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Messages - TheCulminatingApe

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1
The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TWP Chapter 19
« on: November 16, 2018, 08:30:10 pm »
Proyas awakes in the desert, but
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...he heard gurgling water - the sound of life...
...The green of living things blurred the distance.

Cnaiur is nearby - he is not much younger than Proyas' father.

The Holy War enters Enathpaneah.  They have lost 200,000 in the desert.
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There were no innocents.  This was the secret they carried away from the desert.
All were guilty.

Echoes of the Great Ordeal.

The Scarlet Spires cannot break Achamian, because
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For all their merciless cunning, what the Scarlet Magi never understood was that they plied two men, not one.
Whatever they do, I remain untouched.  The heart of a great tree never burns.  The heart of a great tree never burns
Two men, like a circle and its shadow.  The torture, the Cants of Compulsion, the narcotics- everything had failed because there were two men for them to compel, and the one, Seswatha, stood far outside the circle of the present.  Whatever the affliction, no matter how obscene, his shadow whispered, But I've suffered more...

Xinemus is brought in.  He can bear no more.  Akka doesn't recognise him at first.  They put his eyes out.
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"ZIN!"  Achamian shrieked.
But there was his hanging shadow, smeared across mortared glass, whispering,
I know not this man

A tabby cat hunts.  Recently it has dined on dead men.  It longs for the taste of living, bleeding prey.  It pounces and bites.  The taste is wrong.  The Wathi Doll stabs it, and then grabs its throat.
Is this some kind of metaphor for a plot point?  Food turning on its 'eater'

The Holy War is heading for Caraskand.

Iyokus is telling Akka about the Holy War, and how it has suffered in the desert.  The Spires have been recalled.  Iyokus admits that Akka truly believes that the Skeaos was Consult.
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Achamian swallowed painfully.  "I know he was.  And someday soon, so will you."
"Perhaps.  Perhaps... But for now, my Grandmaster has decided these spies must be Cishaurim.  One cannot substitute legends for what is known.
"You substitute what you fear for what you don't know, Iyokus"

After the Spires leave, a slave will bring a Chorae for Akka and aknife for Xinemus.

The Holy War begins the siege of Caraskand.  A man dies of plague and is catapulted over the walls
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... as would be those who followed.

Mamaradda the Javreh slave decides he will kill Achamian.  He hears scraping, and sees something - a tiny man.  Akka unleashes sorcery on him.  He has a Chorae, but is hit by a shower of coals and drops it. 
Seswatha is on the loose.

Iyokus is revealed as a Daimotic sorceror - a scholar of forbidden forks.  He knows Achamian is coming, and summons a demon.
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"I have bound you"
Thou art damned!  Dost thou not recognise he who shall keepeth thee for Eternity?

Akka attacks
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"YOU ARE OVERMATCHED, IYOKUS!"..
...Then he was falling, borne down by a raving demon, perched upon his wards, hammering with great nailed fists.

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Achamian charred its crocodile hide, ribboned its otherwordly flesh, smote its elephantine skull with ponderous cudgels of stone, and it bled fire from a hundred wounds.  But it refused to fall.  It howled obscenities that cracked rock and rifled the ground with chasms.  More floors collapsed, and they  grappled through dark cellars made bright by flickering fury.
Sorceror and demon.
Unholy Ciphrang, a tormented  soul thrust into the agony of the World, harnessed by words like a lion by strings, yoked to the task that would see it freed.
Achamian endured its unearthly violence, heaped injury after injury upon its agony.
And in the end it grovelled beneath his song, cringed like a beaten animal, then faded into blackness...

Achamian wanders through the burnt ruins.  He
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...wondered that he'd been the catastrophe that had wrought this devastation...

He finds Xinemus, blinded and chained up in his own shit.
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"I'm sorry, Akka.  I'm so sorry..."
But the only words Achamian could remember were those that killed.
That damned.

2
The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TWP Chapter 18
« on: November 16, 2018, 07:49:34 pm »
I suspected that it was intellect on behalf of Kellhus to find water in the desert.

I googled it. Apparently, in the desert water is likely to be found at the bottom of a depression.  It could be that Kellhus worked it out himself.  To me its more likely that he just asked the right people in Shigek.  The real question is, why didn't anyone else in the Holy War know?

3
The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TWP Chapter 18
« on: November 10, 2018, 04:04:25 pm »
The Holy War enters the desert of Khemema.  All the wells have been polluted.
Water will be transported from the Imperial Fleet.
The Khirgwi attack and cut water bags

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The Holy War continued its nocturnal march.  Despite the blood-curdling raids, many found themselves awed by the beauty of the Carathay.  There were no insects, saved the odd crazed beetle rolling its ball of dung across the sands.  The Inrithi called them "shit chasers".  And there were no animals, except of course the vultures circling endlessly above.  Where there was no water, there was no life, and apart from the heavy skins draped about the shoulders of the Holy War, there was no water in the Carathay.  It was as if the sun had burnt the whole world to sterile bone.  The Men of the Tusk stood apart from the sun, stone and sand, and it was beautiful, like a haunting nightmare described by another.  It was beautiful because they need not suffer the consequences of what they witnessed.

This description is reminiscent of Blood Meridian to me.    Also, note the crazy beetle reference - Ajokli?

The Fleet does not make its scheduled rendezvous.  Kellhus tells them its a trap.

They can reach the oasis of Subis - if everything
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mules, slaves, camp-followers
are left.  Many thousands are butchered.

Horses are to be put down, except those of the caste-nobility.  This sparks a mutiny amongst the Cengemi, which is put down by the Tydonni.

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Very little water remained the ensuing night, and the Men of the Tusk, their skin like parchment, overcome by irritability and fatigue, began casting away their food. They no longer hungered.  They thirsted, thirsted as they'd never thirsted before.  Hundreds of horses collapsed and were left to snort their final breaths in the dust.  A strange apathy descended upon the men.  When the Khirgwi assailed them, many simply continued to walk, not hearing or not caring that their kinsmen perished behind them.

They reach Subis which has been poisoned, but drink anyway.  Many become ill, and many are abandoned.

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Wherever Prince Kellhus and his two women went, men crowded about them, begging to be touched, to be cured, to be forgiven.  Stained by dust, his face bronzed and his flowing hair almost bleached white, he seemed the very incarnation of sun, stone, and sand.  He, and he alone, could stare into the  endless Carathay and laugh, hold out his arms to the Nail of Heaven and give thanks fo their suffering.
"The God chooses!" he would cry.  "The God".
And the words he spoke were like water.

He commands his followers to dig a hole, and they find water - spring-fed wells.  Many hail him as the Warrior-Prophet. The Great Names argue about him.

How does Kellhus know there is water there?  Is this intellect?  I can't see that he just got lucky.

The Khirgwi are massacred, by men with renewed faith.

The Holy War is battered by a sandstorm, and it is implied that much of the new water and their baggage is lost.

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They passed beyond the sea of dunes and entered land like a burning plate, a flat expanse where the air fairly hissed with heat.  Once again the water was strictly rationed.  Men became dizzy with thirst, and some began casting away armour, weapons, and clothes, walking like naked madmen until they fell, their skin blackened by thirst and blistered by sun.  The last of the horses died, and the footmen, ever resentful that their lords tended to their mounts more faithfully than their men, would curse and kick gravel at the wooden corpses as they passed.  Old Gothyelk collapsed and was strapped to a litter made by his sons, who shared their rations of water with him.  Lord Ganyatti, the Conriyan Palatine of Ankirioth, whose bald head looked  so much like a blistered thumb jutting from a torn glove, was bound like a sack.
When night had at last fallen, the Holy War continued its march south, once again stumbling along the backs of sandy dunes.  The Men of the Tusk walked and walked, but the cool desert night proved little relief.  none talked.  They formed an endless procession of silent wraiths, passing across Carathay's folds.  Dusty, harrowed, hollow-eyed, and with drunken limbs, they walked.  Like a pinch of mud dropped in water they crumbled, wandered from one another, until the Holy War became a cloud of disconnected figures, feet scraping across gravel and dust.
The morning sun was a shrill rebuke, for still the desert had not ended.  The Holy War had become an army of ghosts.  Dead and dying men lay scattered in their thousands behind it, and as the sun rose still more fell.  Some simply lost the will, and fell seated in the dust, their thoughts and bodies buzzing with thirst and fatigue.  Others pressed themselves until their wrecked bodies betrayed them.  They struggled feebly across the sand, waving their head like worms, perhaps croaking for help, for succour.
But only death would come swirling down.
Tongues swelled in mouths.  Parchment skin went black and tightened until it split about purple flesh, rendering the dying unrecognisable.  Legs buckled, folded, refused one's will as surely as if one's spine had been broken.  And the sun beat them, scorching chapped skin, cooking lips to hoary leather.
There was no weeping, no wails or astonished shouts.  Brothers abandoned brothers and husbands abandoned wives.  Each man had become a solitary circle of misery that walked and walked.
Gone was the promise of sweet Sempis water. Gone was the promise of Enathpaneah...
Gone was the voice of the Warrior-Prophet.
Only the trail remained, drawing out warm, thrumming hearts into an agonized line, desert thin - desert simple.  Frail heartbeats stranded in the wastes, pounding with receding fury at seeping, water-starved blood.
Men died in the thousands, gasping, each breath more improbable than the last, at furnace air, sucking final moments of anguished, dreamlike life through throats of charred wood.  Heat like a cool wind.  Black fingers twitching through searing sands.  Flats, waxy eyes raised to blinding sun.
Whining silence and endless loneliness.

Again, the style is reminiscent of Blood Meridian. 

Kellhus sees a river in the distance.

Meanwhile, back in Shigek, Xinemus, Dicnh and Zenkappa have managed to sneak into the Scarlet Spires compound.  All three have Chorae.

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The figure was thin, but dressed in voluminous scarlet silk robes, with deep sleeves embroidered with golden herons.  His face was the clearest, because it was bathed in impossible light.  Rutted cheeks lost in the slick curls of a lavishly braided beard, bulbous eyes, bore by the tedium of waking from place to place, all illuminated by a teardrop of candlelight suspended a cubit before his forehead, without any candle.
Xinemus could hear Dinch's breath hiss through clenched teeth.
The figure and the ghostly light paused at a juncture in the corridor, as if he had stumbled across a peculiar smell.  The old face scowled for a moment, and the sorcerer seemed to peer into the darkness at them.  They stood still as three pillars of salt.  Three heartbeats...  It was as though the eyes of Death itself sought them.

They enter a large chamber and are surrounded.  The Spires could sense the Chorae all along.

Dinch and Zenkappa are burnt alive.  Xin is taken alive - because he is Akka's closest friend.

In the ruin of the Sareot Library, the Wathi Doll crawls out of the debris. 
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Someone had spoken its name

4
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 25
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:57:44 pm »
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What is the meaning of a deluded life?
- AJENCIS, THE THIRD ANALYTIC OF MEN

5
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 24
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:56:39 pm »
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They strike down the weak and call it justice. They ungird their loins and call it reparation.  They bark like dogs and call it reason.
- ONTILLAS, ON THE FOLLY OF MEN

6
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 23
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:55:18 pm »
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For Men, no circle is ever closed.  We walk ever in spirals.
- DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, THE COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

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Bring he who has spoken prophecy to the judgement of the priests, and if his prophecy is judged true, acclaim him, for he is clean, and if his prophecy is judged false, bind him to the corpse of his wife, and hang him one cubit above the earth, for he is unclean, an anathema unto the Gods.
- WARRANTS 7:48, THE CHRONICLE OF THE TUSK

7
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 22
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:51:43 pm »
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For all things there is a toll.  We pay in breaths, and out purse is soon empty.
- SONGS 57:3, THE CHRONICLE OF THE TUSK

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Like many old tyrants, I dote upon my grandchildren.  I delight in their tantrums, their squealing laughter, their peculiar fancies.  I willfully spoil them with honey sticks.  And I find myself wondering at their blessed ignorance of the world and its million grinning teeth.  Should I, like my grandfather, knock such childishness form them?  Or should I indulge their delusions?  Even now, as death's shadowy pickets gather about me,  I ask, Why should innocence answer to the world?  Perhaps the world should answer to innocence...
Yes, I rather like that. I tire of bearing the blame
- STAJANNAS II, RUMINATIONS

8
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 21
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:46:58 pm »
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And We will give over all of them, slain, to the Children of Eanna; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.  You shall bathe your feet in the blood of the wicked.
- TRIBES 21:13, THE CHRONICLE OF THE TUSK

9
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 20
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:43:17 pm »
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The vulgar think the God by analogy to man and so worship Him in the form of the Gods.  The learned think think the God by analogy to principles and so worship Him in the form of Love or Truth.  But the wise think the God not at all.  They know thought, which is finite, can only do violence to the God, who is infinite.
It is enough, they say that the God thinks them.
- MEMGOWA, THE BOOK OF DIVINE ACTS

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...for the sin of the idolater is not that he worships stone, but that he worships one stone over others.
- 8:9:4 THE WITNESS OF FANE

10
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 19
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:40:39 pm »
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What vengeance is this?  That he should slumber while I endure?  Blood douses no hatred, cleanses no sin.  Like seed, it spills of its own volition, and leaves naught but sorrow in its wake.
- HAMISHAZA, TEMPIRAS THE KING
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...an my soldiers, they say, make idols of their swords. But does not the sword make certain?  Does not the sword make plain?  Does not the sword compel kindness from those who kneel in its shadow?  I need no other god.
- TRIAMIS, JOURNALS AND DIALOGUES

11
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TWP Chapter 18
« on: November 04, 2018, 07:37:40 pm »
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To piss across water is to piss across your reflection
- KHIRGWI PROVERB

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TWP Chapter 17
« on: October 25, 2018, 07:10:54 pm »
Kellhus tells Esmenet that the Padirajah will try to use the desert as Skauras tried to use the Sempis.

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The Great Names, of course, were undeterred.  They planned to march along the coastal hills followed by the Imperial Fleet, which would provide them with all the water they would need.
  Certainty.

He 'inadvertently' touches her breast.  She starts checking him out.  Serwe tells her that she would share him.  Esmi still thinks about Akka.

Kellhus brings Proyas to the camp. 
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At first Esmenet kept her gaze averted, worried Proyas might guess the intensity of her hatred if he glimpsed her eyes.  How couldn't she hate him?  He'd not only refused to help Achamian, he'd refused to allow Xinemus to help as well, and had divested the Marshal of his rank and station when he insisted.  But something in his voice, a high-born desperation, perhaps, made her watchful.  He seemed  uncomfortable - even forlorn - as he took his place beside Kellhus at the fire, so much so that she found her dislike faltering.  He too had loved Achamian once.  Xinemus had told her as much.
Perhaps that's why he suffered.  Perhaps he wasn't so unlike her.

Why does she think Xinemus was sacked, when in fact he resigned?

She asks about Cnaiur.
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..."He finds it unbearable, I think..."
"As a Scylvendi among Inrithi?"
Proyas shook his head, set his empty bowl curiously close to his right foot.
"Liking us," he said
Presumably Cnaiur has regained some part of his sanity after the previous two chapters.

Esmenet is not at ease with herself
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Shame.
Everywhere she went.  It was her characteristic stink.
"I'm sorry," she said to the two of them.
What was she doing here?  What could she offer other than humiliation?  She was polluted - polluted!  And she stayed with Kellhus?  With Kellhus?  What kind of fool was she?  She couldn't change who she was, no sooner than she could wash the tattoo from the back of her hand!  The seed she could rinse away, but not the sin!  Not the sin!
And he was... He was...
"I'm sorry", she sobbed.  "I'm sorry!"
Esmenet fled the fire, crawled into the solitary darkness of her tent.  Of his tent!  Akka's!
Kellhus came to her not long after, and she cursed herself for hoping he would.

They talk long into the night.  Her father slept with her and pimped her to his friends. 
She pimped her own daughter.  I never picked up on this before.

Kellhus hugs her and gets a hard on.

Proyas gets a letter from Maithanet, which asks him to assist Drusas Achamian.
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And what was he to do with such a request, now that it was too late?
Now that Achamian was gone.
I killed him...
And Proyas suddenly realised that he'd used his old teacher as a marker, as a measure of his own piety.  What greater evidence could there be of righteousness than the willingness to sacrifice a loved one?  Wasn't this the lesson of Angeshrael on Mount Kinsureah?  And what better way t sacrifice a loved one than by hating?
Or delivering him to his enemies...

...All men were not equal.  Certainly the Gods favoured whom they would, but there was more.  Actions determined the worth of any pulse.  Life was the God's question to men, and actions were their answers. And like all answers they were either right or wrong, blessed or cursed.  Achamian had condemned himself, had damned himself by his own actions!  And so had the whore... This wasn't the judgement of Nersei Proyas, this was the judgement of the Tusk, of the Latter Prophet!
Inri Sejenus...
Then why this shame?  This anguish?  Why this relentless, heart-mauling doubt?
Doubt.  In a sense, that had been Achamain's single lesson.  Gemoetry, logic, history, mathematics using Nilnameshi numbers, even philosophy! - all these things were dross, Achamian would argue, in the face of doubt.  Doubt had made them, and doubt would unmake them.
Doubt, he would say, set men free... Doubt, not truth!
Beliefs were the foundation of actions.  Those who believed without doubting, he would say, acted without thinking.  And those who acted without thinking were enslaved.
That was what Achamian would say...

..."Ask yourself, Prosha... What if the choice isn't between certainties, between this faith and that, but between faith and doubt?.  Between renouncing the mystery and embracing it?"...
..."Have you looked around you, Prosha?  Pay attention, boy.  Watch and tell me how many men, out of weakness, lapse into the practice of doubt.  Listen to those around you, and tell me what you see...
He did exactly as Achamian had asked.  For several days, he watched and listened.  He saw much hesitation, but he wasn't so foolish as to confuse that with doubt.  He heard the caste-nobles squabble and the hereditary priests complain.  He eavesdropped on the soldiers and the knights.  He observed embassy after embassy posture before his father, making claim after florid claim.  He listened to the slaves joke as they laundered, or bicker as they ate.  And in the midst of innumerable words Achamian had made so familiar, so commonplace... The words Proyas himself found so difficult!  And even then, they belonged most to those Proyas considered wise, even-handed, compassionate, and least to those he thought stupid or malicious.
"I don't know"
Why were thees words so difficult?
"Because men want to murder," Achamian had explained afterward. "Because men want their gold and their glory.  Because they want beliefs that answer to their fears, their hatreds and their hungers."
Proyas could remember the heart-pounding wonder, the exhilaration of straying...
"Akka?"  He took a deep, daring breath.  "Are you saying the Tusk lies?"
A look of dread.  "I don't know"

Akka is banished from Aoknyssus for this - the end of his tutoring of Proyas, and he knew it would happen.
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He wanted me to be free.
And Proyas had given him away, thinking only of rewards.
The thought was too much to bear.

Kellhus knows that Esmi 'sees' him.  His senior disciples, the Zaudunyani (the Tribe of Truth) have gathered at his fire.
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...Beliefs alone didn't control the actions of men.  There was also desire, and these men, his apostles, must shine with that desire.
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...He could tolerate no posturing among them.. It was the utter absence of presumption that made his company so utterly unique, that made their hearts leap and their stomachs giddy at the prospect of seeing him.  The weight of sin was found in secrecy and condemnation.  Strip these away, deny men their deceptions and their judgements, and their self-sense of shame and worthlessness simply vanished.
They felt greater in his presence, both pure and chosen
Presumably - they - includes Esmenet.

Flashback to Ishual and the Unmasking Room, where many men are shackled to boards.  They have no faces - the skin has been peeled away by wires.  Their larynxes have been removed.  Every permutation of human passion is displayed in the room.  The Dunyain use neuropuncture to maintain particular expressions.
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Kellhus felt the childishness of his own horror fade in understanding.  He looked to either side, saw the specimens curving out of sight, rows of white eyes set in shining red musculatures.  They were only defectives - nothing more...
The deep inhumanity of the Dunyain  is laid bare before us - foreshadowing the Whale Mothers.  The peeled away faces seem to echo the Consult Skin-Spies as well.

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For all her native gifts, Esmenet remained a world-born woman.  And for all world-born men and women, two souls shared the same body, face and eyes.  The animal and the intellect.  Everyone was two.
Defective.
One Esmenet had already renounced Drusas Achamian.  The other would soon follow.
 
Everyone has two souls!  Should this be taken as fact?  And what are Esmi's 'native gifts'?

The Holy War is leaving Shigek.  Esmi subconsciously says goodbye to Akka.
Kellhus asks her if she has every wondered why the Gods hold men higher than women.
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"... is it", he continued, "because men are granted more than women in this world?"
She stared, her thoughts spinning.  She breathed deeply, set her palms carefully upon her knees.  "You're saying women are... are actually equal?"

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"Men", Kellhus said, "cannot dominate their hunger, so they dominate, domesticate, the objects of their hunger.  Be it cattle..."
"Or women", she said breathlessly.
The air prickled with understanding.
"When one race", Kellhus continued, "is tributary to another, as the Cepalorans are to the Nansur, whose tongue do both races speak?"
"The tongue of the conqueror."
"And whose tongue do you speak?"
She swallowes.  "The tongue of men".
With every blink, it seemed, she saw man after man, arched over her like dogs...
"You see yourself", Kellhus said, "as men see you.  You fear growing old, because men hunger for girls.  You dress shamelessly, because men hunger for your skin.  You cringe when you speak, because men hunger for your silence.  You pander.  You posture.  You primp and preen.  You twist your thought and warp your heart.  You break and remake, cut and cut and cut, all you might answer in your conqueror's tongue!"...
..." You say, 'Let me shame myself for you.  let me suffer you!  I beg you, please!"...
..."And secretly, you ask yourself, 'What could be unthinkable when I'm already damned?  What act lies beyond me, when I have no dignity?'"
"What love lies beyond sacrifice?"
And she sells her daughter to the slavers.

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...she'd spoken and he had heard.  She remembered drifting in his confidence, in his poetry, in his godlike knowledge of what was right and true...
In his absolution.
"You are forgiven, Esmenet"
Who are you to forgive?
"Mimara."

They make love, and
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No one would call her harlot any more

13
The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TWP Chapter 16
« on: October 23, 2018, 07:44:10 pm »
Achamian dreams of Golgotterath, then wakes to the Scarlet Spires.

Kellhus and Serwe come to get Esmenet.  She runs
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...Toward them.  No, not them - toward him.

Kellhus tells her they they are her family and her home.
He starts teaching her to read.

There is a seamless transition form the torture of Seswatha in the Dreams to the torture of Achamian in the here and now. 

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"There's much certainty here"...
Eleazaras tells him.  Previous chapters shave implied that it is the doubters who will be saved, and Achamian is all about scepticism.

He is within an Uroborian Circle.  Any Cant will cause him great pain.  He does one anyway - to knock himself unconscious?

Akka has killed two Scarlet Spires, and his capture required the involvement of the Spires in the battle, resulting in the death of six more.

Proyas has camped near the city of Ammegnotis.  Many people come to be blessed by Kellhus, who no longer rebukes them.

Esmi wonders if she is leaving Akka behind.  Serwe comes to her in the night and begs her not to take Kellhus.
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Plese, Esmi!  Y-you're so beautiful... Almost as beautiful as me! But you're smart too!  You speak to him the way other men speak to him!  I've heard you!"

Esmi finds herself
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...exulting in the thought of Serwe's fear...
... Why did you lie with Akka?  Why?

She watches Serwe sleeping.
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How could such beauty dwell in a slumbering face?  For a time, Esmenet pondered what it was she thought she saw.  There was a peculiar sense of sneakiness, the thrill of one-sided witness so familiar to children.  This was what made Esmenet grin.  But there was far more: the aura of dormant life, the premonition of death, the wonder of seeing the unruly carnival of human expression enclosed in the stillness of a single point.  There was  sense of truth, a recognition that all faces held this one point in common.  This, Esmenet knew, was her face, as it was Achamian's, or even Kellhus'.  But more than anything, there was a glorious vulnerability.  The sleeping throat, the Nilnameshi proverb went, was easily cut.
Was this not love?  To be watched while you slept...

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Even before Achamian had left for the Library, she'd wondered what it was Kellhus saw in Serwe.  Certainly it had to be more than her beauty - which was, Esmenet often thought, nothing short of otherwordly.  Kellhus saw hearts, not skin, no matter how smooth or marble white.  And Serwe's heart had seemed so flawed.  Joyous and open certainly, but also vain, petulant, peevish, and wanton.
But now Esmenet wondered whether these very flaws held the secret of her heart's perfection.  For she'd glimpsed that perfection while watching her sleep.  For an instant, she'd glimpsed what only Kellhus could see...  The beauty of frailty.  The splendour of imperfection.
She had witnessed, she realised.  Witnessed truth.

'Sarcellus' turns up.  He threatens her, she screams.  She tells Kellhus about the Consult coming to her in Sumna and never telling Akka.

He tells her she judged Akka against Sarcellus and found him wanting.
But she loved Akka for his weaknesses.  Note loved, and not love.

She is
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Despicable, selfish, hateful...
Polluted.
But Kellhus could see... He'd always seen.
"Don't look at me!", she cried.
Look at me...
"But I do, Esmi.  I do look.  And what I see fills me with wonder".
And these narcotic words, so warm and so close - so very close! - stilled her.  Her pillow ached against her cheek, and the hard earth beneath her mat bruised, but all was warm and safe.  He blew out his lantern, then quietly withdrew from her tent.  The warm memory of his fingers continued to comb her hair.

She is reading the Tusk and gets to part about the damnation of whores.  Kellhus scratches out the words with a knife.  He is a prophet.  She can see the halos about his hands.

Quote
Throughout her entire life, she'd looked upon things and people that stood apart.  She was Esmenet, and that was her bowl, the Emperor's silver, the Shriah's man, the God's ground, and so on.  She stood here, and those things there.  No longer.  Everything, it seemed, radiated the warmth of his skin.  The ground beneath her bare feet.  The mat beneath hr buttocks.  And for a mad instant, she was certain that if she raised her fingers to her cheek, she would feel the soft curls of a flaxen beard, that if she turned to her left, she would see Esmenet hovering motionless over her rice bowl.
Somehow, everything had become here, and everything here had become him.
Kellhus!
She breathed in.  Her heart battered her breast.
He scraped the passage clean!
In a single exhalation, it seemed, a lifetime of condemnation slipped from her, and she felt shriven, truly shriven.  One breath and she was absolved!  She experienced a kind lucidity, as though her thought had been cleansed like water strained through bright white cloth.  She thought she should cry, but the sunlight was too sharp, the air too clear for weeping.
Everything was so certain.
He scarped the passage clean!.
Then she thought of Achamian.

Cnaiur walks through the city.  he thinks everybody is laughing at him
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Weeper!  Faggot weeper!...
...You beat me,
old Bannut, his father's brother, cried, for fucking him the way you fucked his father.
A man grabs at him and tells him he is the first disciple of Kellhus - the man who delivered him to 'us'.  Cnaiur had somehow forgotten about the Dunyain.
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He remembered running as hard as he could, away from the black paths worn through the grasses, away from the yaksh and his father's all-knowing wrath.  He found a clutch of sumacs and cleared a hollow in their hidden heart.  The weave of green grasses through grey.  The smell of earth, of beetles crawling through damp and dark grottoes.  The smell of solitude and secrecy, under the sky but sheltered from the wind.  he pulled the broken pieces from his belt and spread them in breathless wonder.  He reassembled them.  She was so sad.  And so beautiful.  Impossibly beautiful.
Someone.  he was forgetting to hate someone.
Broken pieces of what?  And who is sad and beautiful?  Is the beetle an Ajokli reference?

14
The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TWP Chapter 15
« on: October 21, 2018, 06:00:52 pm »
Kellhus finds Cnaiur raving in the sea.  He is mistaken for his father.  He cannot kill him
Quote
What is this, Father?  Pity?
He gazed at the abject Scylvendi warrior.  From what darkness had this passion come?

Cnaiur screams at him to 'kill me', but he doesn't do it.  There are 'other uses'.  Who will murder you, Cnaiur?

Kellhus also doesn't (can't?/ won't?) kill
(click to show/hide)
  An emotional/ irrational side, at odds with his Dunyain training?

15
The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TWP Chapter 9
« on: October 21, 2018, 05:54:13 pm »
Kellhus describes the difference between seeing and witnessing.
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"...And then we suffer, for we feel the ache for the blessed, the sting of the cursed.  We no longer see, we witness" ...
..."When we witness, we testify, and when we testify we make ourselves responsible for what we see.  And that - that - is what it means to belong"...
"...This world owns you.  You belong, whether you want to or not.  Why do we suffer?  Why do the wretched take their own lives?  Because the world, no matter how cursed, owns us.  Because we belong.

TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE.  Are people supposed to witness and testify the No-God?

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