ARC: TDTCB CHapter 15

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« on: July 15, 2018, 06:24:00 pm »
Many have condemned thise who joined the Holy War for mercenary reasons, and doubtless, should this humble history find its way into their idle libraries, they will blast me as well.  Admittedly, my reasons for joining the Holy War were mercenary," if by that one means that I joined it in order to procure ends outside of the destruction of the heathen and the reconquest of Shimeh.  But their were a great many mercenaries such as myself, and like myself, they inadvertently furthered the Holy War by killing their share of heathen. The failure of the Holy War had nothing to do with us.
Did I say failure? Perhaps "transformation" would be a better word.

Faith is the truth of passions. Since no passion is more true than another, faith is the truth of nothing.
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

Dora Vee

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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2018, 08:28:19 pm »
World Cup and Dark Souls kept me from posting this one. Anyway, this was one of the most intense chapters I have ever read, like EVER. Proyas/Xinemus/Achamian remain as my favorite interactions due to the intensity and complexity. However, after reading this, I spent quite awhile being VERY angry at Proyas for being so needlessly nasty. I even went so far as to say this:

" Oh man…I had to stop at the “threesome” between Akka, Xin and Proyas. My god. I’m surprised Akka didn’t break down in tears. What a painful thing to read."


"Oh God. More pain. I spent over three hours thinking of the horseshit between Proyas and Akka. I even got teary-eyed for Akka. Right now, I’m hoping that Akka will find the courage to look Proyas dead in the eye and say this:

“There is no just god. If there was, Inrau would still be alive and you’d be dead.” And then just walk away. Like forever and leaving Proyas on his knees. Doubt that’ll happen."



I actually did think Mathinet was working for the Consult. It's understand why Achamian would think so too and it's understandable why he wouldn't be believed.
Faith is the truth of passion. Since no passion is more true than another, faith is the truth of nothing.   
                          -Ajencis, the fourth analytic of man


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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 07:52:22 pm »
"...Zealous men often confuse purity with intolerance, particularly when they're young"
Though Achamian suspected matters were a great deal more complicated, he said only, "You've been reading again, haven't you?"

...It's a possibility that saves me, that drives me to continue.  What if? I ask myself.  What if this Holy War is in fact divine, a good in and of itself?

This is what you bring to me?  One of your spies is executed - for spying! - and you suspect that Maithanet - the greatest Shriah in generations! - conspires with the Consult? ...

"and this brings us to the rub, doesn't it Achamian?"
Achamian could only stare in bewilderment.  There was something more, something he was forgetting... When did he become such an old fool?
"Rub?" he managed to ask.  "What rub?"
"The difference between knowing and feeling.  Between knowledge and faith."  Proyas caught his bowl and downed it as though punishing the wine.  "You know, I remember asking you about the God once, many years ago.  Do you remember what you said?"
Achamian shook his head.
"'I've heard many rumours,' you said, 'but I've never met the man.'"
"Anyway," Proyas continued hesitantly, " my point is this: What you said of my God, you must say of your Consult as well.  All you have are rumours, Achamian.  Faith.  You know nothing of what you speak."
"What are you saying?"
His voice hardened. "Faith is the truth of passion, Achamian, and no passion is more true than another.  And that means there's no possibility you could speak that I could consider, no fear you could summon that could be more true than my adoration.  There can be no discourse between us."

Akka is out-argued and out-reasoned by his pupil, his 'boy', who then utterly rejects him.
The whole rationale behind Akka's life is what he dreams every night - he 'knows' they are true because of what they make him feel, but the truth of the dreams cannot be proven to others.  Only those who touch Seswatha's heart can share them - esoteric or secret knowledge - Gnostic.
The conflict between faith and intellect cuts to the heart of what this series is all about.  As is suggested in earlier Chapters and as we are about to see demonstrated by Kellhus, faith can be manipulated by the clever.

We get the dream with 'an Anasurimbor will return at the ending of the world'.  And lo and behold...

A section with Esmenet.
The beautiful blond man seems to be possessed. After they have sex, he comes across as a completely different person.  Yet he spills black seed.  Is he the same being as the one that spilt the black seed in the previous Chapter?  'Sarcellus' does not have black seed, or Esmi would surely flee.  Therefore what are the 'black seed' things?  I think it is later confirmed that they are one of the Inchoroi - although we have learnt anything up to this point that would confirm that.
Are the Consult trying to manipulate Esmi to such a point that she will betray Akka to them - I think this is intimated as such in an earlier chapter?  Or is this just foreshadowing her betrayal of Akka with Kellhus?

Proyas comes across as rather hypocritical.  In a previous Chapter he won't see Akka, but then does.  Then he doesn't ever want to see Akka again, but asks him back within a week.

More on faith, as a follow up to the previous dialogue
"There's faith that knows itself as faith, Proyas, and there's faith that that confuses itself for knowledge.  The first embraces uncertainty, acknowledges the mysteriousness of the God.  It begets compassion and tolerance.  Who can entirely condemn when they're not entirely certain they're in the right?  But the second, Proyas, the second embraces certainty and pays lip service to the God's mystery.  It begets intolerance, hatred, violence..."
Proyas can only respond be quoting scripture, but really he has no answer, and he knows it.

Do the Dunyain embrace uncertainty and mysteriousness?  Pretty sure their whole purpose is to eliminate such things.  Faith is not relevant to them, and hence they have become spiritually weak. 
I'd suggest faith requires hope (or belief), not cold rationality. 

Akka notes that thousands and thousands will die in the Holy War,  maybe Xinemus, his only friend.  A quite tragic piece of foreshadowing.

... Achamian heard Iryssas chiding the Norsirai about his appearance, as though the man were a bond brother rather than a foreigner about to meet his prince...
Kellhus already up to his tricks.

Cnaiur tries to sell Proyas a story that his 'land has repudiated him' he has 'renounced his land' and he has come to sell his expertise to the Holy War.  It is never made clear whether Proyas actually believes this, but irrespective Proyas needs the Scylvendi as a 'surrogate for Conphas'.

Akka shares a look with Kellhus and
... Unaccountably, he thought: Him... The answer lies with him
.  Kellhus can manipulate even by expression.

Akka suggests Cnaiur's real reason for coming south is to get revenge on Conphas.

Proyas asks
..., but why would you come here?  Why would a Scylvendi cross the Empire of all places?  Why would a heathen join a Holy War?"

Then... 'a resonant voice',
a man whose 'bearing was imperious despite the rags clothing him'
'one steeped in a life of absolute authority'
'moderated somehow by hardship and sorrow'
"I am Anasurimbor Kellhus, son of Moenghus,"  the man said in heavily accented Sheyic.  "A prince of the north.  Of Atrithau."

The penny drops.
"A powerful name."
"I cannot speak for my blood."
I do wonder why the name Anasurimbor seems to have little impact on anyone other than Achamian.  I'm pretty sure the tales of the Apocalypse are well known, certainly amongst the nobility.  The arrival of a man with the same family name of the high kings of Kuniuri, should raise eyebrows at the very least.

Akka gets the flash backs to the dream earlier in the Chapter.  Here maybe is the proof that Proyas thought he lacked.

Why is Kellhus here?
"... How could you have known of the Holy War?
Hesitation, as though he were both frightened and unconvinced by what he was about to say.  "Dreams.  Someone sent me dreams"
This cannot be!
"Someone?  Who?"
The man could not answer.
The implication from the final silence is that Kellhus' dreams are of divine origin.  He is manipulating Proyas' faith.  The actual source of the dreams are of course Moenghus - i.e. intellect.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 08:03:53 pm by TheCulminatingApe »
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.