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Just finished a recent reread...


MoS03

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This was only my second reread, so I'm sure there's some things I've still missed.

One question I had was, just how exorbitant of a price is attached to a Breath? When Jewels snapped at Vivenna, she claimed one Breath to the God King fed their family for over a year. And each week, between 27 and 29 Breaths are given to the Returned (25 Returned, 2 each week to Susebron, and sometimes 1-2 more). Where does the Pantheon get this much money?

While I understand that Hallandren's power was often referred to via the Lifeless army, in order to support just the Breaths for the Returned, they would have had to be massively wealthy. The dyes, and the taxes from them, must be making a ridiculous amount of money for the Pantheon to support it's expenses.

I propose that Hallandren's power would actually stem from their economic situation, and that the Lifeless army is more a precaution (a horrendously expensive one) to safeguard their money.

Idk, one of the things I jotted down while reading.

Another thought. Although it comes up later between Siri and Treledees, how do the Royal Locks not give Vivenna away immediately? Is her control really that good? I'm not doubting it, but any variance, and someone of the First Heightening or higher that just happened to be looking at her would notice. It's hinted that her excellent hair control lead to her talent at Awakening. Perhaps her hair just never changed under scrutiny.

Some weird thoughts about Investiture.

More Breaths gives more passive abilities. Perfect pitch, perfect color recognition, instinctual awakening, what have you. Now, if a being with more and more of Endowment's investiture sees the world more and more enhanced, how must Endowment view the world?

Is there no expenditure of Investiture for the passive abilities?

And, we've seen Lightweaving in a few different forms, perhaps Lifesense is Endowment's version of Brass burning? Perhaps Investiture Sensing is a common theme in the Cosmere, much like Lightweaving?

Eh, those are my thoughts.

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Is there no expenditure of Investiture for the passive abilities?

I would say that those passive abilities are like holding glasses made of Investiture, as an example; you can tap the Investiture to dissolve the glasses into an active ability, or you could just use it as a pair of glasses, a passive ability.

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This was only my second reread, so I'm sure there's some things I've still missed.

One question I had was, just how exorbitant of a price is attached to a Breath? When Jewels snapped at Vivenna, she claimed one Breath to the God King fed their family for over a year. And each week, between 27 and 29 Breaths are given to the Returned (25 Returned, 2 each week to Susebron, and sometimes 1-2 more). Where does the Pantheon get this much money?

 

A good question, here are my (hopefully equally good) musings on the matter:

 

1) One might get more money by giving Breath to the God King

2) Though it must still be a sizable amount, the fee that might have lasted for over a year does not necessarily mean they lived in comfort and style. I imagine it was not abject poverty, but it might be similar to unemployment.

3) Offerings are continually made to the gods. I imagine that they receive a considerable bit in "tithing" from the worshipers in both monetary and actual goods. This could help offset the cost of giving the gods their hedonistic life and for Breath.

4) Some professions (such as the artist) are based around the economy to make offerings to the Gods. A registration fee could be charged to raise more money.

 

Those are just some "side income" that I can think of right now, but since Hallendren is a theocracy, your explanation on the taxes on the dye industry no doubt play a crucial role. 

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Where does the Pantheon get this much money?

Good question. Someone else mentioned the hedonistic lifestyle. If Lightsong is only a little bit more extravagant than most Gods, every day they prolly go through an appreciable fraction of the cost to feed a peasant family for a year. I concur with both your implication and the above sentiment; Hallandren is insanely wealthy from its lock on a precious luxury good and the taxes thereby. Recall that the one fisherman fished at night to avoid having to pay a fee; granted he was insane and maybe not indicative of things as a whole, but it's not unreasonable to guess that taxes are pretty high. It does make me worry; money goes in and out very, very quickly in Hallandren, and a lot of it is wasted on frivolity. If anything ever happens to disrupt the trade of the dyes made by the flowers, Hallandren's economy would collapse faster than you could say, "Your Breath to mine."

 

Another thought. Although it comes up later between Siri and Treledees, how do the Royal Locks not give Vivenna away immediately? Is her control really that good?

I think it's implied she really is. Even her father is amazed at her control. She makes a few mistakes when she shows up those first few days, but she expressly wears a shawl over her head most of the time.

 

You make me wonder... how does her aura affect it? Are the changes even more noticeable in her aura? Actually, since we know the hair is changing color because she has a tiny spark of Divine Breath in her, is it possible it's already shifting the colors to perfect hues anyway, so there's nothing for her aura to enhance?

 

People with 50 Breaths also aren't all that common. She'd pass few enough in the average day that it's not unreasonable to guess that if one of them actually did happen to be glancing right at her just as her hair changed color a little bit, he might not immediately assume he'd seen a Royal Princess walk past him.

 

how must Endowment view the world?

Mistborn

Vin-as-Preservation viewed the world in an interesting way. She glanced at armies and could immediately enumerate the koloss. She had an instinctive knowledge of the power she held. The longer she held it, the more her mind expanded, the more inhuman senses she developed, the more she grew to understand that she wasn't flying around the world, she was already everywhere and she was just changing her focus. I suspect that at the end of the day, "the way a Shard sees the world" isn't mappable to the human experience.

 

Is there no expenditure of Investiture for the passive abilities?

 

WoB is that BioChroma and Awakening are end-neutral.

 

Mistborn

Like Feruchemy.

 

However, I don't personally understand what this means, since you are clearly getting benefit without personally losing anything. There must be some hidden mechanism, then, we do not see.

 

The epigraphs of Hero of Ages will explain end-positive, end-neutral, and end-negative; if you haven't heard these terms before I'm happy to explain.

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Nah, I get the end-pos, neg, etc. it just seems like they're getting some of the benefit of Bronze, without any expenditure. Perhaps the BioChroma offers the capability, and metabolism (similar to Royal Locks?) makes up for it. Perhaps people with more BioChroma need to eat to maintain the abilities? If so, I feel like we would have heard it.

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There were discussions on the price of breath in the past, and I think the general consensus was that it was between 5000 and 10000 $ at purchase power parity. A poor family can live one year with that amount. but if you conssider it at a nation-wide level, 300000$ per day aren't that much in a nation with a population of several million. Same for the luxury, it's not really worse than what the egyptians spent for their religion (think of how many people and even animals they mummified) and it is a pittance compared to what was wasted in imperial rome.

Add in that the nation is ludicrously rich for having world monopoly of dyes, and you see it is reasonable.

 

As for vivenna, even if she lost control of her locks for a  moment, people would not recognize her for the same reason people do not recognize superman (or, in the real world, famous people on the road): what's more likely, that the woman you casually glanced is the princess of a foreign nation there on a secret mission, or that if was just an effect of the sunlight on her hair? You'd dismiss it as your mistake without thinking twice.

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Eh... except that everyone knows a princess just came to T'Telir, and every time she does the trick it's a big deal.

 

EDIT: ...and there are already rumors that another Idrian princess is wandering around T'Telir.

Edited by Oudeis
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Everybody knows Superman is there too, but Clark just toils on at the office and nobody ever notices XD

When you're actually looking at her you'd probably notice (people aren't that stupid), but the chances of recognizing her if she slips a little bit just wandering on the street aren't very high. You don't pay attention to things happening at the corner of your eye.

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