Nonmen Society

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Madness

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« on: October 15, 2013, 01:47:28 pm »
I apologize as there are a number of 'Nonmen &' threads around; much of the possible subject matter will overlap here so at some point later I will consolidate the various threads here as well (especially as Auriga might jump on this, having returned).

I want to speculate about the societal organization of the Nonmen pre-Womb Plague.

I was reminded about this in a few paragraphs of The Republic of Thieves and it's something I have thought on for some time now.

My first contention is that Nonmen experienced a rigid-caste system with Quya at the top. Sorcerous ability is in-part hereditary and the Quya are a hereditary caste. High Ainon serves as a metaphor for the Nonmen Mansions. Quya rule.

Also, the Nonmen don't seem to use Chorae. Mind you, we've not seen an Ishroi who isn't also a Quya. But it would make sense that if Quya are nobility and the Chorae were invented and then barred in their civil wars, then Quya rule.

Hrm. I'll see what thoughts accumulate.

I think this is a very important discussion. The Tusk says that Nonmen are False, which isn't true. Also, Nonmen society stumbles over Topoi and (maybe, simultaneously) Damnation. Arguably, only the Quya have to worry about Damnation. Yet all these issues will find themselves central to the events in Ishterebinth in TUC.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 10:41:58 pm »
The Nonmen were the ones who banned the Aporos correct? That fits into your theory.

Though I'd like to point out that the Javreh warrior-slaves captains where given chorae.
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 11:40:05 pm »
Outlawing the aporos was a religious edict iirc - its in TTT glossary under chorae or aporos, I think. 
That suggests a religious caste that was able to make 'legal' rulings independent of and overiding local kings of mansion.

Likewise, quyan schools seem to have been independent to some extent from mansions.

Also, ishroi and quya are overlapping but distinct classes.  There are examples of non-quyan ishroi in 4-Revelations (e.g. the protagonist and the giant nonman who broke Wutteat's neck).  Also no indication that CC himself was quya.  I do not think we can say sorcerous ability was a prerequisite of rule, and it was certainly not a requisite for Ishroi.

Sorcerous ability (quya) was hereditary among nonmen, so likely a caste; although not strictly so.  As noted, some were seen as both ishroi and quya, also some seem to have been bound to schools and thus quya only (Mitrul etc) whilst others did the bidding of their kings (Mekeritrig) and still others were permitted to rule (NG).  So its a debatable point.
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The Great Scald

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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 09:43:23 am »
Interesting thread.

My first contention is that Nonmen experienced a rigid-caste system with Quya at the top. Sorcerous ability is in-part hereditary and the Quya are a hereditary caste.


I agree. The Nonmen lived in a caste society, for sure. The classic Indo-European caste system, that of Vedic India and ancient Sparta, seems to fit the bill. Quya (sorcerer-priests) on top, then warrior-nobles, then merchants, then menial workers, and finally slaves on the bottom. Rulers are from the two top castes. Castes are hereditary, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Nonmen selected for sorcerous ability in certain gene pools (much like the Dunyain selected for amoral intelligence in their breeding), so the Quya probably have different genetics from their non-magical cousins.

So, yeah, a very caste-oriented and status-oriented society, with the men massively outnumbering the women. This gender disparity, and the weird sexual dynamics that resulted from it, would've led to lots of female hypergamy and male homosexuality ("the sodomite kings of Eärwa", as the Tusk calls them).

Quote
High Ainon serves as a metaphor for the Nonmen Mansions.

Erm, what? Where does it say that?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 09:49:00 am by Auriga »

EkyannusIII

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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 06:41:32 pm »
You're very right about the caste system paralells (which show up in odd locations in scifi/fantasy - c.f. the Mimbari in Babylon 5, who also follow the I.E. caste pattern), but this caught my eye:


So, yeah, a very caste-oriented and status-oriented society, with the men massively outnumbering the women. This gender disparity, and the weird sexual dynamics that resulted from it, would've led to lots of female hypergamy and male homosexuality ("the sodomite kings of Eärwa", as the Tusk calls them).

My impression was that the gender disparity was the direct result of the Womb Plague, since all the women died out, and that the sodomy was the outcome of that since, well, you know.  Did I miss something?
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2013, 09:21:21 pm »
Outlawing the aporos was a religious edict iirc - its in TTT glossary under chorae or aporos, I think. 
That suggests a religious caste that was able to make 'legal' rulings independent of and overiding local kings of mansion.

Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi, 2005
The Aporos is something I want to flesh out further in future books. The basic idea is this: the Quya first developed the Aporos in the prosecution of their own intercine wars, but it was quickly forbidden. The arrival of the Inchoroi allowed several renegade Quya to pursue their sorcerous interrogations, leading to the production of tens of thousands of Chorae, which were used throughout the Cuno-Inchoroi wars.

Likewise, quyan schools seem to have been independent to some extent from mansions.

I don't think Quyan "Schools" existed. From where are you interpreting this?

I do not think we can say sorcerous ability was a prerequisite of rule, and it was certainly not a requisite for Ishroi.

Well, this is my argument but we'll see how it fleshes out. I'm definitely asserting that at some point in Nonmen history, sorcerous ability became a prerequisite for rule.

Sorcerous ability (quya) was hereditary among nonmen, so likely a caste; although not strictly so.  As noted, some were seen as both ishroi and quya, also some seem to have been bound to schools and thus quya only (Mitrul etc) whilst others did the bidding of their kings (Mekeritrig) and still others were permitted to rule (NG).  So its a debatable point.

The first of the Nonmen to teach the Gnosis to humans was Gin'yursis (as an aside here, Bakker's Glossary and Zombie Three Seas quotes seem to be at odds here. It seems that preceeding the Nonmen Tutelage, Gin'yursis was in exile (ZTS) but yet during the Apocalypse is King of Cil-Aujas (Glossary). Also, the Wight's greatest student was the founder of the Mangaecca). Then the Siqu begin the Nonmen Tutelage and condone an orchestrated effort in collaborating with humans.

However, Nonmen don't seem to have formed Schools like men.

Quya (sorcerer-priests) on top, then warrior-nobles, then merchants, then menial workers, and finally slaves on the bottom. Rulers are from the two top castes. Castes are hereditary, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Nonmen selected for sorcerous ability in certain gene pools (much like the Dunyain selected for amoral intelligence in their breeding), so the Quya probably have different genetics from their non-magical cousins.

Quote
High Ainon serves as a metaphor for the Nonmen Mansions.

Erm, what? Where does it say that?

+1 to the former part of the post.

With the latter part, apologies, I'm just trying to draw a distinct analogy.

Again, my argument here is that the Quya ruled Nonmen society like the Scarlet Spires do High Ainon - and probably with none of the deception.

So, yeah, a very caste-oriented and status-oriented society, with the men massively outnumbering the women. This gender disparity, and the weird sexual dynamics that resulted from it, would've led to lots of female hypergamy and male homosexuality ("the sodomite kings of Eärwa", as the Tusk calls them).

My impression was that the gender disparity was the direct result of the Womb Plague, since all the women died out, and that the sodomy was the outcome of that since, well, you know.  Did I miss something?


No, I would agree. The label was probably derived from the fact that there were only Nonmen males when the Breaking of the Gates occurred and the line was written in the Book of Tribes by Angeshrael.
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 02:22:03 am »
I don't think Quyan "Schools" existed. From where are you interpreting this?
My lead in assumption was that Mihtrul was a quyan 'school' as I thought Mimara's mail was made of nimil.  Quite mistaken, it is as hard as nimil. 
Otherwise there is only the fact that the practitioners of the aporos were 'seduced' by the Inchies and then created chorae, which made me suspect some 'school' type grouping.
So agree with the fact that School is likely an inappropriate term for whatever system of organisation quya had for learning and practicing magic.
OTOH the siqu helped set up the Schools of the north, so perhaps it is likely that they were patterned after nonmen organisations.
Quote from: The False Dawn
The Artisan. The Siqu founder of the School of Contrivers, the Mihtrulic
I do not think we can say sorcerous ability was a prerequisite of rule, and it was certainly not a requisite for Ishroi.
Well, this is my argument but we'll see how it fleshes out. I'm definitely asserting that at some point in Nonmen history, sorcerous ability became a prerequisite for rule.

As noted, sorcerous ability is hereditary amongst nonmen, but rule does not appear so.  There are no nonman princes after all. 

TTT glossary describes Ishroi as the name given to the nonmen warrior castes.  Note plural. 
Quya is the generic name for nonmen magi.
Siqu is the term for nonmen involved in the Tutelage.

Which leaves us with one broad term for some warrior castes that could include quya and/or siqu. :(

Interestingly, there is some discrimination between Ishroi and Quya when RSB wants to make clear that certain individuals are not Quya:
Quote from: The False Dawn
Two Ishroi, renowned for their valour–Misariccas and Runidil–and one Quya… ... Cet’ingira.

More interesting stuff, Gilcunya is described as the holy tongue of the nonmen quya and is a debased version of Auja-Gilcunni, the base language of Cunuroi - seperate again from Ihrimsu, which the nonmen of Ishterebinth speak. 

Culturally, this suggests different languages between mansions.
 
Can we assume that quya were more generally involved with religious and philosophical matters when they were not also Ishroi? 
4 revelations suggests that Ishroi spent most of their time in the field (the curse of Ishroi is to not know that their children are their own).
This would leave little time for religious, administrative and other more productive roles required in a functioning society.

There are more references to Ishroi than Quya in general when we read through the Cuno-Inchoroi wars Neither CC or NJ show any indication of being more than Ishroi.  NJ cuts off CC's head in their final encounter, in4Revelations we see CC struck down by a nimil spear.  This suggests physical combat rather than sorcerous.  So if CC was Quya, then NJ must've held a chorae, in which case NJ could not be Quya.  Logically, it appears at least one nonman king was not Quya.

Ciogli breaks Wutteat's neck with his bare hands.  Ingalira (Siol Ishroi) strangled Vshikcru (inchie).
NC in 4 revelations is Ishroi but not Quya.

Apologies for the meandering post :p
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Madness

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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 04:56:07 am »
Nah, that was great.

I don't think Quyan "Schools" existed. From where are you interpreting this?
My lead in assumption was that Mihtrul was a quyan 'school' as I thought Mimara's mail was made of nimil.  Quite mistaken, it is as hard as nimil. 
Otherwise there is only the fact that the practitioners of the aporos were 'seduced' by the Inchies and then created chorae, which made me suspect some 'school' type grouping.
So agree with the fact that School is likely an inappropriate term for whatever system of organisation quya had for learning and practicing magic.
OTOH the siqu helped set up the Schools of the north, so perhaps it is likely that they were patterned after nonmen organisations.
Quote from: The False Dawn
The Artisan. The Siqu founder of the School of Contrivers, the Mihtrulic

If I had to guess from what we know, I'd hazard that the twelve original Gnostic Schools of Sauglish organized around the specialties of their Siqu patrons?

I do not think we can say sorcerous ability was a prerequisite of rule, and it was certainly not a requisite for Ishroi.
Well, this is my argument but we'll see how it fleshes out. I'm definitely asserting that at some point in Nonmen history, sorcerous ability became a prerequisite for rule.

As noted, sorcerous ability is hereditary amongst nonmen, but rule does not appear so.  There are no nonman princes after all. 

TTT glossary describes Ishroi as the name given to the nonmen warrior castes.  Note plural. 
Quya is the generic name for nonmen magi.
Siqu is the term for nonmen involved in the Tutelage.

Which leaves us with one broad term for some warrior castes that could include quya and/or siqu. :(

Interestingly, there is some discrimination between Ishroi and Quya when RSB wants to make clear that certain individuals are not Quya:
Quote from: The False Dawn
Two Ishroi, renowned for their valour–Misariccas and Runidil–and one Quya… ... Cet’ingira.

Quya specifically applies to hereditary sorcerers, no?

But otherwise, I'd agree - Quya can be Ishroi and Siqu but Ishroi and Siqu cannot earn the title Quya.

This seems to be feeding more and more into my speculation that Quya is a more rigid label, while Ishroi and Siqu are more flexible.

More interesting stuff, Gilcunya is described as the holy tongue of the nonmen quya and is a debased version of Auja-Gilcunni, the base language of Cunuroi - seperate again from Ihrimsu, which the nonmen of Ishterebinth speak. 

Culturally, this suggests different languages between mansions.

Definitely some confounding variables here. I'll need to check out my TDTCB for the language tree.

Can we assume that quya were more generally involved with religious and philosophical matters when they were not also Ishroi? 
4 revelations suggests that Ishroi spent most of their time in the field (the curse of Ishroi is to not know that their children are their own).
This would leave little time for religious, administrative and other more productive roles required in a functioning society.

If I remember correctly, in Plato's Republic the Guardian class mate by lottery. I've wondered what that line was supposed to mean otherwise, if not an analogy to that.

We know so little of the Nonmen religious roles - but I would argue (and have been ;)) that Quya handled all the administrative roles.

There are more references to Ishroi than Quya in general when we read through the Cuno-Inchoroi wars Neither CC or NJ show any indication of being more than Ishroi.  NJ cuts off CC's head in their final encounter, in4Revelations we see CC struck down by a nimil spear.  This suggests physical combat rather than sorcerous.  So if CC was Quya, then NJ must've held a chorae, in which case NJ could not be Quya.  Logically, it appears at least one nonman king was not Quya.

Good call. Damn dissociation.

Ciogli breaks Wutteat's neck with his bare hands.  Ingalira (Siol Ishroi) strangled Vshikcru (inchie).
NC in 4 revelations is Ishroi but not Quya.

Apologies for the meandering post :p

Well now.

How about that Su'juroit, the Witch-King?
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 07:41:23 am »
Here's the reference on Quya as hereditary sorcerers:

The Siqu need not be Quya, though they could be. The ability to see and work sorcery is heritable, though far less so in Men than in Nonmen. The Quya are in fact hereditary sorcerers.

And a quote refering to the Quya as a caste:

The sorcery of the Three Seas, Anagogic (and Daimotic) sorcery, arose from its shamanistic roots without the benefit of the Quya, the Nonmen sorcerer caste, whose sorcery was ancient before the Tusk was even written. The Gnosis, the sorcery of the Ancient North, is the result of what was called the Nonman Tutelage, a period in ancient Norsirai history marked by cultural exchanges between Nonmen and Men. The Gnosis is simply what the Anagogis could be, if the proper conceptual leaps were made...

And one that refers to Siqu as a caste:

The old Siqu caste, as well as that of the Quya, have transformed considerably over the years.

There.  Now our knowledge of nonmen castes is even more muddied :p
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 01:39:53 pm »
Those are all from ZTS, neh? Just trying to place the quotes in mine mind.

Good stuff, Curethan.

Hrm.
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Davias

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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 08:02:54 pm »
Man! Every time I understand some things in Bakker's books, a thread pops up, with a dozen new questions... 8)

A side question to the topic:
Do we know, if Quya mages were damned before the arriving of the inchoroi?

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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 02:38:48 am »
Yep, all quotes in my previous post are from 3c's, Madness.

Davias, the nonmen almost certainly knew of damnation prior to the Fall.  The references to nonmen having walked outside would back this up, assuming they also predate the inchies' arrival.
It seems they believed they could mask their voices from the agencies and find oblivion instead of damnation.
The inchies claim this is wrong.
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The Great Scald

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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2013, 06:58:40 am »
Plz, take it to the other dozen topics about Nonmen and damnation. Do we really need another one?

My impression was that the gender disparity was the direct result of the Womb Plague, since all the women died out, and that the sodomy was the outcome of that since, well, you know.  Did I miss something?

The Cinial'jin story on Bakker's blog says that the "curse of the Ishroi" is that they never knew the paternity of their kids. Lots of female cheating, and little of the religious misogynism that we see in Eärwa's human societies. This seems to fit with the idea that Nonwomen were always fewer than Nonmen, making them a lot more valuable.

(Female overpopulation = men are more valuable than women, society is balanced in men's favor, and one man fucking several women is common. Male overpopulation = women are more valuable than men, society is balanced in women's favor, and female cheating with higher-status men is common.)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 07:00:18 am by Auriga »

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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2013, 07:43:25 am »
Good points, Auriga. 

Though, NS's wife does say it's the curse of the Ishroi, specifically.  I read it as meaning it was the warrior caste getting their lawns mowed regular like.
What about the other castes?

It might be like the Spartan warrior class.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 07:46:06 am by Curethan »
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 01:45:41 pm »
To minimize commentary on damnation - sci and I had the makings of a grand theory, which unfortunately ties these two subjects together. The Topoi that form due to the mines of the Nonmen and their treatment of the Emwama make it a social issue.

More importantly, we know absolutely nothing about Nonmen gender relations. Did they share humanity's gender prohibition of sorcery, for instance?

How much can we actually take from the Curse of the Ishroi line. Is it clandestine, 'cheating,' or is it state-sanctioned like I think Curethan is suggesting?

Not to detract from you suggestions, Auriga, I'm just not sure how much conjecture we can actually support right now.
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