Karger

A Different Kind of Imortality.

2 posts in this topic

Individuals with a divine breath are immortal by possessing the fifth heightening.  They are also cognitive shadows.  They are dependent on breath to maintain the connection between soul and body.  If they don't get another breath to fuel they consume their own sense of self (The investiture that has their own identity imprinted on it, their divine breath).  Once that is consumed they die.  However That divine breath is a cognitive shadow.  If it did not have to maintain the body it could persist indefinitely without additional investiture.  I wonder if their is a command that would allow them to cut themselves free from physical form and enjoy the Nalthis CR.  This is also exactly the kind of thing a super sneak would come up with.  Perhaps this is how Yesteal got away from Vasher?

Thank you to @Halyo_Alex for the inspiration in this theory.

Input is appreciated.  I am kind of tired right now and could easily be missing something.

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Posted (edited)

Hmm, maybe? They are supposed to be Investiture that staples your Cognitive Shadow to your body

Quote

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah the Divine Breath is a gift of investiture directly to the...basically they are being given a large splinter of Endowment.

Questioner

But is it the size?

Brandon Sanderson

The size is important, to make that happen, yeah.

Questioner

To make it happen?

Brandon Sanderson

To make it happen, yeah. To make them come back and to do the things but...there is obviously some leakage there when they basically taking a cognitive sh...they have to create a cognitive shadow of the spirit, right. Which requires some work, and then to push that back into the body and get it to stick requires some work as well. You'll see that with Szeth it isn't sticking very well.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah Szeth is not a cognitive shadow, he actually got stuck back in but the soul is not sticking very well to the body

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

That's what she's saying.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing (Dec. 1, 2016)

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Argent

When you say that the Returned are cognitive shadows, are they shadows of the people they were pre-death? In other words, is Lightsong Llarimar's cognitive shadow stapled to his body with a Divine Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they are. (The evidence in the books is Lightsong obtaining some of the memories his pre-death soul had.)

Footnote: It’s likely that “Llarimar” is supposed to be “Stennimar”
Stormlight Three Update #6 (Jan. 20, 2017)

and this WoB might suggest that they might become kinetic Investiture immediately upon release:

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Extesian

Can you give away a Divine Breath to another human? If so would they have the same powers as a Returned or would they just 'store' it like an inanimate object that Breath is stored in when not Awakened? Does a human require a 'crack' in their spirit web to receive a divine Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

So, a Divine Breath-- you're kind of going along the wrong direction on that line of reasoning. Divine Breaths cannot be transferred. When they are used they immediately become kinetic Investiture and are activated. This manifests normally as healing the person, both body, mind, and soul, but you can't give it up, transfer it in the same way you can regular Breaths.

Skype Q&A (Oct. 8, 2018)

So it'd be tricky, as you'd need to unstick the Cognitive Shadow+Splinter of Endowment from the Physical body but given the example of imperfect Cognitive Shadow sticking, and the Heralds & the Fused, I think this might just be possible

Edited by R J
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