Fanghur Rahl

Can drabs still recall their Breaths?

7 posts in this topic

I’m just curious, do we know if Awakeners are still able to recall their Breaths even if they invest all of them into an object? Or would they have to keep at least one? If the former, then I can’t help but wonder why the Returned would have to essentially parasitize people to stay alive; couldn’t an Awakener with, say, 1000 Breaths just transfer 999 of them into some inanimate object like Vivenna did, gift the last one to the Returned to keep them alive, and then just reabsorb the remaining 999, then rinse and repeat every week? That would seem like a fairly obvious loophole if it’s possible.

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Brandon mentioned in his annotations that there is a way that Vivenna could have given her Breaths away, one by one, without turning her into a Drab forever.

So let's take your 1000 Breaths as an example. You take a tiny scrap of cloth and Awaken it - such a tiny amount of cloth will only take one Breath. Then you throw the remaining 999 Breaths into another much bigger piece of cloth, and recall the one in the tiny piece and hunt for a Drab to give it to. Once that is done, you then recall the other Breaths in the bigger cloth and repeat the whole process, until one by one the Breaths are given away and you are left with one. It's a tedious process, but it can be done if you really want to.

So you could definitely use this same process to keep a Returned alive without turning more and more people in Drabs. Now getting people to actually do it is another matter... ;)

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But yes, to answer your first question, you can recall your Breaths after you've stored all of it into an object. That is what Vivenna did - she stored all of her Breaths in the shawl and lived three weeks as a Drab, counting the week she lay unconscious after Vasher rescued her. It was only after Vasher taught her how to recall the Breaths that she did get them back from the shawl, all at once.

Edited by cantabile21
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Returned having the whole ceremony of breath a week isn't a necessity. They could be given a stockpile. 

They aren't given more than one breath at a time, and on the day that if they don't eat it would kill them, because they are more idols of their religions than Gods. To give them any amount of breath is to allow them to start discovering Awakening. You can't contain an Awakener in a palace complex. 

The court of Gods, as Lightsong so frequently points out, is a luxurious prison. You don't arm your prisoners, just feed them. 

Edited by Calderis
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41 minutes ago, cantabile21 said:

That is what Vivenna did - she stored all of her Breaths in the shawl and lived two weeks as a Drab. It was only after Vasher taught her how to recall the Breaths that she did get them back from the shawl, all at once.

Okay, I’m officially an idiot. 

At any rate though, don’t we see the Returned Awakening at one point though? Didn’t one of them awaken a rope to ‘levitate’ him at Siri’s ‘wedding’? Or was that just a normal Awakener?

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Normal Awakener. The only returned Awakening we see is well... Lightsong if you count that as Awakening, Susebron, and Vasher. 

Edited by Calderis
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Hey it's okay, Fanghur Rahl, you're not an idiot! Happens to all of us sometime. When we're reading a story as engaging as this the first time round, we get so excited to find out what happens next that we tend to miss things or even misunderstand things. It's only when we get to the end and then read the second time through, more slowly, that we start to see some of what we missed in our hurry, especially if we were rushing the book in the wee hours. :D

It also helps tremendously to have Brandon's annotations along with the text. Goes a long way towards clearing up any confusing parts and any subtext or foreshadowing that we may have missed the first time. 

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