being alive so it could potential be cheaper than metal. Also if you were to awaken a liquid or potentially a gas how would that work.

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I think you may potentially awaken whatever you want...but probably it's a matter of Cognitive Aspect of the blood. You may end to have your breath to awaken a single drop of blood or maybe the whole pool.

I think something with a not fixed form have a too variable Cognitive Aspect to be a realiable subject to awakening...but as far as I remember there is not any WoB aganist your Idea

EDIT: I am just remembering a WoB about awakening mercury to build a T-1000 lifeless, but I can't remember the answer...I will try to find it

Edited by Yata
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This sounds like it could be cool, but I don't think you can awaken anything that doesn't have a solid form, due to it not having anyway to move. Cloth, rope, and other objects work because they have substance that they can use as pseudo-muscles, whereas water or blood don't have anything to propel or otherwise hold them together. Cool idea though.

Edited by Faceless Mist-Wraith
Grammer
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If liquid could be Awakened (and I think it might be possible but not very effective), then imagine if you could also Awaken gas or even plasma.  The potential as weapons would be crazy.  I think the fact that it wouldn't naturally hold together would be the biggest hurdle, though.

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I suspect the Breath could animate a liquid regardless of its lack of independent motive power since we know it can be done with Kalad's Phantoms. WoB is that the Breath that was left in them was holding them together and acting like 'magical sinews' to let them move, but then another huge influx of Breath was needed to get them to actually do anything. Since liquid doesn't have a fixed shape, the 'Law of BioChromatic Parallelism' would probably mean it requires a ruinous amount of Breath to both Awaken liquid in the first place and get it to 'move', since the Breath would have to not only move it but hold it all in some sort of fixed shape. So while I think it's something that is possible, I don't think it would be easy.or all that practical.

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We still don't know why Nightblood is sentient, with a Command of "destroy evil". What if you gave a far more vague Command, like "live a good life"? Or like Pvt. James Francis Ryan was given - "earn this"? And not while Awakening steel, but a corpse (trying not to create a Lifeless, but a Life..ful?)

 

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8 minutes ago, robardin said:

What if you gave a far more vague Command, like "live a good life"? [. . .] And not while Awakening steel, but a corpse (trying not to create a Lifeless, but a Life..ful?)

Commands are partly carried out by the Awakeners mental visualization of the Command. So making something intentionally vague has.. risks. Although, if you have a good enough mental picture you can probably make any command work.
Edit: Also, Lifeful? :)

Edited by The One Who Connects
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Also, what about awakening, for example, ice? If placed in a hot environment, would the melted ice still be awakened? Or would it just not melt (which should be impossible)?

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4 hours ago, A Budgie said:

Also, what about awakening, for example, ice? If placed in a hot environment, would the melted ice still be awakened? Or would it just not melt (which should be impossible)?

with a regular Awakening I think it will work in this way (you have to reach before the Hight Heighenings before).

You awake the Ice with X Breath (I think you will need a lot of Breath for this, but ok) then the Ice for some reason melt...You will be (in theory at least) able to awake water but it would requite more Breath than Ice....So the Ice melt an in the aftermath the formed water has not enough energy to do anything.
PS: Probably you may reduce the Breath requirement with some trick, as use blood insted of water or Soulcasting a man into Ice and then use that Ice as subject

Edited by Yata
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So many unknowns with Warbreaker still, I really wish this was on BS's coming soon list, I really miss this world. I enjoyed it as much as Mistborn.

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Awaken some stem cells, with the command "cause cancer". 

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I don't think that it would be possible in any practical way..

Spoiler

I'm pretty sure that at some point Vasher mentions the fact that the less human like that it is the more breaths that would be needed to awaken it. Bear in mind that it took 1,000 breaths awaken steel with is a solid object. To awaken a liquid like blood the required breath and command would probably be so high and difficult that no one would be able to pull it off.

 

Edited by Nathrangking
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3 hours ago, Nathrangking said:

I don't think that it would be possible in any prctical way..

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I'm pretty sure that at some point Vasher mentions the fact that the less human like that it is the more breaths that would be needed to awaken it. Bear in mind that it took 1,000 breaths awaken steel with is a solid object. To awaken a liquid like blood the required breath and command would probably be so high and difficult that no one would be able to pull it off.

 

Steel however was never alive in any form, blood comes from a living thing so one could argue it'd be easier to Awaken.

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3 hours ago, Agent34 said:

Steel however was never alive in any form, blood comes from a living thing so one could argue it'd be easier to Awaken.

While that may be partially true I suppose can you it something which "lived". It may have been a component of something which lived, but the fact is that it itself was not ever reallly alive. That and the issue of not resembling something alive would be at play in the difficulty of awakening it.

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36 minutes ago, Nathrangking said:

While that may be partially true I suppose can you it something which "lived". It may have been a component of something which lived, but the fact is that it itself was not ever reallly alive. That and the issue of not resembling something alive would be at play in the difficulty of awakening it.

Resemblance to something living, or to human shape, is only one of the laws of Awakening. Vasher added some of his hair to make his straw dolls easier to Awaken.

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3 hours ago, Nathrangking said:

While that may be partially true I suppose can you it something which "lived". It may have been a component of something which lived, but the fact is that it itself was not ever reallly alive. That and the issue of not resembling something alive would be at play in the difficulty of awakening it.

Awakening was heavily inspired by Voodoo. Lifeless are the zombies fulfilling their masters command. Form and material are extremely important. Blood also has significance as a representation of life. 

Mistborn and SfSitFoH

Spoiler

Hemalurgic spikes Decay unless actively inserted into a living being, and require blood contact when the initial spiking occurs. The only way to keep them from degrading outside of a host body is by keeping them submerged in blood. 

Shades on Threnody violently react to spilled blood. 

I would be surprised if adding blood to something didn't produce the same lowered cost as hair that @Agent34 mentioned. 

I think if any liquid could manage to be awakened it would be blood. 

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That may be true if it were added to something to help with the awakening. To actually have it awaken on its own is something which even assuming your proof would be a difficult assertion to make.

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This is probably similar to the answer he gave about live sprenblades becoming two separate objects. It's theoretically possible, but it would take so much investiture that it wouldn't really be practical for anybody except maybe Susebron.

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I had never thought of this before, so this is pretty cool and I hope we eventually get some confirmation on it. My take would be that while it may be possible to Awaken liquid, you would need the right command and intent. Vasher is clear when he says, "We really don't know what we are doing", but one thing for certain is that the wording for the command must be correct. You can't tell a puddle to act in the same way as a rope. But hopefully Sanderson will explain this in Warbreaker 2.

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12 minutes ago, Ati Aon said:

My take would be that while it may be possible to Awaken liquid, you would need the right command and intent. Vasher is clear when he says, "We really don't know what we are doing", but one thing for certain is that the wording for the command must be correct. You can't tell a puddle to act in the same way as a rope. But hopefully Sanderson will explain this in Warbreaker 2.

I believe you don't need a specialized Command but the Intent to make this kind of Awakening works would be magnitude more complex.

And as other said, using blood or "special water" (for example Soulcasted water) will turn this kind of Awakening more easier

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5 hours ago, Ati Aon said:

I had never thought of this before, so this is pretty cool and I hope we eventually get some confirmation on it. My take would be that while it may be possible to Awaken liquid, you would need the right command and intent. Vasher is clear when he says, "We really don't know what we are doing", but one thing for certain is that the wording for the command must be correct. You can't tell a puddle to act in the same way as a rope. But hopefully Sanderson will explain this in Warbreaker 2.

In addition to Yata's point, the wording of the command isn't actually all that important. 

The words of the command are necessary, primarily because language shapes the way we view things. We attach specific meanings to words, which then shape the mental image a command expresses. It's that mental image that's important. 

That's why Vasher is able to do so much with so few words (like his squirrel). He's very very good at creating a complex mental image to accompany the spoken commands. 

Edited by Calderis
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On 9/18/2017 at 10:15 AM, Aon Ati said:

I had never thought of this before, so this is pretty cool and I hope we eventually get some confirmation on it. My take would be that while it may be possible to Awaken liquid, you would need the right command and intent. Vasher is clear when he says, "We really don't know what we are doing", but one thing for certain is that the wording for the command must be correct. You can't tell a puddle to act in the same way as a rope. But hopefully Sanderson will explain this in Warbreaker 2.

I'm surprised Yata didn't mention this, given how it's been his main complaint against awakening liquids in the past. Liquid isn't exactly a single object in the same way a rake is, so for all you know you might end up awakening a single drop of water or trying to awaken the entire lake. Cognitive Perception of Liquids is.. an issue.

Also, as Calderis said, the true power of Awakening is the mental image that accompanies it. It's why the 10th Height. grants mental commands. The words help shape the mental image(read literally any book, you'll get a description of the scenery that conjures images in your head), but the mental picture is what the awakened object tries to emulate.

A rake doesn't have a dictionary on hand, so words are just noise. But a mental image of the rake waking down the street? It can try and emulate that with the limited cognizance granted by the Breath.


Speaking of Mental Command @Calderis, here's a question I want your opinion on:

  • The 9th Heightening grants the ability to awaken objects within the sound of your voice, without requiring physical touch.
  • The 10th Heightening grants the ability to awaken objects with your mind, without requiring your voice.

Given that Height 9 specifically says "sound of your voice," would someone at the 10th still be required to touch objects for mental command?

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15 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

Given that Height 9 specifically says "sound of your voice," would someone at the 10th still be required to touch objects for mental command?

I believe so. I think you'd have both benefits separately. Not together. 

The ranged Awakening appears to still require a physical interaction, just with the vibration transmitted via the atmosphere. Mental commands wouldn't be transmitted in the same way so I'm of the opinion that they'd require physical contact. 

At least until we're shown differently... 

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On 10/4/2017 at 1:05 AM, Yata said:

@The One Who Connects check my First reply to this topic...you underestimate my Power :ph34r:

I've gotten into the bad habit of glossing over the earlier conversation from before the post I'm replying to. Especially when it was from nearly a year ago.

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