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Cosmernaut

Ways to be "immortal"?

Question

The other day I was reading through some wob and there was one about immortality which fascinated me. It got me thinking about how a worldhopper might achieve immortality.

For the sake of this exercise, let's pretend for a moment that Realmatic Theory and Cosmere magics and such are real, complete with spirit webs, planets, kandra, and dragons etc. If you could gather whatever you wanted from any planet and person and make any changes to yourself, how would you go about achieving "immortality"? 

For the sake of this question, anything that slows down aging, stops aging, extends lifespan, continuously heals wounds or has you be reborn constantly or anything to that effect can be included under immortality. You can mix magics and get creative as well.

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Pretty much every form of gaining immortality we've seen in the Cosmere has some associated downside, or you have to be born with it. For examples of the former, atium compounding requires a steady supply of a rare metal (and has an upper limit on how far you can prolong your life) and being an Elantrian is described as exhausting. Both types of Aimians appear to be immortal via either biological control (Siah) or distribution of consciousness (Dysians) but you can't just become one of them, similarly while sapient Investiture is naturally immortal you can't just become that either.

Cognitive Shadows generally have their own issues, though it depends on which variety you're talking about. All of them are locked into the Physical/Cognitive region where their Investiture comes from and need to learn how to leave and they require you to die first, under the right conditions. Returned have the extra burden of needing a constant Investiture supply and while the Heralds don't seem to have that limitation, they're all insane.

So yeah, if you want immortality of the 'doesn't age, at all' variety, have lots of money and the moral question doesn't bother you, the Fifth Heightening is really the way to go so far. As a bonus, you get perfect pitch, color perception and life-sense, plus virtual immunity to disease and physical ailments. The downside? You can't get drunk, ever. Oh, and if you give away enough Breath you'd probably start aging rapidly a la Rashek (though.Brandon's not canonized that yet) and temporarily giving only some away shouldn't be a big deal since you would still be getting dramatically slowed aging. So yeah, you'd need some spare Breath on top of that if you want to do intensive Awakening.

After the Heightening option, I'd go for the currently unknown method that Khriss and most Seventeenth Shard members use to extend their lives. We know it doesn't stop the aging process but considering that it can be learned by non-Invested people and it's kept Baon going for hundreds of years (maybe up to a thousand or so) it seems to be a pretty good deal.

Since we're talking immortality in the Cosmere, Brandon has mentioned that there are other things Rashek could have done which would have been more efficient than atium compounding but which would have required more active effort, by manipulating Connection. Possibly it involves some sort of perception trick like what Vasher uses to 'hide' his Divine Breath, only instead you're somehow hiding your age and manipulating Connection to make your soul think that time hasn't passed since whenever you stopped aging. I've no clue how you'd do that, since Connection seems to be more to places or things but he did say it would take effort.

Edited by Weltall
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the easiest way to do this is to get breaths, the 5 heightening grants agelessness, but thats 2,000 breaths so it's tough no matter how you go about it

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Go to Nalthis. Buy enough Breaths to reach the Fifth Heightening. #ThatWasEasy

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Steal the Kandra atium, trade it for gold, take the gold to Nalthis, buy 2,000+ Breaths. Immortality done.

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The Fifth Heightening seems like the lowest penalty (if expensive) route to go for functional immortality. On the other hand you're pretty exposed to any kind of Investiture draining effect, such as a Leecher Allomancer or a Larkin from Roshar.

I wonder if that Kholin swordmaster ardent "Zahel" would freak out if he ever met Rysn with her pet Larkin?

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I know it's not the popular theory or anything... But have we mentioned the 5th Heightening yet? :lol:

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2 hours ago, Calderis said:

I know it's not the popular theory or anything... But have we mentioned the 5th Heightening yet? :lol:

This would be a great name for a band. "The 5th Heightening" (spelled with a numerical digit)

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But I think the 5th Heightening is another option we haven’t considered yet.

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That's easy, you just get a Shard.... Oh wait, did I say easy?

The most reliable and easiest method is the 5th heightening, but it takes some 2000 breaths, not cheap.

Alternatively, you could die and become a Return. But not reliable in the slightest, and you need a reliable source of investiture or you die.

If you're connected to the area around Elantris and are also very devoted to something, there is a possibility of becoming an Elantrian. Although living as an Elantrian is apparently exhausting, so even though you can live forever you might not want to. 

If you can gain the feruchemic and allomantic ability to use atium, and get your hands on some atium, you can live for a very very long time, although not technically immortal.

There's also the method that Hoid uses, although we no basically nothing about it, so not realistic to get a hold of it.

You could also be born as a dragon or one of the sleepless.

That's just the version of immortality where you live a long time. There's a variety of ways to heal from fatal wounds.

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On ‎22‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 1:47 PM, Invocation said:

Steal the Kandra atium, trade it for gold, take the gold to Nalthis, buy 2,000+ Breaths. Immortality done.

Yes! and if you are Fullborn or Atium Twinborn you can use some of that atium on the way there if you're dying.

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On 2/16/2019 at 9:45 PM, Wandering Investor said:

That's easy, you just get a Shard.... Oh wait, did I say easy?

The most reliable and easiest method is the 5th heightening, but it takes some 2000 breaths, not cheap.

Also probably not easy. Think about it - nobody is likely to sell you 2000 Breaths in one transaction, since that would mean the other person was him/herself of the Fifth Heightening, and giving you those Breaths would mean giving that up. For gold? Not likely! No, you'd have to go buy up 1 Breath at a time from 2000 people, and once it became clear what you were up to, those Breaths would get more and more expensive. (Plus I bet the priests from the Court of Gods would have something to say about a non-Returned being of the Fifth Heightening, that word being "no".)

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It also depends on your actual definition of Immortal: Returned can always Starve to Death, Atium Compounding is still Finite for several reasons, etc.  And from a certain POV Flairing Cadmium could get you pretty close, but you will miss a lot of the cool stuff. 

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28 minutes ago, robardin said:

(Plus I bet the priests from the Court of Gods would have something to say about a non-Returned being of the Fifth Heightening, that word being "no".)

As far as we can tell this isn't the case; it's extremely expensive but not actively forbidden. The Ars Arcanum notes that getting above the Sixth Heightening is rare, which means that there must be enough people who do reach that point that Khriss could study the effects with a reasonable degree of confidence.

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2 hours ago, robardin said:

Also probably not easy. Think about it - nobody is likely to sell you 2000 Breaths in one transaction, since that would mean the other person was him/herself of the Fifth Heightening, and giving you those Breaths would mean giving that up. For gold? Not likely! No, you'd have to go buy up 1 Breath at a time from 2000 people, and once it became clear what you were up to, those Breaths would get more and more expensive. (Plus I bet the priests from the Court of Gods would have something to say about a non-Returned being of the Fifth Heightening, that word being "no".)

I said 'easiest', not 'easy'. The other methods usually require genetics, or gaining access to a magic systems through methods unknown. 

As for the expensive part, that's why you hide the breaths in clothe first, looks like you're a drab.

As for the priest, I've actually theorized that they might take issue with it. While not impossible, it is never mentioned that there are people with more than 2000 breaths in the city, and I'm sure some of the more affluent merchant families could do it if they really wanted to. Either they just weren't mentioned, its a taboo, or there are legal reasons why.

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There's no way they would know that the Divine Breath is the equivalent of 2000 Breaths unless people had done it. 

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I could sell immortality if I was a returned atium ferring.

Fill a unsealed atiummind with my infinite life and let people tap it for extravagant prices.

I could use that money to get more atium

Rinse and repeat! Boom immortality for everyone......everyone who can pay that is....

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3 hours ago, The Forumlurker said:

I could sell immortality if I was a returned atium ferring.

Fill a unsealed atiummind with my infinite life and let people tap it for extravagant prices.

Atium compounding isn't 'true' immortality, you need more and more stored youth as your true age increases because you need to counteract the increasing pressure that your Spiritual aspect (which 'knows' how old you really are) exerts on the rest of you. Eventually you hit a point where atium compounding just stops working because the amount of youth you can possibly tap at once doesn't pass that threshold.

Also, whether someone with the Fifth Heightening (by either method) actually has infinite youth to tap is debateable.

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Buy 2000 breaths at the 5th heightening

 

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