The Slog WLW - Chapter 13 [Spoilers]

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« on: April 20, 2016, 12:33:09 pm »
Chapter 13:

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Three days Sorweel waited after learning of the Nonman Embassy and the Niom.

The question of why these three is an interesting one.  As strong as Serwa is, why send her away?  Does Kellhus anticipate that there is something up with Sorweel?

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"Nil'giccas is a myth," he said with open contempt. "There is no Nonman King."
Moėnghus shrugged, picked a curl from his wild black mane to study. "So says Zeüm."
"So says Zeüm."

Well, they are right in the sense that he is King no longer.  But they are wrong that he is a myth...

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"Ponder?"
"The Apocalypse," she said, rubbing the bridge of her nose. "How your city survived when far greater bastions toppled."
The young King of Sakarpus shrugged. "Some live. Some die. My father always said it was a good thing that Men could only trust in the Whore when it comes battle. He believed Men should be wary of war."

We wondered the same thing here, in numerous threads.

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"Could it be?" Carindūsū asked in derision. "Have the fabled Dreams of the First Apocalypse led the illustrious Saccarees astray?"
"Yes," the Mandate Grandmaster replied, his honesty so genuine, his humility so reminiscent of their Lord-and-God, that Carindūsū found himself shamed before his peers a third time.
"What we face... The world has never seen the like."

The Consult changing tactics?  Seems like it.

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"Maithanet," the Aspect-Emperor said. "My brother has seized control in Momemn."

If Kellhus knows of it, then it is part of the plan.  If it were contrary to his will, he would have ended it.

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"Do I fear for Esmi?" Kellhus asked. He turned his friend smiling. "You wonder, as you have wondered your whole life, what passions bind me." He closed his eyes in resignation. "And whether they are human."
So here it was, the question of questions...
"Yes."
"Love," the Holy Aspect-Emperor said, "is for lesser souls."

Indeed, Kellhus plainly admitting that passion does not guide him, at least not any human passion.  I think he is speaking plainly here and being honest.  While I think at times he did feel love, it was always fleeting, never the guide, just something on the way.  I think there is a passion, but it is the striving for the Absolute.  The certainty that he can and will be a God.

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"Father," Serwa explained, "says that we have an extra soul, one that lives, and another that watches us living. We are prone to be at war with ourselves, the Anasūrimbor."
Her terms were simple enough, but Sorweel suspected she understood the matter with a philosopher's subtlety.
"So your father thinks you crazy?"

Kellhus mistrusts his own children.  He knows that they are not anywhere near his level, just more tools to be used.  Another strike, in my mind, that he is guided more by passion or feeling then by the Shortest Path to Godhood.

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"To grasp the Absolute."
"Absolute?" he asked, speaking the word, which he had never before heard, slowly so as to make it his own.
"Ho!" Moėnghus called, yanking a small bass onto the riverbank. It thrashed silver and gold even as it blackened the bare stone with wetness.
"The God of Gods," Serwa said, beaming at her brother.

I feel this is hitting the nail on the head.  Kellhus seeks the Absolute, not just to apprehend it, but to become the God of Gods and so the God of Men as well.

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"What are you saying?"
"Truth, Horse-King. Nothing offends Men or Gods more..."
Sorweel could only stare at him, witless. Was it possible for a god to be mistaken?

But we know Kellhus does not represent the Truth.  He follows the Thousandfold Thought still, which is expressly not the truth.

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The children of a god mating. The woman he loved betraying...

Did Kellhus premeditate this?  No way this was the first time.  Did he send these two because he knew of their sexual relationship?  It seems plausible he knew of Sorweel's feelings for Serwa too.  Yatwer never seemed to hide that, nor Sorweel from Serwa.

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King Sasal Umrapathur, one of their number, was dead, as were his kinsmen and vassals.

I can't help but think that Kellhus knew this would happen.  It was all bait, made to eliminate Umrapathur and the Vokalati, perhaps?  A true Culling then.

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"Henceforth, we eat Sranc."

The major question, of course, what are the consequences?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 04:56:24 pm »
Double post, but I had another thought about this chapter, which is very long.  Part of why is that it details numerous prices, grandees, and satraps who died.  I had a thought about why this is important.  Why are we being told all this?  Sure, it gives a character to the battles, a sense that they are important people who are there, who are being lost.  But again, why should this matter, really?

Then I was thinking back to the quote, about how the Ordeal is really just a sacrificial vessel for all the Schoolmen.  So, why all these Lords in it?  Well, that may well be the whole point.  Leaving a vacuum of "lords" back in the Three Seas, sacrificing all of them in the Ordeal, allowing the New Empire to crumble, is all part of the plan; once Kellhus succeeds in achieving Godhood, he will be the whole new order, the old lords will all be gone and with them the ties to the order of the past.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

themerchant

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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 03:44:01 pm »
Yeah the army of the south was a premeditated disaster to "oil" the way to eating Sranc imo.

Moe the Younger will be getting played by Serwe at some level. Perhaps she was to get pregnant just before arriving, seduce a non-man and then use the leverage of the implications of that pregnancy to bind the nonmen to her will. I've seen that possibility advanced in various forms.


Blackstone

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 04:10:12 pm »
Yeah the army of the south was a premeditated disaster to "oil" the way to eating Sranc imo.

Moe the Younger will be getting played by Serwe at some level. Perhaps she was to get pregnant just before arriving, seduce a non-man and then use the leverage of the implications of that pregnancy to bind the nonmen to her will. I've seen that possibility advanced in various forms.
I considered that she might try to pass of Moe's baby as that of a non-man.

I have to wonder if she actually has feelings for Moe, though, or are they just banging because she likes to bang?
Honor the Niom? Niom is my middle name.

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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 04:50:31 pm »
I considered that she might try to pass of Moe's baby as that of a non-man.

I have to wonder if she actually has feelings for Moe, though, or are they just banging because she likes to bang?

I think it is a very premeditated move by Serwa.  One, she is securing Moe and at the same time, purposely alienating Sorweel.  She even says:

Quote
"A son!" the Grandmistress of the Swayali called out after him, her voice mellow and bewitching. "A son. A daughter. And an enemy!"

(Emphasis is the text's.)

I think Moe is in on it, but I think he also just doesn't care much that it's his "sister."  She may well be crafting a plan to dupe a Nonman, that I don't really know, but I am pretty sure that alienating Sorweel is at least one of the main points.  She knows how he looks at her, she has to know how he felt, so she probably felt like he was getting too close, too comfortable, and he needed to be checked.

Realize what she is also saying there, they are already duping the Nonmen by sending Moe, who isn't really his son.  Last thing they want is to show up with no real enemy too.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

Blackstone

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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2016, 05:25:28 pm »
I considered that she might try to pass of Moe's baby as that of a non-man.

I have to wonder if she actually has feelings for Moe, though, or are they just banging because she likes to bang?

I think it is a very premeditated move by Serwa.  One, she is securing Moe and at the same time, purposely alienating Sorweel.  She even says:

Quote
"A son!" the Grandmistress of the Swayali called out after him, her voice mellow and bewitching. "A son. A daughter. And an enemy!"

(Emphasis is the text's.)

I think Moe is in on it, but I think he also just doesn't care much that it's his "sister."  She may well be crafting a plan to dupe a Nonman, that I don't really know, but I am pretty sure that alienating Sorweel is at least one of the main points.  She knows how he looks at her, she has to know how he felt, so she probably felt like he was getting too close, too comfortable, and he needed to be checked.

Realize what she is also saying there, they are already duping the Nonmen by sending Moe, who isn't really his son.  Last thing they want is to show up with no real enemy too.

Surely someone as powerful as Serwa can think up a better way to keep Sorweel at arms length than banging her brother.

I think for the purpose of the Niom, Moe fits just fine as a son. He was raised by Esmi (and was probably as much raised by Kellhus as the other kids were).
Honor the Niom? Niom is my middle name.

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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2016, 05:54:08 pm »
Surely someone as powerful as Serwa can think up a better way to keep Sorweel at arms length than banging her brother.

I think for the purpose of the Niom, Moe fits just fine as a son. He was raised by Esmi (and was probably as much raised by Kellhus as the other kids were).

She probably could, but I have a feeling that wasn't the first time, so it was a simple way to achieve an end.  But again, no doubt there is more to it though.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

MSJ

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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2016, 11:46:46 pm »
Quote
A son!” the Grandmistress of the Swayali called out after him, her voice mellow and bewitching. “A son. A daughter. And an enemy.

This is right after Sorweel "abuses" his self. I have a feeling that Kellhus indeed sees through Yatwer's "mask". Or, as H said, sees that something doesn't add up. Serwa says it right there, "an enemy!".
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2016, 10:32:32 am »
Quote
A son!” the Grandmistress of the Swayali called out after him, her voice mellow and bewitching. “A son. A daughter. And an enemy.

This is right after Sorweel "abuses" his self. I have a feeling that Kellhus indeed sees through Yatwer's "mask". Or, as H said, sees that something doesn't add up. Serwa says it right there, "an enemy!".

Well, in the back of my mind, Sorweel confiding all that is going on to Zsoronga seems like a bad idea, because Zsoronga can be read.  So, if Kellhus has an idea what is going on with Sorweel, I feel like it's through Zsononga being read and Kellhus realizing that something isn't right.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2016, 04:35:52 pm »
Quote
A son!” the Grandmistress of the Swayali called out after him, her voice mellow and bewitching. “A son. A daughter. And an enemy.

This is right after Sorweel "abuses" his self. I have a feeling that Kellhus indeed sees through Yatwer's "mask". Or, as H said, sees that something doesn't add up. Serwa says it right there, "an enemy!".

Well, in the back of my mind, Sorweel confiding all that is going on to Zsoronga seems like a bad idea, because Zsoronga can be read.  So, if Kellhus has an idea what is going on with Sorweel, I feel like it's through Zsononga being read and Kellhus realizing that something isn't right.

Yeah, that struck me as a terrible idea too. But then again, maybe Kellhus knows what's up from watching them through the flames.
Honor the Niom? Niom is my middle name.

Bolivar

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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2016, 08:10:41 pm »


Yeah the army of the south was a premeditated disaster to "oil" the way to eating Sranc imo.

Yup. What's crazy is they could start foraging again but he ends that:

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The Holy Aspect-Emperor declared the Breaking of the Ordeal undone and commanded the Armies of the West and the East to converge upon the Army of the Middle-North. None of the Believer-Kings doubted his decision, even though this most recent defeat of the Horde had increased the opportunities for forage.

Double post, but I had another thought about this chapter, which is very long.  Part of why is that it details numerous prices, grandees, and satraps who died.  I had a thought about why this is important.  Why are we being told all this?  Sure, it gives a character to the battles, a sense that they are important people who are there, who are being lost.  But again, why should this matter, really?

Then I was thinking back to the quote, about how the Ordeal is really just a sacrificial vessel for all the Schoolmen.  So, why all these Lords in it?  Well, that may well be the whole point.  Leaving a vacuum of "lords" back in the Three Seas, sacrificing all of them in the Ordeal, allowing the New Empire to crumble, is all part of the plan; once Kellhus succeeds in achieving Godhood, he will be the whole new order, the old lords will all be gone and with them the ties to the order of the past.

Good point. The rulers chose and sent generals and commanders to represent them in the First Holy War, it's strange that now all these kings and heirs are showing up. Not to mention the Scions get wiped out as the first real casualties. It's strange to think Kellhus could have been out maneuvered by a Consult Legion and even Porsparian said it was a lie.

One explanation might be that the Zaudunyani overthrew so many of the old order during the Unification Wars. It would make sense that the new leaders of these polities who seized power are military strategists themselves and why the Ordeal would need them.

Somnambulist

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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2016, 08:51:53 pm »
I'm sure it was also expedient to bring said conquered rulers along.  Kel couldn't overthrow the Three Seas, then leave the rulers of said overthrown lands behind.  They'd immediately secede from the Empire and cause trouble again with arguably no one to stop them, once Kel marched the Ordeal north.  Instead, make them Believer-Kings, 'trusted inner circle,' keep them close so he could get rid of them easier.  He needed the rulers under his control so he could then in turn control the soldiers.  Once out in the field, too far from home... "Oh nooooo, your king/prince/regent was just killed in battle, guess you'll have to follow me directly now..."
No whistling on the slog!

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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 02:29:44 pm »
I'm sure it was also expedient to bring said conquered rulers along.  Kel couldn't overthrow the Three Seas, then leave the rulers of said overthrown lands behind.  They'd immediately secede from the Empire and cause trouble again with arguably no one to stop them, once Kel marched the Ordeal north.  Instead, make them Believer-Kings, 'trusted inner circle,' keep them close so he could get rid of them easier.  He needed the rulers under his control so he could then in turn control the soldiers.  Once out in the field, too far from home... "Oh nooooo, your king/prince/regent was just killed in battle, guess you'll have to follow me directly now..."

Exactly.  I can't help but think back to the quote that literally says that the Great Ordeal is just protection to get the Schoolmen to Golotterath.  Considering that, Kellhus knowingly is throwing all these Lords right under the bus.

The old order is out, the new order is going to begin.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2016, 02:56:46 pm »
I was initially appalled to read that the GO was a vehicle to get the schools to Golgotterath, but it makes sense. On the other hand, the anagogic sorcerers are so weak (compared to the Gnosis) that they are basically there as cannon fodder as well. They'd be good to destroy sranc, but I have a feeling that the Consult has a bunch of gnostic sorcerers to field.

IIRC, the First Holy War wasn't just run by generals and commanders. Most of them were princes and palatine governors. High Ainon in particular, seemed to send its entire ruling class (including the thing called its king).
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2016, 03:40:09 pm »
I was initially appalled to read that the GO was a vehicle to get the schools to Golgotterath, but it makes sense. On the other hand, the anagogic sorcerers are so weak (compared to the Gnosis) that they are basically there as cannon fodder as well. They'd be good to destroy sranc, but I have a feeling that the Consult has a bunch of gnostic sorcerers to field.

Indeed, we know that Shae knows the Gnosis, presumably taught it to A&A (the False Sun implies that Aurang was casting Cants with Shae to bury Titirga).  The biggest question about that, and we are given glimpses of what other schools of the Gnosis bring, is how does the Mangaecca Gnosis differ from Mandati Gnosis?  There could be an important difference, or perhaps nearly none at all.

Mihtrūl, we know, dealt in mundane weapons that we ensorcelled and the Sohonc we really don't know, but there must have been some reason that they were the so-called most powerful of the old Schools.  Presumably though, since Seswatha was Grandmaster of the Sohonc, the Mandati Gnosis is similar to that of the old School.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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