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Descendants Dedelin, Denth, Shashara, Vivenna, Ridger, Fafen, Sisirinah
Abilities Returned, Cognitive Shadow
Titles First Returned
Profession Sailor
Birthplace Chedesh
Homeworld Nalthis
Universe Cosmere

Vo, also known as the First Returned, is the first person known to have Returned on Nalthis.[1]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Vo presumably had all of the abilities of the Fifth Heightening granted by a divine Breath, including perfect pitch, life sense, and agelessness. Unusually for a Returned, Vo was able to bear children through an unknown method that required specific knowledge.[2][3]

Vo is also said to have spoken the five Visions that are the founding tenets of Austrism.[4] Very little is known about Austre other than the fact that he is not Endowment,[5] and it is therefore unclear if he somehow influenced Vo's visions.


Vo was a member of the Chedesh people that dominated ancient Nalthis. Around three hundred years prior to the Manywar, the Chedesh sent expeditions west across the Inner Sea in search of new lands. Vo was a member of an expedition that discovered a paradise-like valley with numerous unusual properties, including the only known habitat of Tears of Edgli.[1] Unbeknown to the Chedesh, the jungles of this valley held Endowment's perpendicularity.[6] Vo died under unknown circumstances around the same time the valley was discovered, and was soon reborn in the bay adjacent to modern-day T'Telir.[1] Endowment chose to give him a divine Breath hoping that he would fulfill some sort of unknown purpose.[7][8]

Vo was presumably an adult when he died; although he only lived for a week after Returning, he spoke the five Visions and impregnated his wife in that time.[1][fn 1] The circumstances of his death are unknown, but he likely lived seven days before his body consumed its divine Breath on the eighth day.[9][10]


After Vo's second death, his shipmates founded the kingdom of Hanald in the valley (despite the fact that the Pahn Kahl were already inhabiting the area). The new nation chose Vo's wife to be their queen. She would go on to establish a royal line, bearing the blood of Vo, which would continue to be in power until the Manywar. The war resulted in Vo's royal line leaving T'Telir to establish the nation of Idris in the highlands, while Hanald was renamed Hallandren and the priests there began downplaying the importance of Vo's bloodline.[1][11] His descendants that have a potential claim to the throne have the Royal Locks, although this is linked to lineage rather than genetics.[12][13] According to Vasher, the Royal Locks do indicate a relationship to a Returned, although he does not specify them as originating from Vo.[14]

Returned are normally unable to bear children despite many attempts to do so over the centuries,[15] and the method by which Vo was able to circumvent this limitation is unknown. The story of Vo fathering a child has become part of local legend, and Siri assumes that it was fabricated in order to legitimize the royal line of Hallandren.[2] However, any Returned can technically bear children if certain steps are taken;[11] it is unclear if Vo figured this out on his own or if he was somehow provided with this knowledge. The modern Hallandren priesthood of the God King is aware of a method to allow Returned to have children, but it does not always work. They are not sure if it the same method used by Vo.[3][11]

At least some priests who know of Hallandren's history remain aware that the Idrian royals are Vo's descendants, but they keep this belief secret.[11] Vo's lineage creates something of an inconsistency within the Hallandren religion of the Iridescent Tones since all Returned are revered, yet Vo's entire bloodline was exiled. Vo is typically referred to by his title as "first Returned" within Hallandren, but his name is used in Idris.[1]

The five Visions of Vo remain core tenets of Austrism hundreds of years after his death. Austrism retains many positive qualities, but some of its followers have taken the concept of humility too far, ironically taking pride in being humble.[16] This has led to bias and xenophobia.[17]


  1. It is unclear if Vo was already married before his death, or if he married in the short time he lived as a Returned.
This page is complete!
This page contains all the knowledge we have on the subject at this time.
Big Smooth (talk) 21:34, 12 May 2023 (UTC)