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Topics - Ciogli

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1
The Unholy Consult / Rereading The Unholy Consult
« on: November 24, 2017, 11:54:09 pm »
In preview or the podcast I recently reread TUC, on my first read I tore through it in two days. We had all been waiting for the conclusion tot he story for so long, it was like a favorite meal that I ate far to fast to truly enjoy it. It was much the same after I read the Great Ordeal, I liked but I was not so sure how much, and like that book I would need to reread it to truly appreciate it.

Once again the greatest weakness of this book for me was the crossing of Agongorea and the straits of the cannibal ordeal, it was like a long time friend who gets hooked on heroin, you know how this is going to end but every moment of the descent is agonizing. The moment they spied the horns poking up above the horizon I was like a kid who could see the spires of Disneyland in the distance and from that moment on I wanted Golgotterath. The descent of much loved characters into barbarism unknown before was hard to take, I think the parts removed that dealt with the Mandate would have helped this section, the sight of the Mandati tripping balls and all of them thinking they were Seswatha would have been great. Although the actual cannibal ordeal only lasted about twenty four pages it cast a long shadow across the next hundred pages. I think this section would have felt better balanced with more of Akka and Mimara cut in, this was the first book where there were no dreams to add to our knowledge. I think what made people think the section was so much longer than it really was is that there were no real breaks from the viewpoints. It was not until Kellhus shows up that the narrative starts to change. And the betrayal of Proyas was and still is a mindfuck, he started seeding this betrayal from the beginning of the Ordeal. He had to know crossing Agongorea would be a nightmare no matter the method, if they ate sranc then the Ordeal would be uncontrollable with bloodlust. And if they did not then they would starve and then they would have to turn to cannibalism, Kellhus knew that someone would have to be blamed for the method of crossing the wastes and so he exited stage left before hand and returned after the hard part was done with his hands clean. None asked why he had abandoned them at such a critical time, they were only so happy that he had returned to them in their darkest hour, just like he had planned all along. Something must be eaten.

 But the moment they stand before the Unholy Ark till the end of the book was the greatest battle that I have ever read in fiction, only the trail of dogs through seven cities would even come close. The eerie quite of the place as they stand before it and try to decipher the world curse across its gleaming gold skin, it was like a character in a horror movie who knows they are walking into a haunted house and yet they have no idea what to expect. They boasted to empty air and only the crazed impatience of a sranc ruined the surprise, the arrival of Mekeritrig naked talking shit to these weak mortals was great. Then the dropping of the Ciphrang upon them and the rushed start of the battle. I wish Bakker had talked more about the actual setup of Golgoterath from the start of the books, but maybe he did not have names that he was satisfied with until now. Corrunc and Domathuz which flanked Gweriguh the extrinsic gate was a great and terrible sight, and the fact that the first Ordeal had looked upon the same sight two millennia hence was a great tie between the two. Golgoterath was in fact the fortress at the feet of the Ark and not the Ark itself, the Oblitus and the High Cwol guarding the intrinsic gate, this was truly the height of epic fantasy. But for allthat he showed in this battle it shows that he was a master storyteller because now thinking on it seems that most of the Consults strength was not show here. Only the Upright horn was shown and only two places within that, if the Ark was buried in the ground then the vast majority of it remained unseen, Seswatha and Nau Cayuti seemingly snuck through the underground tunnels into the bowels of the place and did not enter the horn itself to steal the Heron Spear. So the Ark remains a mystery still. For all of the death only 80 Nonmen died, a majority of the sorcerers when they maddeningly rushed the Schools, naked and screaming curses to those long dead. So twenty four of the hundred who attacked still lived and seemingly disappeared afterward, and four other Nonmen died besides, the one killed by the Ciphrang, The Tall killed in the High Cwol before the gate, the spearmen atop the High Horn and lastly Mekeritrig. What happened to those Nonmen who released the Ten Yoke Legion ? Unless they were one and the same as the Quya then they remain largely unaccounted for, all those Viri and Erratics that fled Ishteribinth seem to be missing still. For all of the dragons we have heard of we have only seen two and one of those in the Ark, all those others that might have survived are not seen, and a question I had was how do they breed? Are they clones? Or are they sexual reproducers. During PON Aurang laments to himself of how few skinspies that they have left but in the Golden Room there is a hundred sighted, maybe the Consult have perfected a way to reproduce them in numbers.

The Golden Room scene was a more epic reflection of the scene within the Nonmen mansion in PON, where all truths are laid bare. The truth of the Inchoroi and there obscene mission is spoken aloud, what the Ark and what the No-God in fact were. And the truth of the Goad that they called the Inverse Fire, they simply want to save themselves from the Hells of the Afterlife like any sane being would, it reads so much more satisfying than some dark lord cackling in the background about how evil they are for evils sake. The Inchoroi were like sranc designed to be evil and thus damned for this very mission that they have been on for these ten thousand years of misery and woe. They like all other peoples in this series were simply born upon a certain path and they must simply follow that path till its fiery end. This is as true for Kellhus and the Dunyain as any other, a major complaint I have seen voiced is that Kellhus must succeed for any of the series to make sense, but the ultimate failure of Kellhus and the Ordeal are simply a declarative statement about doubt that has been the through line of the entire series. Kellhus has fooled the reader along with the characters of his inevitability, so when he fails it seems wrong somehow, but he was not ever a God or a prophet, only a man, a wondrous man a but a man none the less. As he said he was the most powerful point that this world had ever seen but he still only possessed two hands and was hemmed in by the darkness the same as everyone else. The pact with the Pit was simply his greatest throw of the number sticks, if he suspected the Consult was controlled by his Dunyain brothers then he would need all the help he could acquire and by any means. The fact that Kelmommas who he spared because of his love for Esmi and thus he directly allowed for the advent of System Resumption. The whore of Fate had to have saved that laugh for all of time, Akka thinks he got fucked by Fate but not in comparison to Kellhus. Kellhus is in some ways a most tragic figure, the greatest and most charismatic figure in history that could literally have any woman or man he wanted and he fell in love with a broken woman who never truly loved him back, only a kind of worship, all the while she still loved the man he had stolen her from. Unrequited love from a man who could not love and for a woman who did not love him back, in some ways Akka got his revenge upon him but could never know. That this love drove him to spare the No-God for which he had worked tirelessly for twenty years was a most cruel and wicked choice of Fate.

In summary after rereading the book without my preconceived notions I now love the book, my main problem is still the crossing but even that is now so bad, just now as interesting to me. Sometime in the future I plan to read the Great Ordeal and TUC back to back as one to see what it should have been like. Some years back on the old three seas board Bakker said the TUC in terms or revelations would be like the stripper throwing her G-string across the room, and some have questioned that, but when he said that the last two books were one and all of the revelations about the No-God, the Inchoroi, the Golden Room, the Inverse Fire, the Dunyain and the Nonmen were all in this one book.

And now for some random thoughts, the glossary was once again a highlight to read, the sheer depth of this creation is jaw dropping, Bakker once said the history of the Ancient North is every bit as layered as the three seas was and we only saw a fraction of that in this glossary. The Bronzemen who had 99 forts scattered throughout the eastern Yimaleti were like bronze age scalpers fighting through high mountain passes instead of deep forests. Bakker said some day he planned to write a book or series of books about the First Apocalypse, the Ancient North seems to be every bit as vibrant as the Threes Seas. But once again the Nonman grabbed my attention, I continue to think a series of books about the Cuno-Inchoroi wars would be spectacular, even during the time leading up to Arkfall, Morimhira abdicating the throne of Siol to his younger brother, the doomed loved of Cujara-Cinmoi's parents and there execution by there father and the eventual ascendancy of Cujara-Cinmoi in the shadow of what was to come for them all. Cujara seems like a real dick, an ancient version of Conphas, he was said to be spectacularly beautiful even for the Nonmen and had skills sorcerously and martial to match his immense pride, a boy genius whose pride spelt his peoples ruin. The rivalries with the other mansions when they were living intact things, mortal beings instead of immortal wrecks. The politics between the nine high mansions and there hatred of the Dark Nonmen of Nihrimsul, the sorcery and skill, all in the shadow of what was to come. They even had female sorcerers called the Quyil, Nil' giccas's mother was said to be one of their greatest. The Tall, which seems to be a condition that came on later in life, in the glossary Oirunas is said to be gifted a magical sword after he started to become Tall, so it would seem this condition only started to show itself during adulthood. The Inchoroi created the Bashrag to contend with the Tall but it seems they were like sranc to them in truth, the Tall that guarded the High Cwol was said to be two cubits taller than all of the bashrag in the canal, and that as far as I have found is three feet taller than creatures that were twice a mans height. And the fact that the Holy Deep was filled with them would seem to bode well for their appearance in the No-God series. The sorcerous artifacts which were missing from this series until this last book would seem to be filled with them since all the contrivers seem to be Nonmen or taught by the Nonmen.

This reread has reinvigorated my love for this series, the possibilities for the future are seemingly endless as of this moment.


2
The Unholy Consult / Merchandising the Second Apocalypse
« on: August 07, 2017, 02:03:39 pm »
In the author threads someone suggested Bakker selling Earwa and I think that would be a good idea.  I would love to have some figurines,  Golgotterath with the Golden horns reaching high. The extrinsic gate compare with gweriguh bookended by mighty Corrunc and the other tower, the oblitus. Or the weeping mountain,  Oirunas with his chorae studded armor, Nil giccas, the red ghoul, Cujara cinmoi.  Todd McFarlane does high quality figures,  get someone like somnabulist to design them even people who are not nescesasarily fans of the series would still buy them. Merchandising would probably bring in more money than straight book sales anyway. I'm sure there is some company that would be interested in the rights.

3
The Unholy Consult / Akka's New Dreams
« on: August 07, 2017, 01:44:43 pm »
I was just thinking about why Akka unlike his Mandate brothers has had dreams that seem to be directly from Seswatha. It may have to do with his estrangement from his School. By this time the Mandate is firmly entrenched with Kellhus, but the Celmommian prophecy was well known to Seswatha, he in fact transmitted to the Sohonc.  BUT in death if he understood the prophecy as Gilgaol intended it, as a warning that Kellhus  would be the No-God then be singled out begins to make sense.  He was the only one of the Mandate who was not enthralled by Kellhus and thus could contemplate the true threat.
Secondly if the gods are blind to the No-God  then how did they know to fear Kellhus,  it would seem that Kelmommas was always destined to be the No-God.
Or maybe they simply hunted Ajokli?

4
The Unholy Consult / (TUC Spoilers) Thoughts on TUC
« on: July 28, 2017, 11:46:59 pm »
I read the book last week and since then I have digesting my thoughts on the book, at first just like with The Great Ordeal I did not know how I felt about the book. The density of all that is learned must be mulled over rather than simply spewing random words about my feelings. I have been struck by the seemingly mixed reaction to the book, I have thinking about why that is. For me it seems that people who have not liked the book have talked like this book was supposed to end things rather than being the cliffhanger ending that the author intended it to be. People have been saying things like why have they been reading the series all these years for this ending,  that it has all been a waste of their time. Like they were not reading because they liked the series but because they have invested so much time and now they want some kind of payoff for their efforts. RSB has said for years that The Unholy Consult is a sort of Gordian knot that would cinch all of Earwaís plot threads into one thing.  The more that I have thought about the book the more that I have liked it, the more that I am starting to love it in fact and while The White Luck Warrior is my favorite this is a great book. For want of a better metaphor this book and the Aspect-Emperor series in general is the Empire strikes back part of the Second Apocalypse, a trilogy of trilogies. The first part in the Prince of Nothing the good guys prevail initially like Luke destroying the Death Star, but in the second part the bad guys up and deal a mighty blow to the good guys, Luke is maimed and is shattered by the revelation of Darth Vader as his father, Han Solo is captured and sent off, Lando betrays his friends. It is easily the darkest of those movies and this series is simply the second act where the bad guys appear to be triumphant over their enemies. If this was not the simply the end of the second act it would change the series but the ending is still to come.

One complaint I have seen is that the Mimara storyline and the Judging Eye have not meant anything to the story since she did nothing to Kellhuss or gaze on him with it. But I think that this is the wrong way to look at her story, she like everyone else thought the whole world hung upon Kellhuss and now that crutch has been kicked away. As I said this series is interconnected and her story is greater than simply her step father and his plans. In Mimara we saw the ascension of the first true prophet in an at least an age, maybe more if Fane or Sejenus  were not in fact prophets. She travels with the Eye of God within her and she will be pivotal in the next series. She also appears to have given birth to some kind of chosen one or savior since when she looked upon him the Eye went blind, indeed it may be the God of Godís has snuck into this world similar to Ajokli. In fact Akka mentions it in the Great Ordeal that he is in fact walking with the God of Godís when he is walking with her.

Now Esmenetís story was always the most boring storyline in the Aspect Emperor series, the whole New Empire plot seemed to have no impact upon the wider world. But now it seems crucial to what is going to happen in the overall story arc. It now seems that little old Esmenet is just as important if not even more so than Kellhuss. It was she who gave birth to the newest prophet who will see the world in the time of the resurrected No-God and the grandchild who may be its ultimate savior. She also gave birth to the No-God itself, without her none of these greater events would seem to have happened. It was she who kept Akka in Sumna when he first encountered the Consult, that forced him to flee that place when he was told to follow the holy war by the Mandate, which in turn led him to Proyas and thence Kellhuss and Cnaiur. It was her love and then the snatching away of that love which forced Akka into exile and then her love which prevented his execution, and her stories about him which led Mimara to him thence her pregnancy and her journey to prophethood. And now the No-God itself is her youngest child who is half Dunyain and whose only true love is her, she freed him which led to his eventually becoming the No-God. Maybe being half Dunyain will make it smarter than last time but if that is true than maybe its love for Esmenet might still also come through.

The Moenghus storyline is also not so much about the Aspect-Emperor series but in fact the series that follows, the ultimate act of the Second Apocalypse series. Now you have a man who is in the son of both Kellhuss the aspect emperor and Cnauir the most violent of all men, born of one but raised by the other, finally his love for his Dunyain family is broken but he is still mostly sane and his love for humanity and for his fatherís goals of stopping the second apocalypse are still there. Cnauir melded all of the Scylvendi into one during the twenty years he ruled the steppe, it would take a generation for the tribes to mature a generation of fighters and he stamped out all opposition who would challenge his rule and in fact the Scylvendi seem to have come to think of him as a sort of holy figure, a sort of dark inversion of Kellhuss himself. Now Moenghus controls and their terror of his father will see him through at first, but he is a mighty warrior in his own right already and he only need to be cunning and his position will become secure. He is now in control of the most vicious and yet committed army left in the armies of humans, the Scyvendi have been melded into a mighty spear and now they will fight for humanity this time. Moenghus is a descendant  the greatest Scylvendi heroeís from Uthgai to Cnauir, and he also loves Esmenet as his mother so there will be cooperation with whoever is left in the Kellian Empire.

The journey of Mimara and Akka also had other fruits that have yet to ripen on the vine, the discovery of the descendants of Kellhuss in Ishual will have a wide ranging impact on the story. If the goal of the Dunyain is to breed each generation to the limit of their abilities so with each generation they get closer to the Absolute then it would stand to reason that since Kellhuss was a prodigy among the brethren and Koringhus astounded his teachers and the consensus seems that he was nearest the Absolute by the boy. Then it would stand to reason that the boy is even greater than both his father and his grandfather, the only reason that he was declared defective by the Assessor was because emotion had too much of his soul. Which for the Brethren meant that the Darkness had too much of him and he would be made into a captive in the Unmasking Room for others to study his darkness. Unlike all other Dunyain he was raised by a father who in his own stuttering way loved the boy, in fact he risked his life to bring into the labrynith and then risked more than all others to raise him, what they must have thought as the greatest scion of Ishual succumbed to such a strange darkness as paternal responsibility, but I guess they had their own problems at the time. Now he has been exposed to both the new prophet and a  gnostic sorcerer and he is running around the north, I believe the reason that he was not mentioned in this book was because that he is a seed for the final installments of this sees, a full Dunyain who has not banished all emotion and has even been raised by a father to the exclusion of most other Dunyain practices. It is not known if he is one of the Few, but either way I believe he will come to play a central role in the next series.

Another character that seemed to disappear from the last book was Meppa, the last Cishaurim who was not killed by Kellhuss. He was outside of the city when the quake hit and I doubt that he drowned on a flat plain where he was. Another seed for the next series to grow later on, he can feel the birth of the No-God  and can see the world in ways that no other human could during the last apocalypse. Now unmoored from the Fanim cause by the obvious truth of the second apocalypse, the world will need his ocean of water.

The Nonmen arc was another that was left hanging in the book, were the Quya who came to help the Ordeal the last of the race, or were they simply the fastest of the race who could get to the horns in time to help. Even now the wayward and the Intact will know of the No-Godís rebirth and so will unite to fight against it. The question now is how many of them still survive after the battle within the mountain. Only the Red Ghoul Sujara-Nin died in the attack and since they walk the sky they would presumably be able to outrun the horde if they went south instead of east like the Ordealmen.

Now Zeum like the Scyvendi has been a great unknown during this series, the largest single nation and the only one that has been left intact by the Great Ordeal and the Unification wars. Reading the appendices they were not involved in the last apocalypse, but now I think and Wert has said that RSB has said they will play a big role in the next series. An intact nation that has the arms and the sorcerous might to lead what is left of humanity in the dark days ahead. It will be cool to see the Mbimayu school and any other Zeumi school with their reliance on the Iswazi doctrine in the next series, they had only a single glimpse with Malowebi. Another great spear for humanity with which to fight the coming apocalypse.

Akka has no certain role in the next series, his age makes him likely to die, but he is like I think Cassandra the woman who in greek myth was cursed with always knowing the truth of what would happen but no one would ever believe her. His first appearance in the series is his dream of the disaster at Eleneot and the death of Celmommas, and now his last words in this series are the announcement of the resumption of the second apocalypse. Like with Proyas, in the last book there is the scene where Proyas is a boy who climbs a great tree only to lose his grip and the fall to earth is likely to kill only for Akka to show up and reach out his hand. But the stubborn boy will not take his hand out of spite and pride, saying that he would rather die than accept his help and risk his soul. And the boy drops before Akkaís eyes to the earth, breaking bones but not his head. Only later for him to scale the much greater and much more treacherous tree of Kellhuss and the Thousandfold Thought, Akka tried to save him from his clutches only for Proyas to cast him out in religious zeal thinking himself pious once again. This time he did not plummet ot earth but was cast into the Pit of Hell for all eternity and once again Akka could not save him. None of the Three Seas believed him when he tried to warn them of the apocalypse only for them to believe them when Kellhuss had grasped them, then when he spurned Kellhuss they again did not believe his claims. Even Mimara did not believe him until it was shown to her by the Eye of God within her. Now all the world will believe him when he says the second apocalypse has finally arrived.

I wonder about the identities of the Mutilated, I have always thought that the Anasurimborís were the sons of Finwe from the Silmarillion. Kellhuss was Feanor the greatest of all the elves in mind and body, who led the elves in their war against Morgoth and his northern fortress. He was killed by his own hubris and yet bid his children to continue the fight no matter the cost. I think that Maithanet is Fingolfin the second brother and the physically strongest of the brothers, it was said many times that Maitha was strong as a bull. I wondered if there was another brother left in Ishual who would be akin to Finarfin, the one brother who did not leave the Blessed Lands and that hope seemed to be dashed when we learned of the total destruction of Ishual and the Dunyain cult. Now I am not so sure, it would be great if one or mother of the Mutilated was in fact the brother of Kellhuss, and in fact they call him brother many times when they tried to subsume him. It may be what the Dunyain call each other in principle or it may be a clue, or even both. And it has been another contention of mine that Maitha probably has some children hidden in Sumna, it would make sense to have some insurance plans in place and since he was already half Dunyain the genetic bottleneck that his brother experienced would not be there for him, he had his own realm in Sumna as the Shriah and would have plenty of opportunity to prosecute his own plans, or maybe Kellhuss instructed him to spread his seed.

Now I do not think this was perfect, my two biggest complaints about this book were the crossing of the Field Appalling, and the destruction of the old Consult. It was a slog to get through the looming depravity that I could see coming when the Meat ran out, but it went on too long for my tastes. I was like the kid going to disneyland screaming to my parents are we there yet? The prospect of Golgotterath on the horizon and we are dealing with crazed sranc-men frustrated me, but he payoff was so much more the greater when they finally did battle. A naked Cetí Ingira cursing the Ordealmen as fools was great, I just wish there was so much more of him. In this series I think we get a grand total of four scenes with him and two were at the end of this book. His encounter with Kellhuss outside Sobel, him torturing Seswatha on Dagliash in the beginning of TTT, and the gate scene then him in the Golden Room. That a my biggest disappointment with the book, the lack of the old Consult. They have been made out to be great for so long and then for them to be old destroyed in a flash. The Dunyain takeover was a great twist and the more I think on it will make the stakes o much higher with four Dunyain  being the four angels of the Apocalypse in the next series. But I wanted to see Shae at long last, hear him speak about his motives and why he did what he did for all of these years. See Mekeritrig go full Nonmen erratic sorcerer on his foes and show them why they feared they Consult for so long. It would have been great if he had survived and Shae had simply ceded leadership of the Consult to the Mutilated, the goal was not power but simply to save their eternal souls after all.

I think the biggest defency of this series was the lack of a clear enemy to fight until the very end of the story, the first series had them fighting the Fanim and prosecuting the Holy War, there was an enemy for them to fight. This one the enemy never appeared except in drips and drabs, the world was the enemy and that lacks a certain narrative tension. The tragedy at Irsulor and the battle of the ten yoke legion were highlights because it showed the cunning of the Consult in battle, where up to that point they were simply a dread rumor of. RSB has shown a distinct George Lucas streak to me, I mean that in the sense of creating and showing a cool character and then not doing much with them. The Tall who were introduced in the last book seemed to be a revelation, but we only see a glimpse of two of them and each for barely a moment. Oirunas  who it says he died in the appendix when he walked into the throne of Ish  with multiple chorea strapped to his armor and caused absolute pandemonium, and the Tall who guarded the gate and was killed quickly. Maitha who should have been a more central character to the kids of Kellhuss, from Serwa and Kayutas, to poor old Theli.

In short I think this series ended on a cliffhanger much like television shows, the heroes are at their darkest hours and all seems lost, Frodo is feared dead, Jon Snow has died. People are acting like this was the end of the series and they did not get what they wanted, since I finished the PON I knew there were two more series and the story continues for me. I am firmly along for the ride.

[EDIT Madness: Spaced paragraphs and renamed title.]

5
The Great Ordeal / Reassessing The Great Ordeal
« on: January 13, 2017, 06:15:10 am »
When I first finished TGO I did not know how to feel about the book, I was unsure if it was the best or worst of the series. Since then I have been meaning to do a reread but have not gotten around, at Christmas I got a gift card and bought the audiobook. The parts that I liked I really loved this time around and the parts I didn't like I now enjoyed, although not loved. 

The storyline of Momen dragged the first time, Kelmommas is an annoying character, his madness is not interesting unlike Inrilatas. His continual dupping of Esmenet only aggravated me, this brilliant character is being dragged to her and the empires destruction by that little shit. This time the parts that did not involve Kelmommas were actually good. Fanayal and his losing battle with Psatma and the growing dismay of Malowebi , how he could see how fucked he was by fate and the growing sense of doom. Esmenet and her sense of inadequacy in the face of impossible odds, she rose to the challenge only to be smacked down by the Gods and the product of her own womb. My biggest problem was the lack of Maithanet and, I'm not saying that Maitha is Darth Mail, I'm just saying that he was massively underused in this series.

Now the greatest shortcoming of the Ordeal storyline was the sense that it was the opening act to the real battle. The battle of Dagliash was great but the feeling pervaded that was only setup, my only disappointments were the part where Aurang is about to fight Saccares and then runs off, the Consult had finally shown itself then flew off. Saved for the true battle at Golgotterath I suppose , a sorcerous duel between two Gnostic sorcerers is something not seen yet. Proyas was interesting, but he was a butterfly in its cocoon and not yet come out in his new form. Interestingly Zsoronga was with Proyas and Kayutas and when the eruption happened they escaped the fallout, with the impending destruction of his line he is now Satakhan of High Holy Zeum. Kellhus reveals both his madness and his battle with the No God, he thought his own race terrible, seeing their great folly.  The revelation that there was no Kellhus, that who he e is completely a function of local circumstances. Only his saving Esmenet belies this, it shows that a sliver of the original Kellhus that in love with her during the Holy war still survives. This may be the strangest case of unrequited love in all of fiction, Kellhus the ultimate manipulator truly loves Esmenet who worships but does not truly love him, she in turn loves Achamian who despises them both for their betrayal.

In Ishual not much action happens but it might be my favorite storyline, the exposition peels back the layers of the Dunyain. We meet the Survivor and the Boy, who happen to not only be the only survivors of the Dunyain but also direct descendants of Kellhus.  I wish more of the Order had survived, some of the Pragma perhaps but at the very least an unbound female. It would have been nice to see Dunyain manipulation coming from a young girl, a full one that has no world born blood. The battle for control between the two siblings Koringhus and Mimara was, they were both mad and yet it was he who succumbed to her. He was a prodigy in the Order like his father before him, at it would seem that the Boy might be the greatest still except his emotions still thrived and so was deemed Defective by the Dunyain Assessor. He would have lived out his days is the Unmasking Room strapped to a gurney, it seemed that Fate brought Akka and Mimara to Ishual simply to retrieve him. He would have the greatest of the Dunyains physical and mental gifts and yet could still feel some emotions. Only his hand marred his perfection. The boy clung to his father and his father could see the desire for closeness in his face, when he ran from the Skinspy he suddenly started crying and he did not know why. His father saved him for unknown reasons, the greatest of the Dunyain, the only child to be so  spared and so burdened for years in the Thousand Thousand Halls he saved the boy. And then Akka and Mimara arrive to save him again, it would seem that Fate has much in store for him. He and his twin cousins, if the NoGod walks then they will be born stillborn and legend says that all with the Judging Eye also give birth to stillborn children. Only the Anagke the Whore of Fate can save them. I believe the Boy will find his way back to Achamian and Mimara, the trio has a date with the Ordeal.

The most awe inspiring storyline was of course Ishteribinth, from the revelation that Sorweel was supposed to hate Serwa and Moenghus, to their first glimpse of the Weeping Mountain which was carved into the very shape of a penitent man. Emwama that have literally been bred into Hobbits to better serve their insane masters. The melding of Sorweel to the Amoilas so that he was Cunuroi in truth, the Nonmen seemed to be part insane asylum, pare prison, all decked out in the guise of inhuman kings. Oirunal the Lastborn, With, the youngest and least of his ancient race, they had forbidden him martial pursuits so that he could record their dissolution in relative sanitary.  Confirmation that the Consult had indeed come to rule the last mansion in the guise of a descendant of Nin Janjin the traitor. Since the Nonmen have always been my favorite part the dive into their history was awesome, yet to see such greatness on its final legs soon to be lost to history was a lot depressing. What seemed the first Nonman King who dug the first mansion in the great Kayursus, Will, house primordial. This is the same as Moria in middle.earth if we ever get there. The boatman and his descent into the Holy Deep, who turns out to be the wicked uncle of Cujara Common the greatest Nonman King. He was a bigger asshole than I suspected, his antics practically drove Nin Janjin into the Inchroi camp. Maybe it was because he was the product of incest, his parents seemed like assholes to. Lastborn giving his life so that Oirunas might remember himself once more so he could fuck shit up. I think Serwa's plan was to sing mundanely before the king and so bring him under her sway and free herself that way. Once released  she could sing her arcane song. It was amusing to see both the contempt and terror that the Nonmen held the Hundred.

The reveal of Cnaiur and his control of the Scylvendi at last King of Tribes, it would seem that he kept his identity secret so Kellhus and the empire took no notice of what was going on in the steppe.  That is why the Scylvendi never attacked the weakened empire, they held themselves back for the Ordeal. The fact that Cnaiur kept the Skinspy for two decades says that he loved it as he can love anyone, also it is in the guise of a beautiful woman and yet has great strength along with a penis means he hit the lottery. No one will question his sexuality and yet he can succumb to someone stronger than himself. If they had avoided significant bloodshed then over twenty years they could have replenished their ranks, the Scylvendi are now at full strength. It seems that Cnaiur would need allies or those scared of him to become King of Tribes, twenty years of political intrigue across the steppe. Since Kellhus would doubtless have spies watching the steppe for this possibility, Cnaiur has become canny in old age. I wonder if they have sorcerers in the Scylvendi, since they have the Few, it would make sense to train them in Gnostic sorcery, another dagger for the Ordeal.

A couple questions that I had, the mysterious circles that have been talked about on the maps, could they be the result of ancient Scalding. Set off during the ancient Nonmen and Inchroi wars, Bakker hinted that ancient accounts of those times are what allowed him to know radiation sickness symptoms. During the Ishual chapters Koringhus thinks of the legion within similar to that described by Leto all when he struggled with possession, disparate pieces of himself that could be yoked to his ends. Leto made a deal with his inner selves so that he was simply the face of a inner community that did his bidding, Koringhus thinks much the same except because he was broken the pieces were more obvious. Just before his death with the Leap of Faith he has a curious thought, to avoid damnation he will make a sideways step, this seemed similar to the Nonmen and their theory of hiding from the Afterlife. In the False Sun Titirga talked of hiding his voice and finding oblivion, Harrapior talked to Serwa of Emlidis and his saying that finding oblivion was like the flight of an arrow and just as difficult. Maybe this is the same place that the Nonmen got their idea, someone with the Judging Eye.

6
General Earwa / Nonmen and Vampires
« on: October 11, 2016, 03:11:38 am »
It struck me as I was watching The Strain, the similarities between between the lore of Vampires and what we know of the Nonmen. In both they are an ancient race that surpass humans in all aspects, there immortal culture is a source of both awe and fear for humans. They are both more physically capable and more beautiful than man.

Immortal races that are so old that only rumour and legend surround them, they are both envied And feared by mortals.  The Nonmen are pale skinned men who live in underground cities away from the punishing hands of the sun, while Vampires are allergic to the touch of the sun. For men the stories of the Nonmen are at the very root of mannish history, they were the very reason that men came to Earwa . But for Vampires there legends haunt almost every culture around the globe, they can be seen between the cracks of almost every epic tradition.

They both sustain themselves on the suffering of lesser beings, for Vampires it is the lifeblood of mortals themselves, for them to live there victims must die. It is the ultimate in a predator and prey relationship. For the Nonmen the relationship between themselves and there victims is much more complex.  There very immortality has rendered them insane, the very act of violence against there victims is what allows them attain some measure of there ancient selves. It is only in predatory violence that the strongest live for a short time until the Dolour once again takes them.

For the Nonmen there subterranean mansions are haunted refugees, the ancient home of there race where they can be safe from the grasping hands of the sun. But the horrors of the past render them haunted places even for the greatest among them. The tragic weight of there illustrious past is carved into the very flesh of there home, not only can they not escape it, but it is a constant reminder of who they truly week. For Vampires home is a drive from the deadly embrace of the sun, they to dig deep into the flesh of the earth where they rest in darkness. But for them they must literally rest in the soil of there homeland, a coffin filled with there past so that they remain strong, literally carrying the past with them.

For both there physical perfection both attracts and repels, for Vampires beauty acts as honey to attract there prey, perfection that does not fade with time. For the Nonmen beauty is integral to there being, it is not a snare as much as it is a ruler with which they display there superiority over mortal men. A lasting youth which has cost them all which they most loved in there mortal life and which forever casts them in the mold of there greatest glory.

For both the compass of there lives spans the breadth of human history, living ledgers of all that has been lost to the fog of history. In both that memory has become a weary burden, in one that burden has inspired bitterness and in the other it has caused madness.

The only thing the Nonmen lack are fangs and the ability to sustain numbers, for them each loss is irreplaceable. As Sarcellus said " age is power in this world".

7
Author Q&A / Maithanet
« on: July 23, 2016, 09:33:46 pm »
Two questions about Martha, the first is was he one of the Few ? He seems to recognize Akka as a sorcerer in Sumna. And the second is did he have any children of his own, it spend natural for him to have his own brood and easier than Kellhus because he was only half Dunyain. If he spent most of his time in Sumna then he would have his own power base and more than twenty years to do this.

8
The Great Ordeal / (TGO Spoilers) Son of the Survivor
« on: July 22, 2016, 05:54:04 am »
I think it is highly suspicious that of the four that left Ishual only the child is left nameless, all that time and no one even mentions his name. I think this will be a big reveal in the TUC, Kellhus was a prodigy among the Dunyain and Koringhus was also a prodigy. The boy was defective only because of his emotions not because of his innate gifts. If the pattern holds he could be even greater than his father and grandfather, but not as emotionally stunted. If their is a time jump between TUC and the series that shall not be named, he could be the new Kellhus. His talents were blunted because his father could not properly teach him in the ruins of Ishual.

Because he is Dunyain he knows the goal of Mimara and Achamian, and he would continue to move north to intercept them if they were to escape. The world is strange to him and along with his talks with his father he would seek to find them. He would probably shadow the Scylvendi to find the duo, and because they are on foot the Scylvendi would quickly leave them behind and he could make contact.

It is Achamians nature to teach and on their journey he would teach him as he taught his grandfather, if they reach the Ordeal then he might even fall under the guidance of Kellhus. With Serwa they could have a family reunion, although the time seems to be short. It might be the true reason that Bakker came up with the Achamian break with Kellhus and his journey to Ishual was so he could pick up the boy and bring him into the story proper. Or at least a major reason, along with the twins that Mimara will bare, the new protagonists of the next series.

9
The Great Ordeal / TGO Official Buys
« on: July 03, 2016, 11:45:15 pm »
I don't know where to put this, but I just came from Barnes&Noble and I ordered TGO, they said it would be here on the 5th, apparently it is either coming out that day, or if you order through them it Will come in that day.

10
The White-Luck Warrior / The final 100
« on: March 27, 2016, 05:59:18 pm »
It is now 100 days until the release of The Great Ordeal, we must remember that answers are like opiates and sober men find solace in mystery. Are long journey is nearly over and the Coffers await us all.

11
The White-Luck Warrior / Mishmash
« on: June 07, 2013, 01:52:03 am »
As the title suggests this will be a random jumble of thoughts. I think the Unholy Consult will center around the struggle for Dagliash for most of the book, but they will prevail and hopefully meet up with a Nonmen embassy. They will travel through Agongorea and at the gates of Golgotterath they will be destroyed, and the No-God will walk again, Kellhuss seems destined to not survive this book. With small bands of the Ordeal scattered across the North, battling and seeking a refuge. The majority of the sorcerors will survive, yet be stuck like the men of the Ordeal. Mainly because I do not think humanity will be able to survive the loss of so many of its sorcerous practitioners. The Niom will yield consequences, Sorweel looks to be some sort of sacrifice by Kellhuss to convince the Cunuroi, he no longer has any proximity to Kellhuss and his chorea has been given away. His connection with Yatwer may be suspected, and as the Cunuroi do not worship the spiritual agencies in the Outside, the fact Yatwer wars against Kellhuss may convince them of his mission. The Zeumi prince would seem to be a better choice as an enemy than a so called Believer-King, Moenghuss conversation from the reading would indicate that the siblings  are aware that he is special. I suspect that Serwa with her Cunuroi and Dunyain blood would be able to bear a Nonman child to term, but that would seem to take to much time with the awakening of the No-God immanent.

With the only major school in the south being the Mbimayu and others in Zeum, the other schools leaving only training cadres behind, if the Ordeal is destroyed the Zeumi will take a leading role in the 2nd apocalypse. Going off my Kellhuss=Feanor, Maithainet=Fingolfin, and Finarfin= in Ishual, in the sil it is the children of Fingolfin who rule the elven kingdoms, so maybe Maitha left his brood somewhere in Sumna who will take charge during the apocalypse. I think Achamian and Mimara are Beran and Luthien, and the child will have a very important role in the apocalypse. The avalanche that saved them was very suspicious, the Dunyain still live although maybe much reduced. Finarfin leads them, who may be Kell's full brother, the idea of a pack of little Dunyain children following Achamian through the North is delicious. Because the 2nd Apocalypse may be a decades long struggle the children may come to the fore in the third series. A possible Serwa and Cunuroi child may be possible. Kellhuss seems to be preparing Proyas for the eventuality of his death, and the burden of leading men in the darkness to come.

Now my even more random thoughts. I wish Bakker had made a few different choices for the Aspect Emperor series. Namely that because Maitha was one of the Few Kellhuss would have taught him the Gnosis, and have him found a new School, a School of sorcerer priests for the faith. A  sorcerous Shriah and his own School on the heels of the Nova Arcananum would have been awesome. They would have travelled with the Ordeal into the North. Secondly Kellhuss would have had more children, a royal wife from each kingdom to cement his rule, and the sane children would become commanders in the Ordeal. This way Kelmommas could have released Inrilitas on a lark and the chaos that would ensue across the empire would have been great to see.

I have wondered what race the Emwama are, in my mind they look native American. The ruins Kel fights Mek inside of in the prologue might be Siol as there is no other large mountains in their kingdom, which I think encompassed all of Kuniuri to the Hethanta's , with Agongorea and Aorsi being Viri, the site of Dagliash is their capital city, and the Three-Seas controlled by Cil-Aujas. The Cunuroi kingdoms are huge compared to men, 9 High Mansions would cover the continent. I hope we get a map of the kingdoms before the Fall, maybe when the book about Cujara-Cinmoi is written.

In trying to create my own I appreciate the subtle and detailed greatness of Earwa even more, prodigious scale and breathtaking details. To get a sense of scale when I first started, I looked at the appendix and counted 1068 entries. Writing details for my world for a couple months, I finally counted and their were 136, I was despondent for he rest of the day. Now with the Aspect-Emperor, a third series, and the Ancient North which he said was as heavily detailed as the Three-Seas, that number may double, and my pride is suitably crushed again. On the goodside potential series about the Fall and the First Apocalypse would keep Earwa in print for decades.

 Rereading The Way of Kings, although Roshar is not as good as Earwa there is still a sense of great wonder when I read about it, although there is a curious sense of heaviness missing from it hat Earwa has. Maybe it is the meticulous details and the lack of sentiment. A couple times I thought "'I wish Bakker was writing this world". But there are a couple of the things Sanderson does better, the Shardplate and Shardblades, I sat there wishing the Nonmen had invented these things in their great wars and that Men had discovered a trifle of them. Like that knife Mimara found in the Coffers, if made into a great sword.

12
Introduce Yourself / Hello
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:01:20 pm »
I guess I will make the first post on the new forum, this is Ciogli from the old board.

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