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Is there Breath on Roshar?


halo6819

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Durings BS's ama on reddit he stated

With in-depth knowledge of how the magics work, and their connection, one could probably get them all to work on other planets. It may take effort for some of them.

Does that mean that everyone in Cosmere has breath, they just dont know how to use it. or is the Bio-Chroma a bi-product of the shard on Nalthis?

Edited by Chaos
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(small note: PLEASE change that from a code box:

Like this.

to a quote box:

Like this.

Just saying.)

I really don't know, but I think that there's a few special things to consider. The first is the Shard dynamics involved. The unique effect of Endowment (and any companion Shards in the neighborhood) on the people of Nalthis has created Awakening as a magic system. Obviously, no one on Roshar is an Awakener, otherwise we would see it. But could a Rosharian, interacting with a Nalthisan, give away a portion of their soul as a Breath? Maybe. It depends on whether or not their SDNA in that regard is compatible, whether BioChroma is something unique, and not just a portion of the existing soul that has a way of being siphoned off.

One test I can think of is whether or not someone with only one Breath has slightly higher than average attributes, specifically those obviously granted to those with large quantities of Breath, than someone from Roshar, who has no obvious Breath to give away. If so, then yes, BioChroma is a specific product of the magic system.

The quote you're referring to really refers to more locally based systems, like AonDor, where Awakening on another planet is just a matter of bringing Breath with you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This reminds me of a text conversation I had with Mosh last night about whether the Dor can be channeled on Roshar, and if so, how. Keep in mind, we have seen disguised Elantrians on Roshar, but we haven't seen them do any magic, so they could have easily put on disguises before leaving.

But did they? And by the same token, does everyone in the Cosmere have Breaths (in the same sense that people on Nalthis do, that is), or did Endowment's influence on Nalthis turn those specific pieces of people's souls into something that can be manipulated, making Nalthis-dwellers the only people in the Cosmere who have, in a sense, "tangible" Breaths?

We need more information. Right now, I'm going to guess that Awakeners simply bring Breaths with them, and Elantrians worked their disguises before going to Roshar, because based on what we've seen of the differences between magic systems, that seems to make the most sense in my mind. That's just a guess, though, and can easily change once Brandon reveals more to us.

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Think of what the Shard on Nalthis is called. Endowment. It is on Nalthis that people can endow objects (or other people) with Breath. The terms generally used may be "invest" or "give" for objects and people respectively, but they are forms of endowing, just as Endowment can endow people with a large Breath so they Return. Thus on Nalthis, humans' Breath is something that can be separated from them. On Roshar, it is the opposite is true; humans' "Breath" is inseparable, but other objects' Breaths are. Only we call them "spren" on Roshar. They have a lot of similarities:

Both are universal - every person has a Breath naturally, every object has a spren naturally.

Both can be separated from what they are attached/attracted to without that losing its identity altogether - a drab is still a human, and fabrials seem to work by "capturing" spren, presumably separating them from their original source.

Both are basically homogeneous in their type - Syl says that

all spren are, in a sense, virtually the same individual
(TWoK, p. 262), and every normal Breath is basically the same and every Returned Breath is basically the same (although the two are not the same, but neither are windspren and flamespren truly the same).

Both seem to be strongly Cognitive, but have Physical and presumably Spiritual connections - People with more Breath add visible color to themselves and their surroundings, and have healthier bodies (Physical), but abilities of life sense, perfect pitch, color recognition, instinctive awakening, etc. seem very Cognitive. Spren are also visible (Physical), but seem to be most influenced in Shadesmar (Cognitive). Although it's hard to say exactly what are Spiritual connections, I suspect both have those.

So I believe that there is Breath on Roshar, but, due to the nature of the Shards present, they are not separable from people, just as in Shinovar no one sees (or does much with) spren, presumably because something about the nature of Highstorms awakens them, and Highstorms are too weak by the time the reach Shinovar.

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