One of Vasher's more useful abilities as a Returned is his immortality. However, there is no Breath on Roshar, so how does he survive?. From what I can figure there are two possibilities: either he just brought a ton of Breath, or stormlight and Breath can be used interchangeably. I would guess the latter but I feel like I am missing something.

How does Vasher survive on Roshar?

  • Q: How much stormlight equals one breath? Do you have an actual ratio? A: I have a ratio. It's not on me. Q: Okay, that's a Peter [Brandon's assistant] question again. A: Yeah, well, I may not answer it even then. Q: How much Stormlight is equal to one Breath? A: This is one of the times I have to go to Peter and say, They're asking, we have to canonize this. - goodreads.com/topic/show/1801601-wb-cosmere-spoilers-probable
    – Valorum
    Dec 11, 2016 at 20:43
  • Q: Can Breath be used to power Surgebinding? A: They are very similar Investitures, and most of the magics can be powered with the other magics if you are capable of making that happen.
    – Valorum
    Dec 11, 2016 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


He's using Stormlight, as in Cosmere standards, it is just a different form of Breath with different rules. The common term applied to the energy he's actually using is investiture.

Investiture is part of all the magic systems on each planet shown in the Cosmere. It's part of the metal in the Mistborn series, the Dor in Elantris, as well as the Breath and Stormlight. It's just that in each of those places, it functions very differently. Vasher wouldn't be able to just eat metal on Scadrial to get what he needs, he'd have to burn it like a Mistborn would, which releases the investiture and channels it into Allomancy. Likewise, I doubt he could breath in runes near Elantris, although it's possible that one of the Elantrians spells could do what is necessary to just release the raw power into him.

Stormlight is easy enough to access on Roshar - probably easier then Breaths are in Hallandren. So he's subsisting off that.

  • The main issue with Selish magic is one of Connection, I think.
    – Adamant
    Dec 11, 2016 at 21:03
  • @Adamant - The Elantrians were referred to as "dead" once (not sure where), so if they're a local variant on Returned, you might be right. All I really remember is Khriss mentioning connection and intent was tied so tightly into it that's why every land on Sel had something different. shrug
    – Radhil
    Dec 11, 2016 at 23:01

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