I recently learned an interesting tidbit. In some parts of Nalthis, Returned aren’t worshipped as gods, but are feared as vampires:
In some parts of this world, Returned aren’t worshipped, but instead seen as something akin to vampires. They draw in Breath to survive, and need a supply of people to feed off of. They tend to wear black, since it’s the most powerful color for draining to Awaken things.
While I’m thrilled to learn about the existence of Returned who drain life energy and dress like Bela Lugosi, I’m puzzled as to how they feed.
As I understand it, in keeping with the nature of Endowment, Breath must be given, not stolen. This doesn’t pose a problem for the Returned who are worshiped as gods, but how do Returned who are hated and feared as vampires acquire Breath? They can’t consume it by force. They could buy it (assuming that there’s a market for Breath in these parts of the world), but the passage gives me the impression that they’re not much liked, so they might find that hard.