Is Kellhus actually one of the Few?

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Somnambulist

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« on: November 18, 2013, 06:04:30 pm »
"What!?" you cry.  'What nonsense is this?  Of course he's one of the Few.  He works sorcery!"  Well, since you asked, I'll tell you the reasons I believe Kel may actually not be one of the Few, at least in the traditional sense.  Pardon if this subject has already been breached.  But here goes:

Evidence for being one of the Few:

1)  He works sorcery, and is apparently vulnerable to chorae (salt on his hand after battle of Sakarpus).

Evidence against being one of the Few:

1)  He doesn't comment on the Nonman's mark in the prologue to TDTCB.  If he could perceive the onta, surely he would have seen this metaphysically fucked up Nonman, not just his mundane appearance, which is all that's described.  Even if the Dunyain suppressed all knowledge of sorcery, wouldn't his inborn ability to perceive the onta still have seen the bruise, whether he believed in sorcery or not?

2)  When he tells Akka in TWP that he is one of the Few, subsequently leading to the Wathi doll test, it doesn't mean he's telling the truth.  He'd been with world-born men long enough by then to be able to use his facial recognition software abilities to determine who was Few and who was not.  He could simply have been testing himself (through Akka) to see if he could manipulate the conditions of sorcery to produce the same effect as actual sorcerers.

3)  Even though we have the benefit of Kel's internal monologues (to a degree) in PON series, I don't believe he is ever described as having commented on someone's mark, possibly leading to the conclusion he can't actually see it.

4)  When Akka confronts Kel at the end of TTT, he offers no commentary on Kel's mark, either.  This one's a bit flimsy.  Even though Kel had pulled off a meta-gnostic cant a few days previous (several times in succession), it still could have been not enough to leave a bruise of significance.  I'll grant that.  Don't know enough about MG cants to know if they damage the onta more or less than normal cants.  Anyway, this leads to the AE series, wherein no-one is saying anything about Kel's mark, or if he even has one.  People are either so taken with his divinity they simply refuse to acknowledge it, or they are too afraid to say anything lest the judges come a'callin' in the night.  I think that may be one of the  "Whaaaaaaaat?" moments if/when Akka finally sees Kel again, as to whether or not he even has a mark.

So, in summation, these are the core reasons I think Kel (and all Dunyain by extension, I suppose) may not actually be amongst the Few.  Just occurred to me, but this might possibly be why we have the perspective of Sorweel as the eyes of the Ordeal:  he is not one of the Few and couldn't comment on Kel's or Serwa's marks (or, for purposes of this thread, their lack thereof).  Alright then, let the debunking begin!
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Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 06:23:42 pm »
How do you explain is actual use of MG cants? Especially his first one. There is no one in the world, that we know of, who can do that until that instance. Its not as if someone could have called him to Shimeh and worked sorcery around him. Also, if that was the case, he would still be bruised. Objects bare the mark when worked, so if someone was somehow simply casting it on him, he should still be marked. At some point, even if he wasn't of the few, he should have been marked because of all the sorcerous acts we've seen him perform.

Unless Kellhus never left the chamber with his father.... :
 Which would mean that he was replaced by his father, who used meta-psukari cants, thus being mark free. Kellhus was the one that died in the hands of Cnaiur. At that moment Moenghus cast a glamor and a cant of compulsion to make it seem like it was he who died, but really he teleported above the Shimeh. He has been hidden behind the guise of Kellhus, maintaining a glamour 100% of the time. It would also suggest that he would know of the Gnosis, and taught the real MG to everyone else, but kept his own knowledge of the MP to himself

Side not, I believe none of what I said :P, just fueling your addiction.

My explanation for why no one mentions Kellhus' mark is because they see only his Haloes, and his divinity. Shared delusions, which in Earwa,  can be indistinguishable from reality.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 06:47:23 pm by Wilshire »
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 06:35:06 pm »
Ha!  Love it!

To clarify my (admittedly jumbled) thoughts, my postulation is that he is capable of working sorcery (and thus susceptible to chorae and possibly earning a mark), but he is not strictly one of the Few (i.e., he cannot perceive the onta).  He works sorcery through mimicry and his intelligence, which doesn't make it any less 'real' but he's come to it in a new way.  I got carried away with the whole "does he have a mark, or doesn't he," but that is ultimately a secondary thought in relation to "is he actually one of the Few?"
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Wic

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 06:35:15 pm »
I've actually had thoughts along similar lines, Som, particularly that he is not one of the Few in the traditional sense.  My personal idea is that Dunyain training creates an exceptional ability to honestly perceive the environment, and that once they are sufficiently informed about the nature of the Onta, they are capable of apprehending it.

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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 06:37:13 pm »
There's definitely some vagueness (possibly intentional, as from a storytellers point-of-view it is a bit of a tricky plot device) regarding where exactly the line between sorceror/not sorceror is, and thus when and how all the features/abilities associated "kick in", so to speak. Sorcerers can't even tell if someone is one of the Few until they've done something sorcerous, so maybe one has to use sorcery before being able to see marks (but then didn't Kellhus notice Marks before the Wathi doll test?).

Wilshire

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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 06:46:34 pm »
Oh, well, I guess I got carried away. Totally missed your entire point.
I don't think anyone can Logic their way into the metaphysics of sorcery. Though I do agree that it does seem odd that no one ever mentions Kellhus' mark.

There's definitely some vagueness (possibly intentional, as from a storytellers point-of-view it is a bit of a tricky plot device) regarding where exactly the line between sorcerer/not sorcerer is, and thus when and how all the features/abilities associated "kick in", so to speak. Sorcerers can't even tell if someone is one of the Few until they've done something sorcerous, so maybe one has to use sorcery before being able to see marks (but then didn't Kellhus notice Marks before the Wathi doll test?).
One example that comes to mind immediately is how Mimara see's Achamian at his tower, right before TJE opens. She sees him marked, very clearly, and she has never done any sorcery at all. The ability to see the onta allows one to see the mark of sorcery, but it does not inherently allow a schoolman to know you are of the few. Thus the Wathi Doll test. "Only the Few can see the Few" is not really true. They should say that only the Few can see those who have used sorcery, since one can be of the Few before they do any magic.
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 07:03:03 pm »
I've actually had thoughts along similar lines, Som, particularly that he is not one of the Few in the traditional sense.  My personal idea is that Dunyain training creates an exceptional ability to honestly perceive the environment, and that once they are sufficiently informed about the nature of the Onta, they are capable of apprehending it.

Great explanation!  I agree.  Just as Kel observes and reacts in accordance with the world-born, he would have observed and calculated that the onta truly does exist, thus allowing him to manipulate it like a sorcerer.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 08:15:58 pm »
Great explanation!  I agree.  Just as Kel observes and reacts in accordance with the world-born, he would have observed and calculated that the onta truly does exist, thus allowing him to manipulate it like a sorcerer.
Weird. Maybe this is why the puske doesn't mark the onta. Maybe its simply a different way of looking at the fabric of existance. Where the other schools see the Onta and tear it to work magic, the Cish are able to see it in a different way, allowing them to ripple and smooth the fabric of space/time without rending it asunder. This then would allow another person of sufficient intelligence to perhaps see the Onta in a 3rd, entirely differnt way, allowing him to again manipulate existence without destroying it...
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Madness

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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 08:50:05 pm »
Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi, March 2006
The idea is that pertains to a certain kind of ability to remember. Since memory, like other cognitive capacities, seems to be somewhat heritable, so is the ability - but only somewhat. The thing with the Dunyain, however, is that they have spent millennia breeding for certain cognitive capacities.

I'm afraid there's not much I can say, Ikiru. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Also:

Quote from: TDTCB, p565
Kellhus blinked, and his senses leapt back into their proper proportion. How was this possible? Sorcery? If so, it possessed nothing of the strange torsion hed experienced with the Nonman hed battled so long ago. Sorcery, Kellhus had realized, was inexplicably grotesque like the scribblings of a child across a work of art though he did not know why. All he knew was that he could distinguish sorcery from the world and sorcerers from common men. This was among the many mysteries that had motivated his study of Drusas Achamian.
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 08:58:31 pm »
Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi, March 2006
The idea is that pertains to a certain kind of ability to remember. Since memory, like other cognitive capacities, seems to be somewhat heritable, so is the ability - but only somewhat. The thing with the Dunyain, however, is that they have spent millennia breeding for certain cognitive capacities.

I'm afraid there's not much I can say, Ikiru. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Also:

Quote from: TDTCB, p565
Kellhus blinked, and his senses leapt back into their proper proportion. How was this possible? Sorcery? If so, it possessed nothing of the strange torsion hed experienced with the Nonman hed battled so long ago. Sorcery, Kellhus had realized, was inexplicably grotesque like the scribblings of a child across a work of art though he did not know why. All he knew was that he could distinguish sorcery from the world and sorcerers from common men. This was among the many mysteries that had motivated his study of Drusas Achamian.

The first doesn't necessarily negate the argument, but the second surely does.  Meh.  Cheers, Madness, for killing my thread.  LOL
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Madness

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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 09:01:09 pm »
All this time speculating but no one is ever happy when an answer actually pops up ;).

Hmm... Maybe I'll change my Administrator Group to Thread-Killer.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 09:03:50 pm »
Your whole theory exists based on the idea that no one has mentioned Kellhus' mark. Sure he's diffidently of the Few, but where is his grotesque mark? Who would call him divine if he was so blasted.

Your theory still stands! Its just a bit changed. Don't march to defeat so readily.
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 09:14:47 pm »
Madness:
Seriously, I appreciate the reference.  Thank you.  I honestly found it funny I was shot down so quickly (not that I thought I had an unbreakable theory, mind you).

Wilshire:
Well, I was actually pinning my hopes on the Nonman encounter, but that's okay.  The mark is a good fallback option in terms of showing (maybe redundantly) that Kel is just different.  Maybe we'll see a 'strange, sideways rinsing of the stain'-type comment when someone finally remarks on his bruise.

Cheers, guys!
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 09:15:33 pm »
Oh I knew you were joking. Hence, the winky face lol.

Quote from: TTT, p257
Startled, Achamian glanced back to the stair, saw Kellhus descend to the first landing ... It was strange - even terrifying - to sense the Mark on him as well. It dirtied him somehow, even as it augured an unthinkable future.

Not that offers commentary on Kellhus circa WLW...

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EDIT: I meant TTT, not TWP for the quote. Gall.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 12:42:51 pm by Madness »
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 09:43:40 pm »
Ack!  Ruthless!
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