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Messages - JerakoKayne

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The Unholy Consult / Re: Serwa seen with the Judging Eye
« on: May 03, 2018, 11:44:05 am »
It's her hunger. Ciphrang are defined as Hunger. Her desires, the fulcrum of her soul (that which drives the very core of what is Serwa) is centered on using/devouring other souls. That she has not been doing this long is irrelevant; she is the type of soul that Hungers enough to feed on other souls in the Ciphrang way in the Outside.

EDIT: To elaborate, while I still hold on to this drunken thought, I was disappointed we never do get to see Kellhus under the Judging Eye. I suspect he would not be damned in the way other Dunyain are (though probably for other reasons, i.e. the Hundred's despisal?). It's a supreme self-centered nature that drives the Ciphrang. Whether his subjects are treated poorly or not doesn't matter to him, to be fair. "Good" and "evil" are irrelevant to his objectives, at least regarding the means he uses to achieve them. In the end, Kellhus can loosely be described as altruistic. His base motivations, why he went through all he did, really was to "save the world." Not because he is soft-hearted about them, but rather because he truly believes the world being Shut is a bad thing for the Dunyain mission (read: a bad thing for people not-Kellhus). He uses other people to accomplish this, but it's a meta-self interest, rather than self, that drives him.

Even his willing exile from Ishual wasn't for his own interest; it was deemed necessary for the Dunyain as a whole.

Serwa is entirely interested in Serwa, and what she can glean out of her circumstances.

Re-EDIT: Kellhus describing himself as "descending as hunger" in the Inverse Fire is an extremely blurred line between Ajokli and Kellhus. Maybe that is his damnation, if the Kellhus personality is damned?

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 09:15:19 pm »
What were they risking? Even assuming "Simas" was old, say 60s or 70s?, the Consult's skin-spies had already been in full operation, completely undetected for two and a half centuries. What better place to use such an asset, than in the very heart of their enemy?

Whenever the creature first infiltrated could easily, and likely would have been much earlier than ten years before 'present', until which time they had no reason to suspect they would be suspected. They likely did have contingency plans for discovery, too.

A plausible scenario might be that it's been doing this for decades, as far more than just Simas. When it comes time for "Simas" to die, it studies another member of the Quorum for a time. Who else has better access to them but each other? "Simas" death is then manufactured and the creature simply steps into the role of its new target with a similar Mark. It would only need keep its use of sorcery to a minimum over time to keep its Mark from deepening too much. Where better, than in the heart of a fortress, and thus safety? It's impossible to say how long it could keep up this routine, but I think it's plausible it could have been there from the beginning, if they live for centuries, even if not as "Simas".

Always some member of the Quorum. By their nature, the Mandate are going to be reluctant to ever begin to suspect them.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 06:34:21 pm »
I almost feel like drawing up a table as we go along, to track the skin-spies we see, and draw up more commonalities in how they act and are perceived. There's almost always at least one confirmed skin-spy around. In chapter 1 we don't have a name (but I assume we'll see him again, at least in TWP) as one murders Geshrunni. Chapter Two has not-Simas. Chapter three has Skeaos and Istriya. It might be neat to track.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 06:06:21 pm »
I do truly wonder how long Simas was a skin spy. My intuition tells me for years at least. But, I don't think he was when training Akka.

Perhaps he didnt start as Simas either. Hard to believe he could replace one of the Quorum on a first bet.

I don't think it has been Simas for so long, but maybe its been in the Mandate for decades. Maybe even as that peer/student Akka loved early on who later died... :)
We eventually learn that Simas is a skin-spy with a soul who can, therefore, perform sorcery. Query: Did Not-Simas suffer the Dreams? That would seem unlikely to me; and so Simas was replaced by Not-Simas after becoming a Mandate sorceror. Further, how well can skin-spies simulate the aging process? Even if the answer is "very well", the longer a spy is in place, the more likely it is liable to be discovered.

I would infer that not-Simas must have suffered the Dreams. Their dreams are regularly observed by their brothers. We know that sorcerers-of-rank within Atyersus are known and expected targets for Cants of Calling. We also see Achamian Call Nautzera, amid a Dream of Seswatha, and tell him to "send this dream to the others". We can even assume that Mandati sorcerers-of-rank have and thus can be contacted amid mundane dreams (it would be unusual if they did not). But for a particular individual among them to never suffer a true Dream would, I think, be highly unusual and suspicious.
More support for the idea that, in Chapter Two, Simas is still Simas. My thinking is that Simas is replaced during the Holy War's march to Shimeh.


Perhaps, but only if it is assumed that a skin-spy couldn't dream the Dreams. Seemingly, if a skin-spy touches the Heart, it happens to their soul the same as it happens to a human. Perhaps that is how it was discovered that the skin-spy had a soul in the first place, i.e. it got imprinted when handling the Heart trying to steal it?

Taken in context with how his brothers interact with him, I really think we see the same creature from here until its exposure. I have to bring up the next chapter for a moment, because it helps illustrate. There, Ikurei Istriya is introduced for the first time, and the text nearly screams that she has just been replaced (EDIT - Chapter 3 is my favorite chapter for this very issue, so I'll wait for most of that until next week). From the first, Xerius notices "something strange in her manner, something bottled, akin to Akka's observations of unusual behaviors in not-Simas. Discrepencies of body and character both, in how Istriya behaved and seemed ("Have you finally lost your touch...", had age finally caught up with her, etc.)

These are echoed in Simas too, who has discrepencies about his eyes. No matter their apparent age, Simas' eyes aren't failing because he's not actually aging with Nautzera. N himself comments that he, at least, knows that the way Simas acts is not at all Simas 'true' nature (when that front falters a moment in irritation "At last we see the real you, old friend.") The difference between Nautzera and Xerius, in the next chapter is that Nautzera knows these discrepencies as a part of Simas' character, so long has he had them. In Istriya they have just recently changed.

They're subtle things, but not too subtle in this regard, at least. Here in Bakker's first work, I can't help but think that any such subtletly, especially one that repeats later is quite deliberate. None of these lines were rushed, or in error (as later books suffer from) and will repeat again throughout PoN, at least, so I can't help but think Bakker was attempting to seed these as the clues we can use to track the skin-spies.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 01:30:22 pm »
We also have no idea how old the weapon races ca get.

Do skinspies age? Sranc are obviously born, and become adults, but do they have a natural lifespan, or is that why they have such a ridiculous population - they don't die with time.

Skin spies are presumably birthed from the Arc in some way, fully formed. Does time do anything to them? Thing-Called-Simas could be centuries old.

On this note, I had the impression during one of the skin-spy POVs (Sarcellus, I think) it was reminiscing about something centuries before.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 01:15:35 pm »
I do truly wonder how long Simas was a skin spy. My intuition tells me for years at least. But, I don't think he was when training Akka.

Perhaps he didnt start as Simas either. Hard to believe he could replace one of the Quorum on a first bet.

I don't think it has been Simas for so long, but maybe its been in the Mandate for decades. Maybe even as that peer/student Akka loved early on who later died... :)
We eventually learn that Simas is a skin-spy with a soul who can, therefore, perform sorcery. Query: Did Not-Simas suffer the Dreams? That would seem unlikely to me; and so Simas was replaced by Not-Simas after becoming a Mandate sorceror. Further, how well can skin-spies simulate the aging process? Even if the answer is "very well", the longer a spy is in place, the more likely it is liable to be discovered.

I would infer that not-Simas must have suffered the Dreams. Their dreams are regularly observed by their brothers. We know that sorcerers-of-rank within Atyersus are known and expected targets for Cants of Calling. We also see Achamian Call Nautzera, amid a Dream of Seswatha, and tell him to "send this dream to the others". We can even assume that Mandati sorcerers-of-rank have and thus can be contacted amid mundane dreams (it would be unusual if they did not). But for a particular individual among them to never suffer a true Dream would, I think, be highly unusual and suspicious.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:22:10 pm »
What I can't work out is why only recently have the Mandate informants been purged? Having a spy in the Quorum isn't necessary to do that; it's likely most, if not all, Mandati field agents have a skin-spy watching them. There is no need for Atyersus itself to be infiltrated to know who the informants are.

Geshrunni had been talking to Achamian for some time, even as Achamian had been being watched. It's only when Geshrunni reveals information tangentially related to the Consult that he is murdered. I am very curious what the other informants across the Three Seas had been uncovering, or if there is some other reason the Consult is suddenly less subtly "plucking eyes".

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 16, 2018, 08:41:51 pm »
This chapter is what leads me to believe that prior to this point, Achamian (and the rest of the Mandate) are practically unwitting agents of the Consult themselves, at this stage. Much of the chapter is world- and character-building, but a couple of things stand out to me.

Simas being replaced by a skin-spy was likely not a recent thing, I think at least pre-dating Akka's apprenticeship in his youth. Simas was his tutor, and especially the stuff like Simas' "There's strength in scepticism ... enough to be sceptical of our scepticism, hmm?" It's the beginning of the argument Simas makes that finally persuades Akka to betray Inrau, because it had trained Akka to think that way. It realizes that doubt is at the core of Akka's worldview, because it trained him to be that way! And likely many others among the "sceptic" faction.

It then continues to invoke the Mandate mission, to press just how Important Stuff this mission they're giving him is. And it is, to the Consult. We learn that Maithanet has an unusual affinity for rooting out spies and plots. With the relatively recent discovery of the skin-spies a decade earlier, I think they're hedging their bets. They still don't know why their spies were detected, and though they do have agents within the Temples, none seem to be close to Maithanet. Sending one of "their" human resources could seem a much safer bet.

And in the end, it's subtle enough that Akka feels like he is agreeing with Nautzera, though it is Simas who persuaded him.

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It lets them spy, and to control the spies, certainly. But it lets them influence the Mandate more directly, too. I don't think the-thing-called-Simas was a recent replacement at all. The spies have existed for several centuries at least, and at least appear not to suffer age. An anomalous skin-spy that can detect sorcery likely would have been noticed early. It has probably replaced several generations of Mandati. I don't think it's any coincidence at all that Achamian is part of a faction (or at least a particular class) of Mandati that are skeptical the Consult, and that he was trained by one! It's probably been there the whole time, subtly teaching Mandate neophytes to undermine their own mission by not believing in it.

On those thoughts, this chapter strikes me in a couple of different ways. Firstly, that from the very beginning Akka is presented as being a terrible spy. The only "real" informant (that we at least see) in fact is an informant because he saw through Akka immediately. I suspect the vast majority of his previous informants (if any) were skin-spies themselves, though even if they weren't this chapter makes clear they at least constantly follow him.

It's an interesting coincidence that one of the first real tidbits they do get from a real informant is actually indirectly related to the Consult. The Spires/Cishaurim conflict began with the detection of the skin-spies. The Mandati don't know this yet, of course, and it's not surprising in the least that Geshrunni is immediately removed after sharing it. I am surprised, however, that Geshrunni is killed, and not replaced.

We later learn that Geshrunni is discovered, and it's absurd to think that wasn't intentional. The spies must excel at disposing of the bodies in order to replace them, so it follows that the discovery of Geshrunni's body really was desired. But why faceless, if not attempting to replace that face?

If Geshrunni is meant to be discovered, he was meant to be discovered that way, else why not make it seem like a 'normal' murder? It's perhaps a bit convoluted, but I think maybe the Consult meant to give that info to the Spires. Through their war, the Spires have the potential, at least, to discover that their enemy first attacked because of these very strange faceless spies. Though they obviously haven't discovered this yet, were they to do so at some point following, they would now have information about the Mandate being connected with a bizarre, faceless murder, as well.

I like it because it's insidious. Some skin-spies have already been discovered, and if that information begins to spread the suspicion goes directly to the Consult's enemy.

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General Earwa / Re: Modern Day Times With A Dunyain
« on: March 25, 2018, 01:35:05 am »
The level we can actually suspend our disbelief against our own experiences seems to be the issue here. Your points are entirely valid, from a scientific standpoint. But we're not talking about science! Rather we are talking about a fantasy setting. Some elements must be fantastic. I find it very interesting that elements like sorcery are accepted, but not Kellhus' other abilities. Sorcery has no analogue, so it is easy to accept it as fantastic. Elements that do have an analogue, and R. Scott Bakker's (dis?)ability to express them or not, are harder to accept when we do have our own challenges to compare it to.

Would the ability to read the emotion/intent behind the words conveyed not facilitate the learning, though? He has an understanding of what is being said. That's what I got from the Lleweth interactions, anyway. Kellhus very quickly learned to "read" the worldborn to the point where he knows what you're thinking/intending to say better than we do. It follows that he already knows what people are saying, just not how they are saying it. That is an enormous advantage over we worldborn, no?
This only compounds the issue for me. There was this show, Lie to Me, with a premise based on reading microexpressions, and there was some science behind it, but the problem is, emotions don't really translate into causes and meanings all that well. You're afraid - a million different reasons can make you afraid. You're happy - a million different reasons can make your happy. You're sad - you get the gist.


Kellhus has intimate knowledge of the causality of the emotions involved. Yes, if you are looking at somebody you have no knowledge of, there can be a million reasons. Kellhus is with them to see the stimuli. He can see the cause and effect that lead to the emotional response which is far, far, less than millions.

Understanding the conjugation could be an application of pattern recognition, assuming his memory is phonographic as well (even when the sounds remembered are not understood, they can still be recalled).

Oh, and there is the question of memory, too. Eidetic memory, total recall, perfect topographic memory, etc. - all claims of those are unproven from the scientific perspective. Even more so, for example, a significantly better than average recall is the domain of savants or people with less severe disorders like Hyperthymesia. It doesn't make you more adept at navigating society, it makes you less adept.

Plus there is deciphering dead languages, if we're talking pattern recognition. We only recently worked out some algorithms that help with it, presuming you can swing the processing power required.

I do not accept that Kellhus could decipher a dead language any better than we can. He is not deciphering dead languages, he is deciphering living languages from subjects he has constant access to.

I also agree that the ability of Kellhus to recall memory in this way is not currently scientifically feasible.

The Dunyain have a different biology, though! I do accept that if these biological limitations have been bred for, perhaps some can be overcome. If Kellhus does have a memory that does not exist in our own biology, does the rest of what he does still fail?

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General Earwa / Re: Modern Day Times With A Dunyain
« on: March 24, 2018, 11:56:42 pm »
Would the ability to read the emotion/intent behind the words conveyed not facilitate the learning, though? He has an understanding of what is being said. That's what I got from the Lleweth interactions, anyway. Kellhus very quickly learned to "read" the worldborn to the point where he knows what you're thinking/intending to say better than we do. It follows that he already knows what people are saying, just not how they are saying it. That is an enormous advantage over we worldborn, no?

Understanding the conjugation could be an application of pattern recognition, assuming his memory is phonographic as well (even when the sounds remembered are not understood, they can still be recalled). Also consider that his first few alternate languages were the entire study of his ‹bermensch intellect for the time involved, and to me, the suspension of disbelief isn't really that difficult.

To another point, even though I'm American, I'm trilingual (English, Spanish, and German) with a cursory understanding of four other languages. I do remember how long that took, but my approach is nothing like Kellhus'.

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General Earwa / Re: Modern Day Times With A Dunyain
« on: March 24, 2018, 02:03:17 pm »
First of all, I think this was a great post
Thank you! I had a distinct feeling you would understand me better than most, precisely because of the fact that you're a non-native speaker (I surmised that from some of your posts) who utilizes English at a native speaker level. I can imagine the amount of time and effort that took.

Not that this means most people in this forum will not think DŻnyain learn languages way too quickly, of course, but I think you can understand what I mean.
Of course!

We actually know for a fact that Bakker doesn't think much of learning new languages (as seen here). And it definitely shows in this part of the story.
It might sound strange, but I actually agree with him. Unfortunately, some things are what they are. In today's world you have to know English, that's not an option, it's a requirement. Learning languages is thinking wide instead of thinking deep, but translations often become so extremely inconvenient that you simply have to delve into the language or lose crucial pieces of information.

And I remember correctly, didn't every single DŻnyain in Ishušl grow up speaking one single language, that had been the only one anyone in that community spoke for thousands of years? They didn't even have a minimum of exposure to any other language, which makes the whole thing even more unbelievable...
You are absolutely correct. They spoke Dunyanic. I was considering bringing this point up, but then thought it would be kinda hard to showcase why it's important.

A short example for the sake of others, though. Some time ago the Moscow subway (it's called the Moscow Metro) started to provide announcements in English in addition to Russian (probably something to do with this year's soccer World Championship), and I always wondered about the effectiveness of that idea. Let's say you're a tourist from an English-speaking country, never heard Russian in your life, and want to visit a famous museum, Третьяковская галерея (Tretyakov Gallery). The subway station you need for it is called, unsurprisingly, Третьяковская (Tretyakovskaya). Now, that might not look too bad, but, unfortunately, there is no way to write how it actually sounds using English alphabet (you can listen to it here). I really have no inkling how should an English speaker even pick out that word in an announcement when looking for their stop. Pronouncing it correctly... Well, good luck with that, but don't feel bad when you fail, and fail, and fail again. English just doesn't have those sounds, it's literally unpronounceable without a huge amount of training.

Also, yes, you should use subway in Moscow. It's much more convenient than a car in 60% of cases at the very least.

So, the point is, knowing what a word means or how it's written is not the same as speaking it.


The link you provided gives me a page written entirely in Cyrillic. My non-Dunyanic brain is having trouble parsing a language I don't even have a baseline understanding off. What button do I even push to satisfy my curiosity? We non-Dunyain need a little actual help from those we are trying to learn from.

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The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC spoiler] - About the end of TAE
« on: March 08, 2018, 09:35:49 am »
I honestly think Kellhus has found some Path he believes to be his route to the Absolute (his first and primary mission, before any exile), and outside the track of other mortals.

For the rest of what he's done, I think the "truth" can be found in asking whether what Kell is doing is actually altruistic or not. Certainly many of his followers believe it, and so do many readers! But I don't honestly think he has ever been saving anyone in the entire world other than himself.

The orthodox Dunyain believe they'll find the Absolute via Techne. Kellhus believes he has found it through Gnosis/(greater Earwan metaphysics).

None of the rest of anyone else, or what happened to any of them matter in the slightest.

Bakker's books are about people who have been used for ends they will never know anything about.

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General Earwa / Re: Modern Day Times With A Dunyain
« on: March 08, 2018, 09:20:55 am »
I really don't think we are any more formidable than the society presented in Bakker's work. I think that was kinda his point.

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General Earwa / Re: [TUC Spoilers] The Celmomian Prophecy
« on: February 25, 2018, 09:19:45 am »

Sorry, but I just had to hack up your post and comment on how much I love this train of thought lol. I know you've  been around for a bit but now you're beginning to see. Welcome to the Second Apocalypse, where the speculation is made up and the text doesn't explain anything!
Seriously though, questions leading to questions leading to more questions when you challenge base assumptions. Its amazing where we end up :) .


I really appreciate that. It's the same line of thought that has led me to passionately follow Bakker's work since I first encountered TWP. And you guys, all the way back to when this was the "Three Seas" forum, are fantastic to bounce ideas off of, when I can even express them coherently enough.

These books are maddening like no other. I don't think of any other novels so often after I've finished them.

Funny though in hindsight that Cel tells Seswatha that the end of the World lies in his (Seswatha) hands. And who's left to rally humanity? Akka.
Exactly. Akka really is the prophet from the past and fulfills the Seswatha role very well.

If the After can come Before from the Outside (and whatever agency gave the prophecy surely knows this) then Akka's role in all this was known, too.

I want to believe that Kellhus sent the prophecy for that reason (but to what end?).

Since TGO, however, something about this prophecy still itches my mind , quite maddeningly. I thought I found relief in knowing it couldn't be from Nau-Cayuti (as Celmomas himself thought), because TNG doesn't operate in the outside.

Whatever it is, it seems extremely important to me. It even affects the Dunyain in the Golden Room(!), which cannot be insignificant.

[EDIT Madness: Fixed quote tag.]

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