The Knife of Many Hands [Spoilers]

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Aural

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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2015, 01:40:20 pm »
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The Pirates of the Momas Gale are Damned and don't care. So things that might previously seem like Damnable sins to them are instead simply viewed by them as more pleasures.

I thought Bakker was cryptically talking about the Consult?

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The crew of the Momus Gale had no doubt that their souls lay beyond reprieve, and so they sucked as violently as they could from the teat of brief life. They were Takers in every way, and woe to those with wares to be taken.

Maybe the Consult or the No-God are actually collecting souls as some have suggested.

H

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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2015, 03:16:27 pm »
That's what I thought, but I'm still not sure how the fires of damnation (the punishment) are analogous to a 'whore's tongue' in Carythusal. Seems to me that Bakker is bending over backwards to insert the word whore in everything.

Well, he brings about an interesting parallel, in that damnation in the afterlife is torment, yet damnable acts in life are often pleasurable.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

MrGanondorf

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« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2015, 07:49:31 pm »
Quote
The Pirates of the Momas Gale are Damned and don't care. So things that might previously seem like Damnable sins to them are instead simply viewed by them as more pleasures.

I thought Bakker was cryptically talking about the Consult?

Quote
The crew of the Momus Gale had no doubt that their souls lay beyond reprieve, and so they sucked as violently as they could from the teat of brief life. They were Takers in every way, and woe to those with wares to be taken.

Maybe the Consult or the No-God are actually collecting souls as some have suggested.
Quote
The Pirates of the Momas Gale are Damned and don't care. So things that might previously seem like Damnable sins to them are instead simply viewed by them as more pleasures.

I thought Bakker was cryptically talking about the Consult?

Quote
The crew of the Momus Gale had no doubt that their souls lay beyond reprieve, and so they sucked as violently as they could from the teat of brief life. They were Takers in every way, and woe to those with wares to be taken.

Maybe the Consult or the No-God are actually collecting souls as some have suggested.

hated by Yatwer!

H

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« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2016, 11:42:47 am »
So, while I wait for TGO, I am unwilling to pollute my readerly pallet with things other than Bakker, to facilitate a quicker and better read of it when I do get it.  This means all I have to read are Atrocity Tales.  So, in the spirit of The Slog, I am going to look at Knife and see what I see.

Part 1 for today:

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They could sense it in him even then, the Incarnal, the patter of some unseen pulse, beating as quickly as murder

I do believe this is our first introduction into what the Incarnal is.

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But the man was anything but–Eryelk could see it.
All sorcerers bore the Mark of their sin.

So, Eryelk is one of the Few, which is pretty interesting.

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He had stood as he always stood in the blood-drenched aftermath of the Incarnal, alone, surrounded by the pulped wreckage of what had once been living.

A hint at the the Incarnal is...

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‘It is my other face.’

So, the Incarnal is the manifestation of his second heart, the mask that heart's face?

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‘You speak of the necessity of deceit,’ Eryelk scoffed. ‘I speak of truth.’
As old as Ancient Shir, they said. The Sranc Pits, a ziggurat gutted for the sake of death.
Boma-boma-boma-boma...
The rat’s whiskers twitched in surprise.
Truth?’ he snapped. ‘Oh... you mean lies that win.’
They knew him not at all, the Holca realized–or nothing of the Incarnal, at least.

Seemingly my above interpretation seems correct.  The Incarnal though isn't a second face, really, but rather the true face.  Actually, I take that back, I think what he means is that the mask does not conceal, but rather reveals.

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‘The rat that burns other rats, that would rule over other rats, become tyrant of the rat nation...’
His voice–his hatred–had become as a grinding mill.
Boma-boma-boma-boma...
‘Silence, cur!’
Boma-boma-boma-boma...
‘...that would worshipped as the Rat of Rats...’

I wonder if this is the Incarnal talking here?  He certainly mocks the Spire's intentions, reading them correctly too.

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‘Uh! Even the mask reeks.’
‘Aye. Sulphur...’
Feminine voices, young and old.
‘Sorcery?’
‘That is why we did what we did.’


So, they did know of the Incarnal, at least, the higher-ups did...

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The carriage sat upon black-lacquered yokes long enough for some twenty or more bearers, but possessing only twelve, slaves that in no way resembled slaves, armed and armoured as they were.

3801 is the year that the Scarlet Spires "create" the Javreh, this story shows why then really.

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No man craved both wisdom and peril as he did. His was an upside-down soul, the Sranc slaver insisted, one that, combined with a Holca frame, made him as rare as nimil. “If only you had will, boy, discipline, the whole Three Seas would tremble!”

I don't think I was alone in thinking that the concept of the upside-down soul was more profound than it really is.  I think in actuality it is simply a soul who is truly a collection of opposite and seemingly incongruous motivations.

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‘So it’s true. You do not recall what you do, when Gilgaöl seizes your soul.’

Considering how active the Gods are in the AE, I think before the Slog I would have doubted that Gilgaöl was actually involved, but now I kind of do believe it.

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And with that, the floors seemed to plummet, dissolve into a Pit more profound than any he had mastered.

This must be the Diamos, right?  Opening the Pit is opening a way for a ciphrang to influence Eryelk?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

H

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« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2016, 12:09:52 pm »
Part 2:

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They had stained him, somehow, polluted him with their wicked craft–he could feel it!

Feels it in his second heart, I am guessing?

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So they described the Carythusal they needed to balm their own blistered hearts, or to stitch the mercurial rifts that arose between them. For them, she was a place where the fires of damnation licked as a whore’s tongue, anything but the gleaming marvel that Stitti had described.

Even with the debate above, I still like this line.  How the "consequences" of damnable acts is so very different in life than in death.

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Carythusal was simply what came after, a civilization that had run out of blank scroll, and so
began to overwrite what was written. It was a place where anything was allowed so long as it did not impede commerce, where aimlessness was not a crime...

Interesting line here, considering how "the darkness that comes before" guides the world in the books.  Here, we are presented with the idea that Carythusal rewrites that, that it seeks to be new, guided by the now.

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‘Shinurta claimed that Nagamezer survived,’ Eryelk amended.
‘He didn’t, but there’s no way Shinurta could admit as much. As far as the city is concerned, Nagamezer has to be alive, otherwise the Spires would be releasing someone who had murdered one of their own.’

I think Shinurta was being kind of cheeky and was implying that they know full well where Nagamezer is, damned as he would be.

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Shinurta cackled in his soul’s eye. Claws combed the ginger haze across his abdomen.
His stomach lurched. His second heart flexed into a brandished fist.

So, Shinurta inhabits he second heart's soul?  Or a ciphrang?  Or both?

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The barbarian blinked, saw Shinurta hunched, a greased grotesquerie toiling over his loins. The world kicked and yanked about chains and manacles–
What did they do to him?

It seems as if Shinurta is the ciphrang, at least, somewhat through these descriptions.

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Chained to a thread above Hell. Choking sulphur. Bolting terror. Something horrid convolving about his hips, climbing, mounting...

His second soul was bound to the Pit?

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Screaming. Thrashing. Bestial glimpses of spider eyes and puckered cunnies.

This would seem to be the result of the ciphrang inhabiting him.

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Shinurta had no need to curse him, he realized. He need only trust the curse that was his blood. He need only know  him to transform him into a knife for yet another hand...

The curse of being twin-souled?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Hirtius/Pansa

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« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2016, 07:19:21 pm »
I'm super late on this train. Apologies. 

Sarothesser IX is the King of High Ainon in this short story. I assume he was killed at the end there, which then would make Prince Horziah the Horziah III who is the last reigning King. Really curious about some more details because there is supposedly a battle between a royalist army and Spires-aligned army which results in the defeat of Horziah. Not surprising, he seems like a real ditz. Also interesting because this short story seems to present a full coup against the Royal House of Sarothesser but we know for a fact that there is more Royalist/Spires conflict incoming.

The Glossary states that the Scholastic Wars were from 3796Ť-3818, so the Scholastic War has been going on for at least 5 years at the point of this story. Clearly not in High Ainon because things seem pretty calm, if a bit tense.

Cool that Sranc are such a hot commodity in High Ainon that they have Ainoni trading depots in Thunyerus and profitable relationships with certain tribes. Seem like antique precursors to the Scalpoi.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 07:21:32 pm by Hirtius/Pansa »

Wilshire

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« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2016, 07:43:00 pm »
I'm super late on this train. Apologies. 

I finished it after I got my Anthology backer rewards from the GdM kickstarter, about a month ago lol.

I'm sure unsure of whats happening, specifically. Generally it seems the spires used our protagonist to murder the King. But what did they actually do to him.

Seems like a mixture of skin-spies and sranc imagery to me, which makes be think Consult, not Spires. In addition, it was a trigger that was applied through sexual congress. Remember who ends up on the throne, a skin-spy. I get the feels that the Consult were involved from here on out, if not farther back.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 07:45:49 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Hirtius/Pansa

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« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2016, 08:38:16 pm »
Hmm.  I feel like the Consult would be incentivized to make sure the Shrial forces succeed, no? Anything to destroy the Mandate and remove as many of the Few as possible. Having a major school control High Ainon implicitly helps the Mandate maybe—at least during the war. Drawing away resources that the Shrial forces would use to fight the Mandate to commit to an Ainon front, they were apparently besieging Atyersus for a few years.  What do the Consult have to gain by giving the Scarlet Spires more institutional power?

Thought I agree with MG's sentiment that the line about the physical fortress of Kiz 'rearing into the void, the horns' or some such, immediately recalls Golgotterath. Also Achamian's line about Gologotterath and the Scarlet Spires as being the only places in the world more heartless than Atyersus.


Wilshire

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« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2016, 09:40:22 pm »
Not sure. Maybe they have had trouble replacing that particular throne/faction?  Having a skin-spy as 'king' is a reasonable goal. Also, the Spires hate the Mandate, and mock them fervently. Having the spires in a controlling position is beneficial in keeping the image of the Mandate in shambles.

I don't really know. The 'magics' involved just seemed really inchoroi-y to me. Cants of Compulsions seem to be pretty clean and efficient at this type of thing - not sure why SS would want to go through this type of sexually-triggered-mind-control-rape stuff.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

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« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2016, 01:56:52 pm »
Yeah, I think that an elevated Scarlet Spires is a definite boon against the Mandate, one the Consult certainly wouldn't be against, since it exists and perpetuates without them even have to manipulate anything.

However, Akka does at one point remark that even the Mandate was attacked during the Scholastic War, "Atyersus itself had been besieged for seven years."  It would certainly seem more likely that, as H/P says, the Consult might well have been behind the War itself.  Perhaps Ekyannus XIV was a skin-spy?

I would guess that as the fighting started, the Scarlet Spires realized they could militarize somewhat secretly and that the throne was ripe for a coup.  It certainly seems they were right, as events played out.  I think their gambit was that if their school was to survive (and prosper) that they needed basically a whole nation worth of resources and so set out to get it.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Wilshire

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« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2016, 02:32:01 pm »
But what did they actually do to him.
Is there any general consensus on that? That the spires summoned some lesser-ciphrang-succubus-equivalent to fuck him crazy, then they layered in some Cants of Compulsion just in case that didn't work?

Any hints why or what the ciphrang-demon thing was doing?

It all just seems really strange to me. These flashbacks seem to be similar to what Esmi was experiencing before Kellhus whelmed her, which to me implies that CoCs were being used. No reason that simple CoCs can't just be the SS. Maybe the demon thing was all just a construct of the CoC, an illusion, the effect being that every time he has sex he goes into a blind murderous rage?
One of the other conditions of possibility.

H

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« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2016, 03:08:10 pm »
Wait, isn't the whole point of what the Spires do to him specifically to have Cants of Compulsion not show upon him?  In other words, he doesn't have any Cants put upon him, because that is exactly what they would be looking for.

No, I think it goes back to his "twin-heartedness" which somehow allows Shinurta to "inhabit" him.  Presumably by overriding, or somehow imitating, the way in which Gilgaöl seizes his soul.  Or using a Ciphrang to work through Eryelk the same way Gilgaöl would.  In other words, Eryelk is somehow, at times of great passion, an open door to the Outside.  Shinurta found a way to walk through that door himself or through a Ciphrang agent.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira