The Second Apocalypse

Earwa => The Aspect-Emperor => The Unholy Consult => Topic started by: profgrape on September 27, 2017, 03:23:13 pm

Title: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: profgrape on September 27, 2017, 03:23:13 pm
In response to MSJ's question about Kellhus' fate (is he the other Decapitant, in the Outside, etc), Bakker relied with:

Quote
Well, Ajokli can't find him.

This got me thinking about the scene where a Ciphrang encounters a soul-less Nonman.  I interpreted this as confirming that Nonmen could in fact find Oblivion and therefore, avoid damnation.  But while this is interesting in a world-building sense, it bothered me that it didn't seem to have any underlying purpose to the narrative.  After all these years, we know that Bakker is very deliberate about these little tibits. 

What if the reason Ajokli can't find Kellhus is that Kellhus found Oblivion?  Given that he can wield sorcery without leaving a Mark (levitation), it would't be such a stretch to imagine that he'd found a way to hide his soul in the Outside. 

Make no mistake, I would *way* prefer for Kellhus to be stuck in the Decapitant on his salt-statue's waist, or better yet, be in the Decapitant sent to Zeum.  But maybe he just employed a tried-and-true Nonmen method to escape damnation?
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Madness on September 27, 2017, 03:29:17 pm
In response to MSJ's question about Kellhus' fate (is he the other Decapitant, in the Outside, etc), Bakker relied with:

Quote
Well, Ajokli can't find him.

This got me thinking about the scene where a Ciphrang encounters a soul-less Nonman.  I interpreted this as confirming that Nonmen could in fact find Oblivion and therefore, avoid damnation.  But while this is interesting in a world-building sense, it bothered me that it didn't seem to have any underlying purpose to the narrative.  After all these years, we know that Bakker is very deliberate about these little tibits. 

What if the reason Ajokli can't find Kellhus is that Kellhus found Oblivion?  Given that he can wield sorcery without leaving a Mark (levitation), it would't be such a stretch to imagine that he'd found a way to hide his soul in the Outside. 

Make no mistake, I would *way* prefer for Kellhus to be stuck in the Decapitant on his salt-statue's waist, or better yet, be in the Decapitant sent to Zeum.  But maybe he just employed a tried-and-true Nonmen method to escape damnation?

+1 8)
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Woden on September 27, 2017, 03:58:06 pm
But Bakker said that Kellhus is dead but not done. So itís unlikely that he has found oblivion if heís still a player.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Madness on September 27, 2017, 04:14:57 pm
But Bakker said that Kellhus is dead but not done. So itís unlikely that he has found oblivion if heís still a player.

My cheeky "+1 8)" was only because profgrape and I were talking about it off-forum.

I'll plant my flag again at Bakker's quote meaning that Kellhus' machinations aren't yet played out. Kellhus is dead, dead, as far as I'm concerned.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: profgrape on September 27, 2017, 05:26:30 pm
But Bakker said that Kellhus is dead but not done. So itís unlikely that he has found oblivion if heís still a player.

My cheeky "+1 8)" was only because profgrape and I were talking about it off-forum.

I'll plant my flag again at Bakker's quote meaning that Kellhus' machinations aren't yet played out. Kellhus is dead, dead, as far as I'm concerned.

As much as I hate agreeing with Madness, I agree with Madness; Kellhus might be off the board but the Thought is alive and well.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Sausuna on September 27, 2017, 05:31:28 pm
It remains possible. I believe Bakker mentioned something about it before, but I can't recall. But the entire aspect of Oblivion, the God of Gods, and the Absolute still seem like the true calling of the Dunyain as part of their obtainable goal.

That said, I mentioned it in the other thread, if anyone could figure out another solution, it'd be Kellhus. Why settle for Oblivion if he could find another solution? Think of what we can intuit from other situations.
- We know soul trapping is a thing.
- Shae did it for a long time, it worked with the Amaloeus (SP - the Nonmen translating helmet), and arguably Seswatha managed.
- And Kellhus seemingly walked the Outside, whether or not he struck deals with them, having studied the Daimos.

It seems hard for me to believe he couldn't have managed something to stick around somehow to help.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 28, 2017, 01:52:49 am
But Bakker said that Kellhus is dead but not done. So itís unlikely that he has found oblivion if heís still a player.

My cheeky "+1 8)" was only because profgrape and I were talking about it off-forum.

I'll plant my flag again at Bakker's quote meaning that Kellhus' machinations aren't yet played out. Kellhus is dead, dead, as far as I'm concerned.

As much as I hate agreeing with Madness, I agree with Madness; Kellhus might be off the board but the Thought is alive and well.

He may be dead - but what now with him? Is he food for the gods?
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Frail on September 28, 2017, 06:04:09 am
But Bakker said that Kellhus is dead but not done. So itís unlikely that he has found oblivion if heís still a player.

My cheeky "+1 8)" was only because profgrape and I were talking about it off-forum.

I'll plant my flag again at Bakker's quote meaning that Kellhus' machinations aren't yet played out. Kellhus is dead, dead, as far as I'm concerned.

As much as I hate agreeing with Madness, I agree with Madness; Kellhus might be off the board but the Thought is alive and well.

He may be dead - but what now with him? Is he food for the gods?
kellhus will be eaten by the gods but have discovered a way to poison and impregnate them, from there he will burst out chestburster style and the gods will be hunted one by one by the true Hunger
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Zealously on September 28, 2017, 07:32:41 am
But Bakker said that Kellhus is dead but not done. So itís unlikely that he has found oblivion if heís still a player.

My cheeky "+1 8)" was only because profgrape and I were talking about it off-forum.

I'll plant my flag again at Bakker's quote meaning that Kellhus' machinations aren't yet played out. Kellhus is dead, dead, as far as I'm concerned.

As much as I hate agreeing with Madness, I agree with Madness; Kellhus might be off the board but the Thought is alive and well.

He may be dead - but what now with him? Is he food for the gods?
kellhus will be eaten by the gods but have discovered a way to poison and impregnate them, from there he will burst out chestburster style and the gods will be hunted one by one by the true Hunger

I don't care that this would dial up the series' absurdity scale to 17, I want it.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: MSJ on September 28, 2017, 01:01:05 pm
Quote from:  Tao
kellhus will be eaten by the gods but have discovered a way to poison and impregnate them, from there he will burst out chestburster style and the gods will be hunted one by one by the true Hunger.

I love this. Could be his way of rewriti g damnation. However unlikely it seems, I'd fucking love to see it.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 28, 2017, 05:02:25 pm
I don't think this is absurd. We read Kel's description of god/gods to Proyas and to me it ain't a reverent point of view. Kelhus hunting the gods would "fit" into Bakker's declaration he's dead, but ain't done response. WR's offering is as good as anybody's guess at this point; maybe laid out a bit simplistically, but the idea Kellhus's death poses "poison" to the gods is plausible to me.

If "he's dead, but not done", without rabbit-holing all possibilities, then he's a Ciphrang now ( likely trapped in the other decapitant head ). Being a Daimotic Sorcerer, this may not matter much to him and may be part of the plan ( or at least plan B if he doesn't survive the Gold Room, which he didn't ). Kellhus says he made "deals", take it he did something to earn more leverage/power/freedom in the Outside - that something could be TGO, some god ( 4 Horned? ) was happy to see the hell Kellhus sent them through, and the response to Kellhus's questioning on that was interesting, seemed vague to me, like the act of driving humanity so hard was satisfying to them in some way ( could be the base pleasure of it, sadism - this is hell we're talking about ).
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: MSJ on September 29, 2017, 12:18:45 am
Quote from:  Tao
Being a Daimotic Sorcerer, this may not matter much to him and may be part of the plan ( or at least plan B if he doesn't survive the Gold Room, which he didn't ). Kellhus says he made "deals",

Said the same exact thing in the other thread. If he truly is in the other decapitant, him being a Daimotic sorcerer will be enough, me thinks, to do what he needs doing. "Kellhus is dead, but not done.", is proof to me he still has a role to play.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: MSJ on September 29, 2017, 01:03:37 am
Oh, and no, Kellhus is no where near oblivion. He never tried hidding from the Gods and that what it takes to reach oblivion.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Sausuna on September 29, 2017, 12:45:56 pm
Oh, and no, Kellhus is no where near oblivion. He never tried hidding from the Gods and that what it takes to reach oblivion.
Well, while I think it less likely, I also think it is a viable outcome. Partly due to my fascination with Oblivion and how it was furthered in TUC. I've said it several times, but I need to compile all the facts and re-examine The Survivor's scene where he gets high on someone else's supply. Anyway, that scene plus the fact that Elision is also the word later debased by the Dunyain to mean The Absolute? Might have some credit. Because even the Nonmen seemed to have an idea that Oblivion also might relate to The Absolute as they knew it.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Madness on September 29, 2017, 04:26:06 pm
To clarify, I'm more taking it to mean that like... the Ministrate has a role to play in the Three Seas or something and that they have a sealed scroll from Kellhus reading "Break in case of Resumption."
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: solipsisticurge on September 29, 2017, 11:00:47 pm
Kellhus, being keen of intellect, eschewed Oblivion in favor of Morrowind and Daggerfall, demonstrably superior games.

(Sorry, had to do it.)

I'm more or less in lockstep with Madness on this. I don't think Kellhus has achieved any super secret dodge which will render him, as-extant, relevant to the remainder of the series. He's a pillar of salt and that's that. However, the Th9ousandfold Thought had innumerable iterations on its way, and despite his arrogance, Kellhus would have had to be utterly myopic and stupid  to not lay the framework for secondary approaches given the potential for the Ordeal to fail.

The Ordeal was the Shortest Path; go to the Apocalypse machine and smash it until it can't Apocalypse no more. The Second Shortest Path, though, is infinitely preferable to "give up if I have to start over." I don't think Kellhus planned for his own death, but the failure of the Ordeal as a significant possibility would have been too present in his mind not to make additional plans in case of disaster. (There's also the question of what to do about damnation if the Ordeal did succeed, which I also doubt Kellhus spent no energy on.)
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: BeardFisher-King on January 06, 2018, 03:04:03 am

To clarify, I'm more taking it to mean that like... the Ministrate has a role to play in the Three Seas or something and that they have a sealed scroll from Kellhus reading "Break in case of Resumption."

I'm glad I found this thread. These posts encourage me. Madness, you killed it! Lmao!

Knowing RSB, though, if there was a sealed scroll reading "Break in case of Resumption", the first instruction would read "Find Proyas". Oops.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: MSJ on January 06, 2018, 03:34:14 am
Well, what do we do with Bakker's comment, "Kellhus is dead...but not done...."?
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: TaoHorror on January 06, 2018, 04:15:59 am
Well, what do we do with Bakker's comment, "Kellhus is dead...but not done...."?

Nothing.

I'm throwing in the towel on making sense of Bakker's responses - just too open-ended and vague. I take it he doesn't want to ruin the series for us and was available for questions to clarify what he intended us to already know ( although there's some bullshit with that as well with his comment that we missed something big, but not clarifying what it was ). Anything foretelling is not concrete given his next books are "discovery" for him and the opaqueness of his responses about the future of the story.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Francis Buck on January 07, 2018, 10:04:40 pm
I don't think Kellhus found Oblivion, nor was he seeking it. I think Kellhus may well have been saved, possibly by Gilgaol, since only War and Birth can seize apparently (and Kellhus basically did nothing but wage war from the time he left Ishual up to his death). In addition, when he looked up at the Inverse Fire, he did say that he was already saved.

All that being said, I also think there's some difficulty in interpretation regarding the Gods and how humans can become their "vessel". I think it may be erroneous to imagine that possession by a God somehow "overrides" the actual individual being possessed. Rather, I think that being a vessel for a God is the result of someone acting/thinking in a way that aligns with the motivations of the character and the God equally.

Taking Cnaiur for example, who we know to be both a Ciphrang and ultimately a vessel for Ajokli -- his final scene and dialogue make sense regardless of whether you imagine it to be Ajokli or Cnaiur. The same sort of thing applies to Kellhus in the Golden Room, or even Psatma as Yatwer. When Kellhus returns to Momemn and confronts Psatma, he speaks to her and references her as if it were in fact just Yatwer (calling her his sister, the line about how "even eternity can be blind" or whatever). This also plays pretty well with the themes of souls "feeling in control" even then there's a clear puppet master -- be it a worldly one like a Dunyain, or the Cants of Compulsion, or being a Vessel for a God. Kellhus even points this out to Kelmomas in TUC when he mentions how Kelmomas can't distinguish between whether it's himself or Samarmas who is currently speaking/in control.

On a whole separate note, the nature of Ajokli is strange even according to what we know about the Gods. He is at times their adversary and also their companion. He has many, many dominions, including both murder and deception, game-playing, mischief, etc. Not to mention the symbolism of four Horns, Ajokli's claim that the Ark is "his place", the new glossary entry about the Ark being the Halved-Crown of Ajokli, etc...

I do think it's possible that Ajokli is, in fact, the God of Gods, or that Ajokli is Seswatha, or both (the idea of making a pact with the pit and attaining temporal power and so forth fits pretty well with what Seswatha seemingly is/does...but then the same could be said of Shaeonanra and Shauriatas).

Ultimately I think we just don't have enough information to really know yet. I mean look at the list of entities/God-like beings we currently have and who are seemingly all different from each other, while also sharing a number of qualities.

The World
The God of Gods
The Ark
The No-God
The Zero-God
The Meta-God
Ajokli
Seswatha
Shauriatas


That's a long list, and I'd be pretty surprised if there was not some degree of "collapsing" among the above entities, and it's just two or three different forces that are being interpreted differently by the characters, or perhaps are themselves different "stages" of the same force/entity.

If I had to guess, I would say that Shauriatas is the Will of the Ark, and that the Ark simply possesses whoever is at its helm, so to speak. Of course, given the blindness of souls to their own movements as I mentioned above, those possessed by the Ark/Shauriatas do not realize they are possessed.

The God of Gods is apparently blind to the No-God as much as anyone, and given that Ajokli seems to be blind to the No-God as well to some degree, there may be a correlation here.

The World seems to trump everything, and Bakker has described Earwa as a "self-moving world" -- and I also think that this is the sentient entity that is the Judging Eye, or the Zero-God.

The Meta-God, who has only been mentioned a single time, is IMO either a different term for the World, or perhaps a term for Seswatha (and, again, I could see the Meta-God being the World being Seswatha).

Then again, the No-God itself seems to genuinely be the Absolute, given that it stands "outside the outside" and even the God of Gods cannot see it, which would ALSO fit in with the title "Meta-God" (a God that is above the God of Gods).

In conclusion, I have no idea.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: TaoHorror on January 07, 2018, 11:41:52 pm
In conclusion, I have no idea.

I disagree
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Dora Vee on January 08, 2018, 03:19:51 am
I thought that there were other Gods who can save souls.

Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: Francis Buck on January 08, 2018, 06:03:31 am
I thought that there were other Gods who can save souls.

My assumption on this is that while other Gods are able to save souls, Gilgaol and Yatwer can trump any of them, thus "saving" (or "seizing") whatever souls they wish. This sort of makes sense given that Yatwer (birth, life) and Gilgaol (war, death) are at the top of the metaphysical foodchain, and serve as the ultimate gears of the cosmic engine that keeps the cycle of souls running -- the same cycle which the No-God is intended to interrupt.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: SmilerLoki on January 08, 2018, 12:21:26 pm
My assumption on this is that while other Gods are able to save souls, Gilgaol and Yatwer can trump any of them, thus "saving" (or "seizing") whatever souls they wish.
This is not how I, personally, interpret it. We have too few instances of people being saved or explicitly going to Hell (and not, for example, being described as damned by the Judging Eye). It's not enough to construct a whole system that contradicts the universal belief that all Gods can save souls. So far, things people believe about the Gods seem to be largely confirmed. The Gods exist, have real power, have domains in the Outside, talk to their followers, interact with souls. That we only see 2 or 3 Gods acting doesn't mean that others are trumped by those 2 or 3.

That being said, I can see internal logic in the assumptions made above, but by itself it's insufficient to contradict the background provided by the series. However unverified and moot that background may be, it's in the books and also largely internally consistent.

Considering the instances of building upon this background (like proposing hierarchies of metaphysical forces), the assumptions in question may or may not be correct. It's not enough information indeed.
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: H on January 08, 2018, 03:11:58 pm
I thought that there were other Gods who can save souls.

My assumption on this is that while other Gods are able to save souls, Gilgaol and Yatwer can trump any of them, thus "saving" (or "seizing") whatever souls they wish. This sort of makes sense given that Yatwer (birth, life) and Gilgaol (war, death) are at the top of the metaphysical foodchain, and serve as the ultimate gears of the cosmic engine that keeps the cycle of souls running -- the same cycle which the No-God is intended to interrupt.

This line of thought would seem to preclude that Kellhus couldn't (somehow) save his own soul.  I don't take that for granted.  Or, perhaps save isn't the right word.  Perhaps we could say that it is somewhat likely that Kellhus had a way to gird his soul from the clutches of that which would take it, in the case of his death?
Title: Re: Did Kellhus find Oblivion?
Post by: TaoHorror on January 08, 2018, 03:26:07 pm
I thought that there were other Gods who can save souls.

My assumption on this is that while other Gods are able to save souls, Gilgaol and Yatwer can trump any of them, thus "saving" (or "seizing") whatever souls they wish. This sort of makes sense given that Yatwer (birth, life) and Gilgaol (war, death) are at the top of the metaphysical foodchain, and serve as the ultimate gears of the cosmic engine that keeps the cycle of souls running -- the same cycle which the No-God is intended to interrupt.

This line of thought would seem to preclude that Kellhus couldn't (somehow) save his own soul.  I don't take that for granted.  Or, perhaps save isn't the right word.  Perhaps we could say that it is somewhat likely that Kellhus had a way to gird his soul from the clutches of that which would take it, in the case of his death?

Taking us back to the Oblivion points - did Kellhus find it, is attaining Oblivion the only way to circumvent damnation, did he save himself in the eyes of a god(s) ... we don't know.