Author Topic: Warbreaker: Free Ebook  (Read 182090 times)

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #435 on: February 21, 2007, 12:29:15 AM »
Vadia--

Speaking of anal... ;)

I think the convention is that the Halladrens don't speak English (that would be an even bigger coincidence than them reinventing Freud), so Brandon has helpfully translated their speech and their slang into something that would make sense to his audience, all at no extra charge.

Rose; Matt--

I came up with a thought experiment that could, er, shed a little light on this (admittedly picayune) problem.

Suppose you took a piece of gray or white paper into a light-proof room, illuminated only with colored light (say, a red laser diode). Then, the paper would appear, in our example, red. What would happen if you tried to use it for awakening?

If you could use the paper for awakening, but it stayed red, then there's no draining of color, and you just broke the magic system.

If you could use the paper for awakening, and it turned gray, then the "drained" paper must be somehow changing the light that hits it into white light. I think this is what Matt meant by the draining being a "matter of physics".
- In this case, the color of the paper depends on the color of light that was hitting it initially, so you wouldn't be able to use it for awakening in the dark.
- Also, white and gray objects could be used for awakening (as you just did with the gray paper), but only once.
- You could tell if something had been used for awakening before by shining a colored light on it. If the reflected light came back white or gray, then you'd know the object had been used for awakening. Otherwise, it's just an ordinary white or gray object.

If you couldn't use the paper for awakening, then the magic must somehow "know" the paper is white or gray, even though it looks red. So when things turn gray, it must represent a change in the thing, not just the light that comes off of it. I think that's what Matt meant by a "matter of chemistry".
- In this case, you could do awakening in the dark.
- But you couldn't do awakening with a white or gray object, since there'd be no difference between an ordinary white or gray object and a drained object.

So, from this thought experiment, we can see that EITHER you can do awakening in the dark, and awakening is a matter of chemistry, and gray objects can't be used; OR you can't do awakening in the dark, and awakening is a matter of physics, and gray objects can be used. All from column A, or all from column B; no combinations. (OR, awakening is a matter of (soft-core) magic, and not comprehensible under any set of rules, but I think Brandon's allergic to that.)

I'm leaning towards awakening being a matter of chemistry, because it makes more sense that way that vibrant colors would be more effective. (The other option has objects undergoing a huge qualitative change when they're used for draining, where light actually physically changes when it comes in contact with the object. All objects would undergo this change equally, regardless of how vibrant they previously were.)

Of course, it goes without saying that a physical or chemical mechanism that would explain the color changes would have to be so complicated that it's not worth trying to figure it out.

firstRainbowRose

  • Level 18
  • *
  • Posts: 867
  • Fell Points: 1
  • So pretty!
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #436 on: February 21, 2007, 12:50:55 AM »
Your explanation of the piece of paper does make sense, and makes me want to ask: Could you re-use something that had been used?  For an example, using the scarfs that Vivenna used recently, what if Vasher took one of them to a dyer and had them dye it a bright green or blue?  Could it be re-used?  In your argument it couldn't because it's physical make-up had changed (maybe it's kind of like a force of power that flows through colors, and is what's drained when you use breaths), but if it's just the color that prompts the magic then it would.  Or maybe it wouldn't even dye...

I also wonder whether a certain color is better for certain commands (red for something that to do with blood or love, purple for a bruise of the same color, etc).  Also, if you were to cut yourself and bleed onto a piece of paper or a cloth or something, could you then use the red from your blood to Awaken?  (Sorry about the random questions, my brain is spewing them out and I just wanted other thoughts)
"The custom of royalty in referring to oneself is to naturally employ the royal 'we'. We are very happy, we are very sad, we are bored and suffer from ennui. For a royal prince there's no such word as 'me', It's always 'we'. So rightfully I should be two or three, don't you agree?"

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #437 on: February 21, 2007, 01:32:33 AM »
Could you re-use something that had been used?  For an example, using the scarfs that Vivenna used recently, what if Vasher took one of them to a dyer and had them dye it a bright green or blue?  Could it be re-used?

Assuming my argument is correct, the answer would have to be:

Objects can be reused if awakening is a matter of chemistry (and therefore awakening works in the dark, and gray objects can't be used) because in this case, you can't tell an ordinary gray object from a drained object (and you could certainly dye an ordinary gray object and use it -- wool, for example, all starts out gray, assuming Halladren sheep are anything like ours).

But if awakening is a matter of physics (and therefore awakening doesn't work in the dark, and gray objects can be used), then once an object is drained it can't be reused. In fact, dying a drained object shouldn't have any effect in this case -- it would stay gray even if it's soaked in colored dye (just as it turned gray in colored light in my thought experiment).

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #438 on: February 21, 2007, 01:54:44 AM »
It just occurred to me that awakening could also be a matter of psychology -- a drained object would reflect the same colors of light as a regular one, but would emit some kinda magic ray that would make everyone looking at it think it's gray. For the purposes of this discussion, this is indistinguishable from awakening as a matter of physics (doesn't work in the dark, can use gray objects, can't dye or reuse objects, blah blah blah), though of course you could easily design an experiment to tell whether drained objects were changing the light ("physics"), or just messing with your head ("psychology").

Practically, though, the only application of this (indeed, the only application of this entire discussion, most likely) would be to give Vasher or someone like him something to babble about  when Brandon needs him to wax technical.

dreamking47

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 127
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #439 on: February 21, 2007, 02:02:39 AM »
David, yes, that's exactly what I meant with the distinction between chemistry and physics: either something is altering the energy state of the thing's atoms at an extremely low-level, or something is altering the chemical composition of the dye/pigment/coloring agent at a more macro-level.

Of course all this assumes we're in a universe where the same laws and processes are in place.  I don't think there is conservation of energy when Awakening and Commanding, however, so that may not be a valid assumption.

Here's another question (see dawncawley, this is what you get when you complain things are slow):

Can a dead Returned God be made into a Lifeless?

(It'd be sacrilegious I'm sure to a Hallandren, but conceptually I don't see why not...)

MattD
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 02:30:29 AM by dreamking47 »
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #440 on: February 21, 2007, 03:06:03 AM »
Can a dead Returned God be made into a Lifeless?

Obviously, this isn't answered in the story (yet), but I doubt it.

Can a dead Returned God be made into a Lifeless (with one breath)?
Can a dead Lifeless be made into a Returned God (with the death of another God)?
Can a dead Returned God be resurrected into a live Returned God (with the death of another God)?
Can a dead Lifeless be made into a live Lifeless (with one breath)?

It seems to me that all four of these questions are related, so they probably ought to all have the same answer. And I'm pretty sure the answer to the last question is "no", because I seem to recall someone in the story talking about Lifeless getting discarded when they're worn out. (If you could resurrect them, then good dead Lifeless would just get infused with a new breath instead.) So my guess is that all the rest of the questions are "no"s as well.

Though the third question has some interesting story possibilities, if it could be done against the live God's will (which is sort of implied by Susebron's ancestors's deaths). One thing's for sure -- a dead Returned God resurrected as a Lifeless wouldn't be able to fool anyone into thinking it was a God, because without the extra breaths, it wouldn't look like a God anymore.

firstRainbowRose

  • Level 18
  • *
  • Posts: 867
  • Fell Points: 1
  • So pretty!
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #441 on: February 21, 2007, 04:41:58 AM »
I don't see why a Returned wouldn't be able to be made into a lifeless unless the body vanishes after they die (which wouldn't make much sense at all.)  But I don't think any of those could be done with one breath.  Heck, I don't think anything we've seen happen so far has taken only 1 breath.  Everything takes a lot more than that.  As far the rest, I think you're right with the nos.

Now my next question is:  Can breaths be used to control people?  (Mind control type things, or illusions)
"The custom of royalty in referring to oneself is to naturally employ the royal 'we'. We are very happy, we are very sad, we are bored and suffer from ennui. For a royal prince there's no such word as 'me', It's always 'we'. So rightfully I should be two or three, don't you agree?"

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #442 on: February 21, 2007, 04:51:48 AM »
It takes just one breath to make a lifeless. That's sort of a major plot point.

Quote
Can breaths be used to control people?

Well, "Give me all your money or else I'll Awaken your shirt and make it choke you to death" seems like it'd be pretty effective.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 05:09:37 AM by DavidB »

firstRainbowRose

  • Level 18
  • *
  • Posts: 867
  • Fell Points: 1
  • So pretty!
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #443 on: February 21, 2007, 05:19:05 AM »
Oh... I thought it just took less breaths then before.  *blush*

And while that is a very convincing point, I meant more of mind control type things.  Put breaths into a person's body, and give them a command.  (Kiss them, breath in and command "Love me" or something)
"The custom of royalty in referring to oneself is to naturally employ the royal 'we'. We are very happy, we are very sad, we are bored and suffer from ennui. For a royal prince there's no such word as 'me', It's always 'we'. So rightfully I should be two or three, don't you agree?"

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #444 on: February 21, 2007, 04:13:09 PM »
I don't think there is conservation of energy when Awakening and Commanding, however....

But wouldn't it be fun if there was?

Warbreaker physics test: Let's suppose that the energy Awakened objects use to move comes from breath. Then, (in order to estimate how much energy is in each breath), let's suppose that when a Lifeless wears out (say, after 80 years at most) it's because its one breath has run out of energy. With these assumptions, how many breaths would you have to put into the head of a pin (with a diameter of 1 mm) in order to make a black hole?

(My answer: 1.2*10^29. If every star in the known universe had a planet with the population of Earth, then there might be just enough breath in the universe for this. --EDIT: Whoops, no, there'd be enough to do this a thousand times over. Logically, 1 sextillion ought to be 1000^6, but no, it's 1000^7. Go figure.)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 04:26:51 PM by DavidB »

vadia

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 47
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #445 on: February 21, 2007, 06:40:34 PM »
Vadia--

Speaking of anal... ;)

I think the convention is that the Halladrens don't speak English (that would be an even bigger coincidence than them reinventing Freud), so Brandon has helpfully translated their speech and their slang into something that would make sense to his audience, all at no extra charge.



It's possible, just thought that perhaps Brandon would have liked my comments. . . or not whatever.

dreamking47

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 127
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #446 on: February 21, 2007, 07:00:27 PM »
I actually agree, vadia: "anal" felt a little wrong to me, too.  Mainly I think because I couldn't see someone so freely admitting that they were called "the Anal."  To use David's language, it felt like a mistranslation.

I also don't remember him acting particularly anal at any point in the book...

MattD
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #447 on: February 21, 2007, 07:29:47 PM »
It's possible, just thought that perhaps Brandon would have liked my comments. . . or not whatever.

Er...sorry?

But I was disagreeing with you, not deleting your post or anything, so Brandon will still read your comments, and decide for himself whether he "likes" them or not.

I actually agree, vadia: "anal" felt a little wrong to me, too.  Mainly I think because I couldn't see someone so freely admitting that they were called "the Anal."

He might, if he were proud of being a nitpickity perfectionist....

But you're right, I don't remember him being particularly anal during the rest of the book either.

EUOL

  • Moderator
  • Level 58
  • *
  • Posts: 4708
  • Fell Points: 33
  • Mr. Prolific [tm]
    • View Profile
    • Brandon Sanderson dot com
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #448 on: February 21, 2007, 08:17:10 PM »
Ha!  Now those were some interesting questions.  As I finish fleshing out this magic system, I'm going to owe a lot to you guys for your in-depth looks at what it can and can't do.

This next chapter is short, I'm afraid.  I'll make it up to you next week, since the Vivenna chapter that follows is about four times its length.  After this, things do pick up for a while.  Sorry to give you two weeks of character/motivation establishing chapters.  Since they're short, they would have passed quickly in the book, but you have to wait on them for weeks. 


Chapter forty-eight


Edit--by the way, vadia, your clarity suggestions are well appreciated. I actually already changed anal in a rewrite I did, actually, but I missed most of the others.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 12:42:01 AM by EUOL »
http://www.BrandonSanderson.com

"Technically, I don't even have a brain."--Fellfrosch

DavidB

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #449 on: February 21, 2007, 08:56:07 PM »
My quick response to this chapter:

The first five paragraphs or so seemed a bit cloying, especially the line "A God of color and beauty, his body as perfectly sculpted a statue." It may be literally true in this case, but it sounds awfully...cliche-romance-novel. And, of course, there's the obvious grammatical error.

When Siri says, "I’ll sit with Lightsong, and plead for his help," it should be made clear whether she means that she's going to meet him today, or that she's not going to do anything until the general meeting (which would be kind of stupid, considering that if Lightsong doesn't cooperate with her at the general meeting, it'd be a little late to come up with a backup plan.)

That meeting will decided wither or not we march on Idris contains another obvious grammatical error.

Other than that, there doesn't seem to be much to say about this chapter...it does its job without being too flashy, so I guess that's good.