The Returned, who retain no memory of their previous existence, are worshipped as gods in Hallandren. The exact process of a Returned's resurrection is unclear; however, Lightsong had a Voice speak to him, offering him a chance to Return and change the events of his vision. This voice is confirmed to be the Shard Endowment.
Each Returned is gifted with a single, powerful Breath which allows them to reach the Fifth Heightening. This divine Breath is a Splinter of Endowment. A Returned may give this Breath (sacrificing themselves) to heal one person.
A Returned consumes one Breath per week as a consequence of being reborn. Their body feeds off of any Breaths they have available, and many Return for one week only for their body to consume their divine Breath on the eighth day, killing them a second time.
Returned can, however, receive more Breaths on top of their divine Breath. They then consume these Breaths instead of their own, and can stockpile and use them for normal Awakening purposes.
Returned appear how they subconsciously think they should look at the time of their Return. A Returned can, with the correct training, learn to change their appearance. The old gods look old and the heroic gods look strong, as examples. However, common traits include being larger than normal humans, just under 7 feet in height, and giving off a color-altering aura of the 5th Heightening.
A Returned is able to suppress their divine Breath, altering their appearance to look like a normal human, losing the Fifth Heightening in the process. However, a normal-looking Returned still has traits commonly associated with Returned, such as increased strength and speed.
In Hallandren the Returned are worshipped as gods sent by the Iridescent Tones to guide their followers. As such the Returned are fed one Breath each week in order to maintain their life. In exchange the Returned are petitioned by the people of the city to give up their breath as a cure for illnesses. They are also expected to perform auguries by reviewing works of art sent by citizens, and their priests record their dreams to search for prophetic glimpses.
- It is much more difficult for those not born on Nalthis to become Returned.
- A Returned will often see their entire previous life just before giving up their divine Breath.
- Warbreaker chapter 46
- Warbreaker chapter 57
- The Voice is, indeed, one of the Shards of Adonalsium
— Theoryland - Jul, 2009#
- It's what we speak of in Shard world terminology as a Splinter
— Theoryland - Jan 18th, 2010#
- Warbreaker chapter 12
- Annotation for Warbreaker chapter 14
- Annotation for Warbreaker chapter 55
- Annotation for Warbreaker chapter 22-2
- Warbreaker epilogue
- Warbreaker chapter 3
- Manchester UK signing
— Arcanum - 2014-08-06#
- Annotation for Warbreaker chapter 47
|Characters||Vasher · Vivenna · Siri · Lightsong · Denth · Susebron · Llarimar · Bluefingers · Blushweaver · Nightblood|
|Places||Hallandren · T'Telir · Idris · Kuth · Huth · Tedradel · Court of Gods|
|Magic||Awakening · BioChromatic Breath · Command · Drab · Heightening· Ichor-alcohol · Lifeless · Returned|
|Mythology and Lore||Endowment · Austrism · Five Scholars · Iridescent Tones · Manywar · Kalad's Phantoms|